It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by What WE Make #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
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13 Ethical & Sustainable Furniture Brands To D-eco-rate Your Home | Sustainable Fashion


A year of spending a lot of time in our home for the sake of health might have you asking, “Just how healthy is the environment in your home?”

At risk of sounding alarmist, most traditional home furnishings are made with unsustainable (and toxic) materials that may pose risk to you, your family, and the environment.

Which is why we’re tackling this area of sustainable living. It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture.

Shopping for sustainable furniture companies can feel overwhelming since there are many un-sustainable brands out there. It’s our goal to lighten your load by making your furniture shopping as environmentally friendly as can be.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list (using these criteria) of the most ethical furniture brands we could find.

We’ll start with a few of our showroom faves.

For sheer variety of products from multiple artisans: Etsy Reclaimed and Made Trade have some of the absolute best eco friendly furniture, especially for rustic, wooden looks

We especially love the bright colored woven chairs of Made Trade partner Masaya & Co.

If industrial-looking pieces are more your aesthetic, Emeco is inspiringly innovative and for a minimalist, modern twist you can’t go wrong with Simbly. 

Kick back in your favorite recliner and join us as we put the eco in decorate!

*This post contains affiliate links

  • What WE Make
  • Masaya & Co.
  • Alabama Sawyer
  • Emeco
  • Greenington
  • Medley
  • Urban Wood Goods
  • Etsy Reclaimed Furniture
  • Simbly
  • Avocado
  • West Elm
  • The Joinery
  • Vermont Wood Studios

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by What WE Make #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by What WE Make

Chicago’s What WE Make is a master in handcrafted customizable furniture made of reclaimed wood.

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly and safe focal point for your home, check out this brand’s high-quality, durable, and timeless furniture that gives off both modern and rustic vibes. 

With something to fill any room and match any style, choose between tables, seating, bedroom furniture, bathroom furniture, storage items, media stands, and home office pieces. 

They even have commercial furniture available to put the “awe” in “office”. 

Materials:

While the company has been making handmade furniture for more than 15 years, it’s only been in the past five that they shifted to using reclaimed materials. 

Common ones include special-blend lightweight concrete, hand-welded metal, and old growth wood from midwestern barns (which features naturally-occuring knots, cracks, weathering, splits, and nail holes for character).

All the toxin-free furniture pieces are finished with no or low VOC eco-friendly finishes. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

There’s a small supply chain with this Etsy shop. Father and son handle all the woodworking, and other family members handle the design, marketing, and customer service.

Green business practices:

With a belief in quality over quantity, What WE Make has a custom design service that minimizes waste and provides a timeless furniture piece that will always have a place in your home

What is slow fashion when it comes to furniture?

It looks like this! 

Available: Etsy

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Masaya #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Masaya

What do you get when you combine one of our favorite ethical online shopping stores with eco friendly sofas? 

You get Made Trade partner Masaya & Co

This minimalist and multi-function maker crafts items that scream “sustainable style”. 

Their signature floating loveseats/sofas/chairs are definitely worth a peek, featuring custom, handmade cushions and incorporated storage.

Other environmentally friendly furniture products include barstools, ottomans, rocking chairs, side tables, nightstands, coffee tables, TV consoles, bed frames, desks, benches, dressers, media consoles, and more. 

Materials:

Responsibly-harvested hardwood (including Teak, Royal Mahogany, and Rosita Walnut) is what you’ll come home to with a piece of Masaya & Co. furniture. 

All wood is finished with low-VOC natural oil. 

The handmade cushions are made with a fabric called Sunbrella®, which is unfortunately acrylic. However, it is durable and resistant to water and stains. It’s also produced in a low-impact way.

Supply chain & labor practices:

The brand was actually founded as a reforestation project, but grew into a furniture company given the talent of the artisans in the area. 

Masaya & Co.’s furniture is handcrafted in Nicaragua. Furniture making helps to support 150 craftspeople and designers in the region.

