2. APRIL 2022 | BY ECOLOOKBOOK
Sustainability in the furnishing industry is just as much in demand as in the fashion industry and many other sectors. However, it is not only about aesthetics and design, but also about protecting our environment and ourselves. Some furniture can pollute the air in our flats and houses and damage our health in the process. The use of raw materials such as wood damages the ecosystem and robs the habitat of many animal species. Furthermore, environmentally friendly furniture not only creates a harmonious home, but its production benefits both the people who make it and our environment itself. There are a number of factors such as materials, production, transport methods and durability that need to be taken into account before a piece of furniture can be called sustainable.
| 1 | Harmful substances
Much of the furniture in our houses and flats today is made of cheap materials rather than the robust, natural materials that were widely used until a few years ago. Composite wood is one of these cheap materials. The wood is chopped up, glued together and then finished with products such as metals, varnishes, glues, paints and waxes to protect it from insects or external influences. These substances can be dangerous to our health because they release particles into the air.
But also endocrine disrupting substances, volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde and many other hazardous substances that are much used nowadays enter our homes through furniture. These kinds of elements not only harm the end user, but also the manufacturer or the worker in the factory. It is therefore important to make sure that the varnishes and glazes used are non-toxic or that the upholstery and textiles are organically grown without chemical treatment.
| 2 | Materials
Wood is still the most important material for making furniture, followed by leather. A sustainable piece of furniture and its packaging should be made from a reclaimed material, recycled goods or from an environmentally friendly source to avoid deforestation and the slaughter of animals. For example, wood that was originally used for construction, PET bottles or old wood fibres can be recycled to make a piece of furniture. But new materials such as bamboo, cotton, algae and other plant species such as pineapple and banana peels also offer a good alternative for renewable raw materials.
| 3 | Fair production
Sustainability also includes social responsibility. This means that good working conditions and fair wages are an important criterion when it comes to buying furniture with a clear conscience. Manufacturers of sustainable furniture usually communicate this transparently on their website.
| 4 | Short transport distances
A piece of furniture that is ethically sourced but has burned excessive amounts of fossil fuels to transport the materials and make the final product can be questionable. So when looking for sustainable furniture, make sure that the materials used are ethically and locally sourced and preferably handmade.
| 5 | Durability
Finally, the furniture must be durable enough to withstand time and the climate. Durable furniture helps you reduce the amount of waste in your household, as you don't have to replace your furniture every time. A high-quality piece of furniture with a timeless design can be used for many years and even passed on to the next generation.
| 6 | Ästhetik
Ob Sie es zugeben oder nicht, viele umweltfreundliche Möbelmarken designen schicke und stilvolle Stücke. Nachhaltige Möbel wären kein Trend, wenn sie nicht ästhetisch ansprechend wären.