Admit it: sometimes you stare at your home or apartment and wonder what it would look like with new furniture and a whole different vibe. Maybe your sofa is getting a little long in the tooth, or those end tables are way too 2003. If so, here’s the good news: plenty of furniture options are available that not only look cool but are also good for the environment.
Eco-friendly furniture comes in many forms, from reclaimed pieces made of recycled or repurposed materials to FSC certified furniture that has been deemed environmentally and socially responsible by the non-profit Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Furniture is also considered sustainable if it is designed for a long lifetime and usefulness. On the manufacturing side, eco-friendly furniture is sourced and produced using techniques that don’t harm the air, water or soil.
If you’re considering a new piece of furniture and want to buy something that’s good for the earth, check out these brands:
Etsy: The popular seller of handmade, vintage and craft items lists thousands of pieces of reclaimed furniture on its site – everything from dining tables, desks and consoles to work benches, bed frames, coffee tables, bookcases and storage units. Prices vary by seller and can range from less than $50 to more than $20,000, though many pieces are in the $200-$500 range.
West Elm: You probably know West End as the upscale home décor and furniture brand owned by Williams-Sonoma, but you might not know that it also offers fair trade and eco-friendly collections that span hundreds of items. These include FSC certified pieces such as dressers and floating shelves that are made with a commitment to sustainability and forest conservation. West End prices range from less than $50 for a side table to more than $12,000 for a sectional.
Crate & Barrel: Here’s another brand that will be familiar to many American consumers. The home goods retailer sells numerous FSC certified items – ranging from bar stools to bookcases – and offers hundreds of responsibly sourced products. Crate & Barrel also carries handcrafted bamboo products, made from one of the world’s most sustainable plants. Prices range from around $100 for a stool to more than $6,200 for a sofa.
Burrow: This New York-based direct-to-consumer furniture brand sells various seating options as well as sleepers, storage units, tables, benches and other items. Its collection includes sofas and sectionals that are made in the USA of eco-friendly materials. Items are shipped in 100 percent recycled cardboard boxes. All of Burrow’s furniture is lead-free and includes no flame retardants or formaldehyde. Prices run from $245 for a side table to about $6,000 for a sectional.
Thuma: This San Francisco-based maker of sleek, modern bed frames uses repurposed rubberwood from a sustainable tree plantation. Thuma also partners with the non-profit One Tree Planted to plant a tree with every purchase. Items are shipped directly to customers and can be assembled in minutes with no tools required. Prices range from $695 to $995.
Avocado: California-based Avocado is probably best known for its eco-friendly mattresses, though it also sells handmade furniture made of 100 percent reclaimed wood. The company gives 1 percent of sales to various environmental causes. Prices are reasonable, ranging from $750 for an end table to about $2,800 for a California King bed frame.
Chairish: This online marketplace specializes in chic décor, furniture and art from designer brands, dealers, galleries and artisans. All items are pre-screened to ensure they were created in a sustainable environment. Every year Chairish offers a scholarship to support students interested in design-related fields. Listed prices range from cheap ($65 for a stacking chair) to very expensive ($50,000 for a dining room set).
Inmod: This online retailer uses sustainable wood, bamboo and other materials in its lineup of bedroom, living room, dining room, office, storage and children’s furniture. High-profile clients include Google and Nordstrom. Inmod has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in America by Inc. 500|5000. Prices range from less than $40 for a storage cube to more than $9,700 for a bedroom set.
Sabai: Another online-only brand, Sabai specializes in North Carolina-made seating using sustainable and recycled materials and eco-friendly packaging. Its product lineup is limited to a sofa, sectional and ottoman, but you can customize your pieces. Prices range from $295 for an ottoman to about $1,400 for a sectional.
Medley: Based in Los Angeles, Medley makes bedroom furniture, chairs and sofas, accent tables, and storage units. Its products are manufactured in the U.S. with an eye on reduced carbon emissions, and it doesn’t use fire retardants or harsh chemicals. All orders are online only. Recent prices ranged from $309 for an ottoman to just less than $8,000 for a sectional.
ABC Carpet & Home: This iconic New York City brand is headed up by Paulette Cole, who has a long track record for sustainability and social responsibility. ABC Carpet & Home is recognized as one of the nation’s leading eco-friendly home goods sellers, with some products sourced from women’s fair trade cooperatives in India. Sales are online only, and prices range from $30 for a shelf to more than $14,000 for a sectional.