Everything sold on Made Trade meets one (or all) of the platform’s seven core values. Masaya & Co. ticks the boxes on four: vegan, sustainable, heritage, and fair trade. 

Green business practices:

Given their overarching reforestation goals, the company plants 100 (yes, 100) trees in Nicaragua for every product sold. So far, they’ve planted more than 900,000! 

You’ll receive your furniture courtesy of Made Trade’s carbon-neutral shipping (offset with the carbon offset program Carbon Credit Capital). 

Community & charitable giving:

Woman-owned Made Trade is also a member of 1% for the Planet. 

Available: Made Trade

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Alabama Sawyer #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Alabama Sawyer

Is there any better slogan than, “Trees fall y’all?” 

We don’t think so. Especially when it means all of Alabama Sawyer’s furniture is made using local tree waste. 

The Alabama-based furniture company is owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo, Cliff and Leigh Spencer. 

During their time in the furniture business, they’ve kept hundreds of logs out of landfills—and instead turned them into shelving, desks, seating, tables, credenzas, and more. 

Setting the dinner table with eco friendly cutlery and an eco friendly dinnerware set makes for a tasty entrée, but having the table itself be reclaimed is the cherry on top of the desert.

Materials:

Fallen trees and other natural tree waste makes up the majority of Alabama Sawyer’s materials, gathered from their local community (houses, businesses, and municipal properties). 

Each piece of urban wood tells a story—and shows that story through burls, holes, and knots. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

90% of the wood is sourced locally in Alabama before being sent to a Birmingham facility to be processed, dried for half a year, and kiln fired. 

Then, heading to another Birmingham facility, the wood is transformed into gorgeous and one-of-a-kind furniture.

Green business practices:

Four billion. 

That’s how many board feet of usable wood Americans send to landfills every year. Not only does this produce a lot of methane (the most destructive greenhouse gas) as the wood decomposes in landfills, but it also wastes a valuable resource! 

Alabama Sawyer prevents this while also creating beautiful jobs and supporting the local economy in the process.

Available: Alabama Sawyer

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Emeco #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Emeco

Emeco is challenging the unsustainable furniture industry by creating simple solutions in the form of chairs, stools, and tables. 

Founded way back in 1944, Emeco came to be because of a commission to make non-corrosive, fire-resistant, and torpedo proof chairs for the US Navy. That first chair, the classic 1006 Navy Chair, is still available today. 

Emeco chairs are a lot of things, but first and foremost they’re built to last… 150 years at least. And they do it all out of recycled materials. 

CEO Gregg Buchbinder writes, “Begin with what’s left over. Turn it into what will last. Pretty much our story.”

These Hemmingway-esque fragmented phrases pepper the website and pretty much sum up the minimalist philosophy of a company of few words and even fewer unnecessary materials.

Materials: 

Of all their materials, recycled aluminum is Emeco’s golden (er… metallic) boy.

Half post-consumer soda cans and half post-industrial manufacturing scrap, the energy density of these chairs is 17 times lower than virgin aluminum (meaning 95% less energy is required) but equally as strong.

They also use cork, locally reclaimed or sustainably harvested wood, and recycled PET. They’ve been making chairs since 2010 when they collaborated with Coca-Cola to turn over 100 post-consumer bottles into a 100% recyclable chair.

They’ve even pioneered their own innovative materials:

  • Reclaimed Wood Polypropylene (made from the leftover bits of plastic from the factory floor mixed with sawdust from the lumber yard)
  • Eco Concrete (made from recycled glass bottles and calcium sulfoaluminate cement, which requires less energy to process and fire than regular cement). They use this in their sustainable outdoor furniture because it’s so weather resistant.

For aluminum pieces, Emeco uses VOC-free clear coat anodizing finish, and for wood, low-VOC finishes.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Emeco makes their chairs by hand through an intensive 77 step process.

All this happens in a LEED-certified family factory in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the very same one they’ve been using since 1944. It complies with both federal and state labor laws. 

Because their expertise is metal, they rely on nearby Amish woodworkers to craft their wood products.

