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Design

The Most Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Places You Can Shop For Furniture Right Now

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The first piece of furniture I ever bought was a console table from Craigslist that I intended to use as a TV stand. I was broke, it was cheap, and I was happy to be buying something second hand. When I brought it home, it looked absolutely horrible. I knew immediately I would need to purchase something else to replace it and eventually would have to figure out what to do with this console table that was now on my hands. It’s impulsive decisions like this that ruin good intentions and I still kick myself for not considering the table’s measurements (a ROOKIE mistake). Now, a year later I am a lot better at making furniture decisions but there is one thing that lingers over every purchase I make: the environment.

I know access to new handcrafted sustainable furniture is a privilege and unfortunately, the most sustainable path is rarely the most convenient or affordable. To be completely transparent, the topic of sustainability feels daunting and even debilitating until I remind myself that small changes are still important changes. By buying vintage and second hand, supporting companies that participate in fair-trade practices, and purchasing quality furniture that lasts, I can use my consumer power and begin to shift the practices of the industry as whole. In fact, there are already brands that are making revolutionary changes to the way we think about the production and distribution of furniture.

Before we get to the brands pioneering sustainable furniture, I’ll start with our favorite online vintage resources so you can score that unique vintage piece you’ve been dreaming of.

Etsy

1. Midcentury Avalon Teak Desk | 2. Set of 2 Bentwood Thonet Side Chair | 3. Vintage French Style Hand Painted Solid Wood Writing Desk  | 4. Mid-Century Modern Blue 3-Seater Sofa | 5. Lounge Chair 70s | 6. Upholstered Vanity Stool | 7. Baroque Throne Sofa  | 8. Vintage Dresser | 9. Mid Century Vintage Burnt Orange Velvet Wingback Chairs 

Etsy is 100% my favorite resource for furniture and decor. I’ve scored some of my favorite vintage pieces from Etsy at really reasonable prices. (I suggest always messaging the seller directly and asking if there is any wiggle room on price. It never hurts and you’ll be surprised how often people will be willing to negotiate).

Why it’s sustainable: Buying vintage or second hand reduces waste caused by new production of furniture.

Pricing: From $-$$$

Hot Tip

Enter your zip code in the search column on the left to search for furniture being sold in your area. You can message the seller and most will agree to arrange pick up times so you can save on shipping costs and reduce even more waste.

Chairish

1. Pink Curved Sofa & Pillows | 2. Casa Cosima Hayes Spot Table | 3. Mid Century Modern – Swiss Classic Chair | 4. Mid Century Side Table  | 5. Post Modern Bench | 6. Vintage Mid Century Modern Danish Style Wooden Bed | 7. Vintage Italian Alabaster Tazza | 8. Vintage Boho Pencil Reed Radiant Sun Side Table | 9. Mid Century Modern Walnut Caned Birdseye Chair

Chairish is an EHD favorite site for sourcing vintage furniture online. The site has every type of furniture, art, and decor for any style sold by retailers and individual sellers all over the country. Also if you haven’t ever purchased from Chairish, you actually put in a bid with the vendor. They then can accept or counter back. It’s extremely exciting.

Why it’s sustainable: Buying vintage or second hand reduces waste caused by new production of furniture.

Pricing: From $$-$$$$

Everything But The House

1. Colonial Mahogany Lecturn Stand with Embossed Leather Top | 2. Caned Bow Back Upholstered Settee Bench | 3. Oak Flat Arm Upholstered Arm Chair 4. Upholstered Settee with Bolster Accent Pillows | 5. Industrial Adjustable Height Cane Seat Oak Stool | 6. Federal Style Walnut Sideboard, Mid-20th Century

Everything But The House is an affordable online auction for home goods. Sellers put their items up for auction and each item starts bidding at $1 so you can get really INSANE deals if you keep your eye on a really great piece. Also, all sellers offer local pick up so if you find something in your area, you can score some reallly unique vintage finds for cheap.

