The Best Furniture for a Stylish & Conscious Home
Furnishing your home is often a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Today, there are a wide variety of affordable, beautiful, and planet-friendly furniture brands that will quickly have you kicking back in style.
You might be asking where? Well, we’ve done the research for you. With that being said, here are Planet Home’s top picks for 2021.
This brand takes cutting down their carbon footprint to a whole new level, by manufacturing products that actually eliminate carbon from the atmosphere.
Pollima (meaning the “pollination of materials”) is the first-ever brand to make “carbon negative” furniture — and it was started by a Planet Home Solutionist, Ardilla Deneys! While studying interior design, Deneys realized that the vast majority of home & office furniture is carbon-heavy, and that furniture alone accounts for millions of tons of waste sitting in landfills today. So, she set out on a mission to “create products that took more carbon out of the air than they created”. The solution? Making furniture using unconventional yet sustainable materials.
Pollima’s furniture is made using recycled metals & hemp byproduct, a biodegradable material that’s actually more durable than traditional wood. Using the compressed hemp byproduct to create something new prevents it from releasing carbon into the atmosphere; and because no wood is involved, these pieces don’t contribute to deforestation. Plus, the added durability means that Pollima furniture is made to last, traveling with you to wherever “home” may be. You can join their pre-order list here!
Chairish describes their business as “a great big emporium of style”. They certainly aren’t wrong: With over 2,000 “gently loved” items added to the site daily, Chairish offers endless home decor to choose from. The site is also curated by a team of expert interior designers, who organize the inventory into easy-to-browse categories.
Chairish has everything from bedframes, to light fixtures, to wall art — so whatever home items you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something here that catches your eye. Many of the items on Chairish are also vintage, so there’s a good chance that the ottoman you’re eyeing is truly a one-of-a-kind piece. It’s like having an entire flea market at your fingertips!
Whether you’re looking to splurge or just browsing the sale section, Chairish is a great way to decorate your home without having a negative impact on the environment.
Looking to go bold with your home decor? Jungalow is the perfect place to find funky pieces that won’t hurt the planet or your wallet. This site has a truly wild mix of items, made all over the world through sustainable methods.
Something that sets Jungalow apart is that the brand is fully owned and operated by women, from all different backgrounds. The brand regularly features prints from female artists, encouraging customers to “tap into your own creativity and help bring the good vibes home”. Jungalow makes donations to non-profit organizations like Girls Who Code and the Rainforest Alliance; and speaking of trees, they also plant at least two trees for every purchase — now over 62,000 trees total!
Jungalow is also a partner of Trees For The Future, an organization dedicated to helping families in need all across the planet. Right now, they’re matching your donations to Trees For The Future through their site.
Sabai specializes in “furniture that doesn’t cost the earth”. They keep it simple, by only offering four “essentials”: An ottoman, a sofa, a sectional, and a loveseat. But unlike other brands, Sabai actually allows you to customize their designs with different fabrics and wood finishes.
Every aspect of Sabai furniture is sustainable, down to the recycled filling in their pillows. The upholstered fabrics are made from natural fibers and recycled water bottles, the wood they use is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and even the foam in their furniture is certified eco-friendly. Bonus: They also use recycled and plastic-free packaging, and their leg bags can be used as produce bags!
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw out 12 million tons of furniture & furnishings every year. Sabai not only guarantees sustainable products, but they are also fighting furniture waste through their Repair Don’t Replace and Closed Loop programs. They sell convenient replacements for every part of their furniture, and they offer a recycling guide for responsibly getting rid of used/damaged pieces. The Closed Loop program takes this idea a step further, with Sabai actually taking back your used furniture to be revived, donated, or resold. Some of these returned pieces end up on Sabai’s Revive page — and if your sectional sells here, Sabai will even give you a gift card for a portion of the selling price!
Etsy is always a great way to support small businesses & creators. You’ve probably heard of fast fashion, but what about fast furniture? Today, when nearly anything you can imagine is sold online and shipped overseas, furniture in particular has a huge carbon footprint. Similar to how the fashion industry makes cheap clothes out of low-quality materials, more and more companies are making furniture and home decor using these same methods — and while it may sell more sofas, it’s also contributing to a culture of waste.
Today, about 90% of furniture is made overseas. Furniture certainly isn’t a light load, and shipping so many pieces over long distances — either by boat or plane — causes massive amounts of carbon emissions. Etsy itself actually offsets 100% of carbon emissions from shipping & packaging — so no matter what you buy, it’s shipped to you through sustainable methods. Just be sure to check what materials and processes different creators are using, before you buy.
Starting with you
So how can we reduce the furniture waste? Like with many other industries, it starts with being a more conscious consumer; by purchasing less, investing in quality goods, and researching brands before you buy. But good news, we’ve done the last part for you!
The next time you kick back on your couch, take a moment to consider its impact on the environment: Where it came from, what it’s made of, and where it might end up after you’ve used it. If you’re looking to buy new stuff for your space, look out for green materials and certifications — here’s a great guide from Green Living Magazine. And as always, continue to become a more conscious consumer; the planet will thank you for it!