Their Environmental Statement provides seriously elevated transparency, and they even publish their various official environmental product certifications (for seating and tables).

Green business practices: 

Aside from taking a huge chunk out of their impact by using almost exclusively recycled materials, Emeco also uses green manufacturing processes, using energy-efficient lights, buying renewable electricity, and saving water by using welding machines with an internal cooling system.

Any minimal scrap produced is always reused. 

Of the 6% aluminum waste their production yields, all of it gets returned to aluminum recyclers.

They also use 100% recyclable shipping and packing materials and offer a chair-to-chair recycling program for any of their plastic or aluminum pieces.

Available: Made Trade | Amazon

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Greenington #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Greenington

Greenington makes high quality furniture pieces from only the strongest and most rapidly renewable natural materials.

They pay fair wages, too. 

It’s no wonder we’ve fallen head over heels with yet another brand featured on Made Trade. 

You probably will, too, once you see their absolutely stunning desks, shelves, stools, sideboards, tables, chairs, dressers, nightstands, beds, and more. 

Materials:

The only thing lovelier than the honey-toned caramel color of Moso bamboo is knowing Greenington’s pieces are made 100% of this eco friendly material, either in solid strips or individual fiber strands. 

To achieve fibers, the wood is woven, soaked, compressed into a mold, and finished with a CARB 2-certified and low-VOC finish. 

Moso bamboo is not the type pandas eat either, so no need to worry about stealing snacks from those gentle giants! 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Each piece is crafted by talented Chinese artisans, all of whom are paid fair wages in ISO 9001 certified factories.

Green business practices:

As a quick reminder, bamboo takes just five years to reach maturity, during which it sequesters more carbon and releases 35% more oxygen than trees! 

In Greenington’s case, it’s also individually selected and harvested by hand (no clear cutting involved). 100% of the bamboo material is used, even the sawdust used to generate steam in the dry kiln room! 

Moso bamboo is harder than Red Oak, creating lightweight yet durable pieces of furniture. 

Available: Made Trade

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Medley #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Medley

Medley started small (in an apartment back in 2005) but in “realizing there is still so much more to do to push the furniture industry forward” they’ve since grown much bigger.

Now they make everything you could want for the home, like sofas, sectionals, accent chairs, sleeper sofas, beds, ottomans, benches, accent tables, dining tables, and storage pieces.

Small studio apartment? 

No big deal.

Use their Tailored to Your Space service for customized creations fitted to your color and material preferences, but also sized to fit into whatever space you have. These sustainable custom furniture jobs take about 4-6 weeks to complete.

They still come with a 100-day free trial to ensure you absolutely love it before committing to it.

Materials: 

In the name of long-lasting duration, Medley only uses top quality materials. 

This means solid bamboo and domestically-sourced kiln-dried alder (for furniture frames) and solid walnut and maple (for tabletops) from FSC-certified forests.

Their upholstery has two different cushion options: CertiPUR-US®-certified foam (the cleanest synthetic currently on the market) and Global Organic Latex Standard certified organic latex.

If you have a latex allergy and aren’t sure if the covering will be enough of a barrier, they’ll send you a sample to test.

Other materials include OEKO-Tex 100 cruelty-free Eco Wool (in their mattresses), natural jute webbing, GOTS certified organic cotton (used in the linings of all upholstered items), and either recycled or Greenguard Gold Certified synthetics.

All the pieces are free of VOC adhesives, fire retardants, fluorocarbons, and other ozone depleters, heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives, phthalates, formaldehyde, or azo dyes.

Even the wood is finished with an all natural furniture polish made with only beeswax, carnauba wax, and olive oil. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Everything except their mattresses are handcrafted in Los Angeles, California.

The mattresses are made in Chicago. Both studios (and thus all Medley products) are in the process of being certified by LEED and a few other HPD (Health Product Declaration) entities.

Available: Medley

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image By Urban Wood Goods #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Brian Sager for Urban Wood Goods

Female founder and CEO Erin True stumbled on a DIY salvage magazine article and made a bench she only ever intended to make for herself.