Why it’s sustainable: Buying vintage or second hand reduces waste caused by new production of furniture.

Price Range: $$

Hot Tip

For vintage and second hand furniture in your area, be sure to check out local listings from places like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Let Go, and Offer Up.

Now on to the companies making new products in new, sustainable ways…

Woodward Throwbacks

1. Salvaged Hardware Chest of Drawers | 2. Leah Lathe Bench | 3. Salvaged Shelving Unit | 4. Science Lab Kitchen Island | 5. Vintage Wooden Folding Chair | 6. Teak Table

Woodward Throwbacks began with the founder’s Bo Shepherd and Kyle Dubay riding their bikes around the city searching for reusable materials. What started as a hobby became a business and what they have created is a rad brand line that is sustainable and affordable.

Why it’s sustainable: Woodward Throwbacks uses recycled and salvaged materials to make their furniture. They keep their designs simple enough so they can mass produce in their hometown of Detroit and work to employ locals, renovate vacant buildings and be a model for modern manufacturing.

Price Range: $$

Sabai Design

1. The Essential Sofa | 2. The Essential Ottoman | 3. The Essential Sectional

Sabai Design makes essential furniture that is beautifully designed, well made, and affordable. They make only three products (so you know they are expertly made) and offer them in 7 colors and fabrics. Plus, you can customize seat cushions and leg color to fit your exact specifications.

Why it’s sustainable: Sabai Design uses fabrics made from natural fibers and recycled water bottles, FSC certified wood, certiPUR-US certified foam, and recycled fiber pillows. Their boxes are 100% recycled, they use no plastic in packaging, and the leg bags double as produce bags!!

Price Range: $$

Dims

1. Caldera L Coffee Table | 2. Rove Side Table | 3. Cleo Chair | 4. Eave Desk | 5. Barbican Trolley II | 6. Composed Vanity II

Dims makes quality furniture without the retail markups. They strive to make great designs that are attainable and responsibly made. Plus LOOK at those incredible designs.

Why it’s sustainable: Dims sources all their ash wood from sustainably managed forests, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Their finishes and adhesives are GREENGUARD certified, meaning they’ve been independently tested to meet the world’s most rigorous standards for low chemical emissions. And when they work with steel, they only use the finest powder coating that is free from harmful VOCs and heavy toxic metals.

Price Range: $$-$$$

Floyd Home

1. The Floyd Table/Desk | 2. The Cabinet Add-On | 3. The Sofa | 4. The Floyd Shelving System | 5. The Side Table | 6. The Coffee Table

Floyd specializes in timeless and durable furniture. Their sleek designs are versatile and minimal so they can be integrated into any space.

Why it’s sustainable: Floyd began because they were tired of disposable furniture. With their designs, they emphasize addressing the needs of how people are living today with simple, timeless design while using the most durable and sustainable materials.

Pricing: $$

54kibo

1. Line Chair | 2. Milo Ottoman | 3. Ite Ottoman | 4. Djembe Side Table | 5. Walking Bench | 6. Ite Chair

Everything from 54kibo is made by African designers and handpicked to bring Contemporary African Design to the forefront worldwide. Also if that side table looks familiar then you are correct! Emily used it in her living room and Julie used it in Suzanne’s bedroom.

Why it’s sustainable: 54kibo highly curates their collections to ensure that the products are sustainable and ethically produced. This ranges from designers working with local artisans to produce the pieces to upcycling materials to mindful packing.

Price Range: $$-$$$

Wehlers

1. A Chair | 2. A Lounge Chair | 3. A Stepstool

Wehlers is essentially the leading furniture company when it comes to eco-friendly practices. Their ethos is “Designing for the conscious consumers who refuse to compromise on quality and design.”

