You want to become an environmentally-conscious consumer but don’t know where to start? In this article, you can find some tips on how to shop for sustainable interiors.
Think twice before you shop
When I want something new in my home such as a new sofa or even a whole new look for my bedroom I start by answering the following questions:
- What do I really need to achieve the look?
- Could I live with less?
- Do I want a statement piece of furniture?
- Could I rearrange the furniture in my home to spice it up?
- Can I get the piece I want secondhand?
One of my great role models is Bea Johnson who has founded the Zero Waste Movement. She developed the 5Rs of a Zero Waste Home: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.
If some of the answers above point in the direction of buying something new I look into sustainable suppliers. I will soon launch a sustainable resource guide where you can find suppliers that source ethically and sustainably. Subscribe to my newsletter below so you don’t miss out on the guide.
Think twice about budget shops
Who doesn’t love a bargain but be aware that budget shops calculate carefully and know about the dopamine rush you have when you shop there.
Try to find quality rather than the new cheap stuff. Quality is more expensive but it lasts longer. This is essential when you want to buy sustainable furniture. Check out Burrow for high-quality sofas. They even offer financing without interest rates.
Source: Skipper Flush ceiling light by Tom Raffield.
I know it looks like I’m going to spoil the shopping fun, but the change to a conscious consumer begins within you by making these changes. And, it can give you quite a dopamine rush when you find a quality piece secondhand because it also saves you a lot of money.
Research sustainable products
It’s becoming easier and more accessible to shop for sustainable furniture. You could order online but it’s best to do a little research before you hit the checkout button.
Make sure the supplier is committed to sustainability and maybe even has a Cradle to Cradle certification or can at least show proof of sustainability like the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certification. Simply look at their websites to see if you can find enough information if they source their products in an ethical and sustainable way. If you can’t find any information or you are not satisfied enough with it, contact customer service. Usually, the company is happy to send all information you need to make your buying decision. By asking for these pieces of information you also trigger conversations within the company which can be very important for their future policy.
Did you know that 35 million mattresses are thrown away in Europe each year? 7.5 million alone in the UK! When looking at products like bedding and mattresses we really should try to find companies that care about the planet. Auping is one of these companies. The Evolve mattress is the world’s first fully circular mattress for consumers. Two other amazing examples of recycling material is EcoMatress and Earthkind. EcoMatress is a mattress made from a percentage of recycled materials and handcrafted in a Carbon Neutral+ factory in Yorkshire. Instead of foam, the mattress is filled with layers of EcoFlex fibers. This is a soft and cushioning polyester filling, made from recycled materials and re-using over 200 plastic bottles, based on a king size mattress. Without using any natural fillings or animal bi-products, the EcoMattress™ is also a Vegan-friendly choice.
EarthKind duvets and cushions are made from reclaimed down and feathers, the covers are made from sustainable and ethically sourced cotton.
Ikea has made sustainable products very affordable, you can find many of these products in the Ikea catalog 2021. Ikea claims that by 2030, the potential to repurpose, repair, reuse, resell, or recycle will be built into every IKEA product.
A great way of thinking ahead is modular furniture. The kids grow and so should the bed or the rest of their furniture.
If you are living in a place for a short period of time or you are a student, then renting furniture is a good way to keep furniture waste to a minimum. Just rent what you really need to keep the costs low too. There are a few furniture rental companies out there where you can surely find what you need.
If you want something distinct for one of your rooms you could consider renting an amazing statement piece. The benefits are that you save money and if the trend is gone you can end the rental. Another idea would be a furniture swap. You can find a local one or swap furniture with your friends. This is also a great idea for pieces of art.
Here comes some inspiration on how to shop sustainable for your home.
There are many more examples of companies and suppliers out there. Let me know in the comments what you do to shop sustainable.
Heads up! Some links above are affiliate links. I only partner with companies with which I share the same values and believe in their products and quality.