Thousands of such tables and benches later, her one-woman show has grown into a fully-fledged sustainable operation.

Urban Wood Goods specializes in reclaimed wood tables of all sorts and sizes, from desks to conference tables to quaint two-seaters for your breakfast nook.

And what good would a table be without some industrial-chic bar stools or benches?

If you really can’t get enough of the dichotomous metal and wood aesthetic, you can upgrade your home storage with reclaimed pipe shelving units and commission custom pieces.

With so much history in the salvage, these pieces bear “a unique vibe or soul” quick to become the focal point of any space. No better place to make memories with your family than over a table with so many already.

Materials: 

Roughly 30 million tons of demolition wood waste goes to the landfill every year. 

That’s why all their lumber (unless otherwise noted) is reclaimed barn wood and centuries-old “Old Growth” lumber.

Choosing to use this lumber is “an attempt to respect the present, and preserve the past” by highlighting “those who chose the more challenging path of deconstruction versus demolition, landfill dumping or incineration.”

While ensuring all finished products are comfortable and functionally smooth, they don’t overprocess the textures. This ensures the wood retains its original warps, nail holes, textures, and other character elements.

Urban Wood Goods combines these wooden table tops with salvaged metal pipe accents and American made steel structures.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All products are “Grown in America & Built in America..for you”. The team of 20 craftsman work in their very own Chicago woodshop. 

All reclaimed lumber is salvaged from local sites and any other materials also come from nearby USA suppliers, including Wire Basket Inc. (for locker accents), UWG Metal Manufacturer (for their reclaimed table and stool tops), and Metal Shaper (for steel leg fabrications). 

Green business practices: 

To minimize cost and shipping emissions, they only ship to the US and Canada.

Available: Etsy | Urban Wood Goods

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Etsy Reclaimed #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Etsy Reclaimed

It’s no secret that we love Etsy. Why? 

Because they not only make it possible to support all sorts of small, sustainably-minded sellers around the world, but because they have EVERYTHING.

Seriously, from sustainable candles to eco friendly gifts to zero waste makeup, Etsy is not-to-secretly one of the best alternatives to Amazon!

And Etsy, oh my, talk about options! With a near-constant influx of new designs and shops, there’s no end to the truly you-nqiue pieces to be found, from wine racks made of old barrels to coffee tables made of salvaged driftwood.

To get a taste of some of our favorites, start by checking out Reclaimed Wood USA (which have made over 20,000 top-rated sales) and Urban Billy.

Both are sustainable American furniture brands that specialize in using reclaimed materials to make rustic, farmhouse-inspired eco chic furniture.

We especially love Urban’s Billy’s wood art headboards and sliding “Homestead” doors.

Materials: 

While there’s no end to the creative and innovative materials people use in these pieces, most of them are reclaimed (as you might have guessed).

For wood, you’ll commonly find salvaged lumber, fallen logs, and palettes, and for metal, upcycled iron piping and chicken wire.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Etsy allows you to “Stand with Small”, which not only supports humble artisans and craftsmen, but means smaller supply chains (and less risk of human rights abuse).

Instead of factories, many of these pieces are made in basements and garages by one man (or woman) operations.

Green business practices: 

Another commonality among Etsy Reclaimed sellers is their insistence on hand making things to order. This not only means top-notch craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind pieces, but no excess warehouse stock to go unsold and wasted.

Plus, with so many sellers, you won’t have any trouble finding some local to your country or state, which means shipping emissions will be greatly reduced.

Etsy also offsets all 100% of carbon emissions from shipping.

Community & charitable giving: 

While Etsy itself does not donate to charity (so far as our research goes), many of their sellers give a percentage of the sale price. Be sure to scroll below each shop’s product listings to see where your money is going.

Available: Etsy

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Simbly #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by Simbly

Simbly, a portmanteau of Simple + Assembly, builds sustainable wooden furniture with a minimalist, modern twist.

All tables, desks, coffee tables, and benches are highly functional and designed for easy assembly and disassembly, without wear and tear.

That means you can rearrange with ease for your maximum lay-out feng-shui. 

It’s basically a capsule wardrobe for your house! 

Their products are also priced reasonably with direct to consumer availability.

The company began in 2017, by Josh Dorfman and Christopher Douglas, both of whom founded different sustainable furniture companies Vivavi and Material Furniture.

Josh also hosts The Last Environmentalist podcast and we do have a soft spot for fellow planet-minded podcasters.

Materials: 

Simbly uses purely FSC certified ApplePly hardwood plywood, which they call “the Roger Federer of plywoods”.

Appleply has been made exclusively in Eugene, Oregon since the 1980s, and uses soy-based, formaldehyde-free glues to hold the layers of hardwood birch together.

It boasts one of the best strength-to-weight ratios of woods and is made through an efficient peeling process that uses more of a log than any other method. 

To ensure your home maintains healthy air quality, all materials and finishes are food-grade, exceeding California Air Resources Board (CARB) and LEED standards.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All furniture is made in a local family-owned factory in Henderson, North Carolina.

Whenever possible, they boost Appalachia economies by choosing local. The only exception is their integrated fastening mechanisms, which are sourced from Switzerland for quality and expertise. 

Green business practices: 

Simbly, a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, is working toward becoming the world’s first climate-positive furniture company, an initiative they call Beyond Sustainability.

The Henderson factory is right down the road from its main headquarters in Asheville, making for minimal shipping impact at the production stage.

When shipping to buyers, they save truck space and packaging by shipping flat-pack rather than fully assembled, maximizing space by 80%. 

These boxes, by the way, are made of 40%-60% recycled cardboard less than 10 miles from the factory and the logos are printed with vegetable inks. 

Community & charitable giving: 

Simbly is a member of 1% For The Planet, and their environmental cause of choice is One Tree Planted so for every piece of furniture you buy they plant a new one.

Available: Simbly | Made Trade

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by Avocado <a href=Green Mattress #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle” class=”wp-image-3025923 perfmatters-lazy” width=”300″ height=”450″ data-src=”https://sustainablereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/1621495536_998_13-Ethical-amp-Sustainable-Furniture-Brands-To-D-eco-rate-Your-Home.jpg” data- data- loading=”lazy”>
Image by Avocado Green Mattress

“You will spend nearly one-third of your life in bed, so it’s important to have a non-toxic mattress.” 

That’s why Avocado Green Mattress is here to save the day (or night, rather).

This Sustainable Furnishings Council member, makes mainly eco friendly mattresses and organic mattress protectors, with a handful of reclaimed bed frames, end tables, and dressers.

The mattresses come in all sizes (even cribs) in either organic wool or PETA-approved vegan versions.

They include a 1-year sleep trial and a 25-year warranty, but with over 10,000 5-star customer reviews and the being highest independently rated mattresses, the warranty is really a gesture of good faith.

While they’re still pending Certified B Corporation, this “farm to mattress” brand is still one of the most ethical furniture brands we’ve seen, far exceeding our expectations on many levels.

Materials: 

The base of Avocado’s mattresses is 100% GOLS organic, eco-INSTITUT®, and OEKO-Tex 100 certified Dunlop latex which they make themselves.

They use no polyurethane or memory foams, off-gassing chemical adhesives, or synthetic latex.

They’re so certain their stuff is safe they invite you to read their legal labels (which have strict requirements so pro tip: take a look at the one on your mattress).

The wool mattresses then use coverings made of GOTS organic Gaddi wool and GOTS organic kapok fiber.

The vegan mattresses swap all wool components with GOTS organic cotton. Pair one of these with a few eco friendly pillows and you’ll be catching all the zzz in no time.

Both have a natural hydrated silica fire barrier that still exceeds all federal flammability and CPSC standards without using chemical flame retardants (which have been linked with organ toxicity and neurological damage).

They’re also free of heavy metals, formaldehyde, solvents, functional nanoparticles, GMOs, chlorine bleach, Azo dyes, phthalates, and PVC. As such, these mattresses have earned top tier Greenguard Gold and MADE SAFE® certifications, among others.

The wooden furniture they offer is made of either reclaimed or FSC certified wood with a zero-VOC sealant and no superfluous elements like knobs and handles.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Avocado sources main materials from India where they co-own several FSC-certified organic rubber tree farms.

They also own their own ethically raised free range sheep, employing over 100 farmers and 400 herders across 50 Indian villages that provide fair, living wages that adhere to International Labor Organization (ILO) standards.

All mattress manufacturing takes place in their own GOTS and GOLS organic certified factory in Los Angeles where they “pay living wages and provide comprehensive medical care, from our factory floor through every tier of the company.”

On top of that, employees get quarterly paid volunteer days, remote work opportunities, and access to free Headspace and Classpass accounts to encourage mental and physical health

Green business practices: 

A Carbonfree® Partner, Avocado offsets 100% of emissions generated by shipping and factory operations. Through Carbonfund.org, their offsets specifically fund reforestation and forest preservation projects.

Community & charitable giving: 

Avocado is a member of 1% For The Planet. And what’s better than 1%? 

Why, 2% of course, which is the percentage of annual revenue (regardless of profit) Avocado donates to EcoHealth AllianceBreast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), among others. 

They also offer free yoga and meditation classes, workshops, readings, live music, and coffee and kombucha at their Certified Green Business “Experience Centers” and donate 90% of returned products to various nonprofits.

Available: Avocado

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by West Elm #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by West Elm

As part of the Pottery Barn conglomerate, global furniture giant West Elm is proof that big, established companies can change for the eco-better.  

While West Elm as a whole still sells plenty of traditionally toxic pieces, their ever-expanding Sustainable Sourced collection gives us hope, now comprising 60% of the total line. 

Currently, over half of their wood furniture is either FSC certified or 20% reclaimed.

This new high end sustainable furniture line includes anything and everything for the living room, dining room, bedroom, and patio.

They even have eco friendly nursery furniture. Which is sure to put your mind at ease knowing these changing tables, cribs, and baby bedding are Fair Trade and GREENGUARD Gold certified.

Materials: 

West Elm’s Sustainably Sourced items are usually made either from reclaimed wood or FSC-certified wood, finished with low-VOC finishes.

Many now possess Greenguard Gold or OEKO-Tex 100 certifications. 

As for fabrics (as seen in their sofa upholstery, bedding, and rugs), they use either 100% organic cotton, TENCEL, or REPREVE® recycled polyester (which has saved 14 million plastic bottles from landfills).

Supply chain & labor practices:

With the launch of West Elm LOCAL, they made a big push to return manufacturing to the USA.

Currently, they’re at 65%, meaning the company has invested over $10M in small American-made businesses. Part of this means designing 95% of products in-house. 

Even though West Elm isn’t perfect, they have tons of various certifications backing up their ethical claims for their sustainably sourced items.

As of 2020, 15 of their factories are Fair Trade certified, supporting over 13,000 workers with fair pay, health clinics, and over $2 million additional dollars paid to Fair Trade community development funds.

Until all of their products are ethical and sustainable, their website makes it super easy to shop your values, whether it be Fair Trade, Locally Made, Organic, Handcrafted, or Low Emissions.

Green business practices: 

They believe in using organic cotton for their fabric components, and they’ve partnered with the Better Cotton Initiative to train farmers in organic practices.

In 2018, they trained over 1,500 farmers.

Community & charitable giving: 

West Elm has several different charitable partnerships like Nest, Human Rights Campaign, the ASPCA, Vision Spring, HERproject, and of course St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, with which they’ve donated over $50 million across their 15-year partnership.

Available: West Elm

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by The Joinery #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle
Image by The Joinery

The Joinery, a certified B-Corp since 2010, crafts artisan ethical furniture for both residential and commercial spaces out of the solid hardwoods and eco friendly fabrics. 

They offer a full range of home furnishings: beds, nightstands, dressers, mattresses, sofas, loveseats, coffee tables, dining room tables, office desks, storage and shelving units, coat racks, sustainable lights and lamps, and sustainable home decor tiles.

They even sell wooden toys for kids, like this adorable Push T-Rex.

Every piece is intended to be Furniture for Life, and “have a longer lifespan than the trees from which they originate”.

They’re backed by a lifetime guarantee and restoration promise.

Materials: 

The majority of the wood that The Joinery uses is FSC-certified, locally sourced, or both.

They include solid hardwoods like Cherry, Western Walnut, Eastern Walnut, Maple, and Oregon White Oak, though they can source other hardwoods for custom requests — “in all cases seeking to find the most environmentally responsible source.”

They minimize hardware by utilizing durable wood joining techniques.

They also sell four different eco friendly mattresses (all non-toxic and chemical free) and made of various combinations of GOLS organic Dunlop latex, organic cotton, and organic wool. For sofas, choose between EcoWool, Leather, or Velvet.

For obvious reasons, we recommend EcoWool. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

While these products are made of various US hardwoods, most are responsibly and locally sourced from Oregon and Washington.

The Joinery began as a one-person furniture repair operation, and they keep that spirit alive but ensuring every piece is wholly built by a single woodworker.

They invite you to drop by their workshop in Portland, Oregon to see the woodworkers at work.

Green business practices: 

The Joinery writes, “The quality of our craft may be our single greatest environmental contribution.”  

But in fact, they do tons of other stuff.

Like using biodiesel powdered delivery trucks, solar and wind energy to power their workshop, reusing scrap lumber, and compacting any dust and sawdust into wood briquettes for donation to community building projects.

They also encourage recycling by giving an annual Metamortise Award to the employee who creates the most innovative reclaimed furniture.

They’ve been named Oregon Business Magazine’s 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon and frequently find themselves on B Corp’s “Best for the Environment”. 

Available: The Joinery

It’s far better for everyone if we kit out our eco-cribs with ethical and sustainable furniture. That’s why we’ve compiled this list Image by <a href=Vermont Wood Studios #sustainablefurniture #ethicalfurniture #sustainablejungle” class=”wp-image-2019474 perfmatters-lazy” width=”300″ height=”450″ data-src=”https://www.sustainablejungle.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Image-by-Vermont-Wood-Studios–683×1024.jpg” data-https://www.commonshare.com/local_pages/US/US_vt”>Vermont-Wood-Studios–683×1024.jpg 683w, https://www.sustainablejungle.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Image-by-Vermont-Wood-Studios–200×300.jpg 200w, https://www.sustainablejungle.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Image-by-Vermont-Wood-Studios–768×1152.jpg 768w, https://www.sustainablejungle.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Image-by-Vermont-Wood-Studios-.jpg 1000w” data- loading=”lazy”>
Image by Vermont Wood Studios

Founded in 2005, Vermont Wood Studios has its humble roots in the spare bedroom of a home.

Now, it exists to make every room (spare or essential) a cozy one through tons of furniture and lighting accents.

Shop bookcases, headboards, dressers, wardrobes, and other fully customizable, non-toxic options. 

If it’s not already “Furniture You Can Feel Good About”, know your investment is backed with a lifetime quality guarantee. 

Materials: 

These pieces are crafted mainly using sustainably grown North American trees or salvaged building wood, kiln-dried. They’re also non-toxic, using water-based glue and low VOC finishes, like linseed oil and Poly Gel, meaning any VOCs residue dries up. 

For durability reasons, their Polywood patio furniture is the exception, which is made from over 90% post-consumer plastic bottles.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

From using locally sourced trees harvested within 500 miles of their workshops to making everything by hand in Vermont, this brand is all about “support[ing] Vermont craftspeople and American economies.”

Rather than using one big company factory, they contract to four primary individual artisan studios.

In addition to those four larger studios, they sometimes work with even smaller single-artisan shops for more custom pieces. 

They state outright, “Our furniture makers receive fair compensation for their considerable talent and they work in a safe and healthy environment.”

Green business practices: 

Rather than shipping from studios to a warehouse and then to you, all pieces are shipped directly from makers to buyers to eliminate middle man shipping emissions.

Some of their workshops are powered by solar fields and all sawdust waste is either used as fuel to heat the space or by donating it to local farms. 

Community & charitable giving: 

Vermont Wood Studios’ main goal is to raise awareness about deforestation and restore Amazon forests that have been razed. So far they’ve planted 60,000 trees.

They also invest in monarch butterfly conservation and have supported 26 other non-profits, too. 

Available: Vermont Wood Studios

Since you’re probably sitting on a piece right now, there’s an important question to ask: what makes furniture sustainable?

Turns out, it’s many of the same things that make for sustainable and ethical fashion

In fact, it’s been many of these same considerations that we made when looking for other home essentials like eco friendly bedding, eco friendly pillows, organic linen curtains, eco friendly shower curtains, affordable linen sheets, and more.

Materials:

Ethical wooden furniture is our #1 choice, simply because it’s biodegradable

The most sustainable wood for furniture are cork and bamboo because they are renewable, regenerative, and fast-growing. 

Hardwoods (like beech, maple, and oak), on the other hand, can take hundreds of years to reach maturity. That’s why virgin hardwoods aren’t ideal. If the hardwood is reclaimed (if at the very least, sustainably-sourced), it’s okay by us.

Not all hardwoods are equal though. Those such as rosewood, sapalee, ebony, merbau, mahogany, and teak (a common choice for eco furniture) often come from areas that aren’t known for sustainable harvesting. 

For these woods, look for brands who employ sustainable harvesting techniques or work to reforest these regions. 

Similarly, old growth forests produce beautiful canopies—as well as harder and more durable wood than newer sapwood lumber. This includes woods like Douglas Fir, Cedar, and Redwood.

To strike a balance between durable furniture and saving the forests, avoid furniture made out of their products unless they’re salvaged. 

What about plywoods and particle wood? 

These are conglomerate boards made of many thin sheets or wood chips (as opposed to hardwood, which is a solid piece). 

Our advice is to avoid them, as they aren;t as durable and typically include toxic adhesives and formaldehyde treatments. 

We obviously want to avoid a hazardous home, so we look for finishes and glues that are non-toxic, organic, or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds).

For upholstered pieces, we try to avoid synthetic fabrics (unless recycled) in favor of natural fabrics like organic cotton, linen, and hemp. 

Foam cushioning is best when it’s made of latex (which is tapped from trees like maple syrup). Avoid “eco friendly” soy foams because soy farming is responsible for massive swaths of deforestation in South America (greenwashing alert!).

Supply chain & labor practices:

Many of these brands make their furniture products in small workshops with a minimal and/or a local supply chain, which makes traceability and a Chain-of-Custody far easier.

In the case of made-in-the-USA furniture, it starts out with a better baseline because the US has stricter labor standards than many developing countries.

Otherwise, we look for other certifications or the demonstration of a company’s labor practices (i.e. factory details, code of conducts, or information regarding wages).

Green business practices:

Handcrafted sustainable furniture is greener from the get-go because it means that a company isn’t relying on machines, which use energy and produce emissions.

It’s even better if it’s custom-made because that requires the piece to be made-to-order, which prevents any unsold deadstock.

Beyond that, we also look for companies purchasing carbon offsets, powering their manufacturing with renewable energy, or using low-waste packaging. 

Bonus points for brands that are members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council working to change the whole home furnishings industry by advocating for such practices.

Community & charitable endeavors:

If a company is large enough to manage it, we love when they go above and beyond to support their artisan communities or give back to social or environmental organizations. 


Whether you’re kitting out your home furnishings for the first time or replacing that cheap Ikea flat pack you bought after college, we hope this guide has helped you learn where to get sustainable furniture.  

With these brands here to help, you’ll have no trouble transforming a house into a sustainable home…and a green one at that!

If you know anyone who’s looking to upgrade their upholstery or beautiful bedroom, we’d love it if you would share this list of them.

Help us transform homes into models of sustainable living


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