Why it’s sustainable: Wehlers not only practices sustainability, they also help their designers, suppliers & customers to become more sustainable. They emphasize that well designed, sustainable products are the starting point for a sustainable interior. Wehlers closes material loops and takes its responsibility when it comes to utilizing materials. All of their furniture has a high content of reused materials and if they do require new materials for a product, they use as many renewable and local materials they can find.

Pricing: $$$

Goodee

1. Vent Stool | 2. 1 Inch Reclaimed Chair | 3. Fionia Stool | 4. AML Stool – Dark Pine | 5. Kilim Pouf 01 | 6. Fuori Serving Trolley

Goodee is a curated marketplace that reveres artisans and makers who produce goods ethically and sustainably. They have everything from furniture to accessories at reasonable price points, and everything is beautiful.

Why it’s sustainable: Goodee works exclusively with artisans and products that make a positive social or environmental impact.

Price Range: $$-$$$

Mater

1. Accent Oval Lounge Table | 2. Low Wood Stool | 3. Mollis Sofa | 4. Accent Cafe Table | 5. Rocker | 6. Bowl Table

Mater is a Copenhagen-based modern furniture design studio that champions progressive ethical and environmental standards.

Why it’s sustainable: Mater strives to avoid and minimize any adverse impact on society, by following ethical and sustainable production criteria and creating products that will both stand the test of time and inspire the consumer to cherish and savor them. They use the most sustainable materials available and strive towards making quality furniture that will last. The majority of the Mater collection is labeled and manufactured in FSCTMcertified wood and the aluminum products are sand-casted of partially recycled, aluminum scraps, like old car components and bicycle wheel.

Pricing: $$$

Medley

1. Harrison Credenza | 2. Pax Bench | 3. Wiam Dining Chair | 4. Jasmi Dining Chair | 5. Norah Pouf | 6. Danu Square Dining Table

Medley makes midcentury-inspired pieces that are sleek, elegant, neutral, and versatile (think mountain house!!).

Why it’s sustainable: Medley products are made with the most eco-friendly materials and are designed to last. They source wood from FSC certified forests, use bamboo (which grows rapidly so is more sustainable), and the cleanest synthetic choice on the market.

Pricing: $$$

The Citizenry

1. Palermo Tripolina Chair | 2. Side Table | 3. Sanjay Ottoman | 4. Round Leather Ottoman | 5. Square Leather Ottoman | 6. Lokon Cane Headboard

The Citizenry is another EHD favorite. We’ve worked with them several times before and can attest to the long-lasting and beautiful craftsmanship of their pieces. Everything is made in small batches and they work directly with artisans which reduces costs and waste.

Why it’s sustainable: By personally traveling to each country and using only local materials, they establish sustainable relationships with our artisans. From there, they sell directly to the consumer so there is no middleman and in doing so make handmade goods, crafted with the highest quality materials, at more reasonable prices than traditional luxury boutiques.

Pricing: $$-$$$

Alright friends, if you’ve made it this far, thank you for joining me and I hope you found some new companies to keep in mind when you are looking for the next piece for your home. I am sure there are sustainable brands I missed so please drop them below and have a LOVELY Friday and weekend. xx

Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Fin Mark

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yes to medley! i’ll vouch for them. I just got a sectional from them. i am usually about the vintage for everything, so i spend barely anything on my furniture, but i also have insane fragrance and chemical allergies and sensitivities, so for something upholstered that we basically live on, i went for as eco-friendly (no off-gassing) as possible. instead of a synthetic foam, it has organic latex, and instead of whatever plastic derived wraps, it has wool. and made in california. and a linen blend fabric. it sounds bougie and obnoxious, but i vote with my dollar. and i try to always vote eco-friendly and sustainable. this will live with me until i’m an old lady.

save the planet, buy vintage (when possible).

also, buy vintage from me 🙂 on instagram 🙂 @lovelyloveley

Ano

EBTH is no longer viable for me. Prices are now bid up fairly high, and the only “local” pickup option is in Ohio, where they now ship everything. So unless you’re an Ohioan, shipping for furniture almost automatically doubles or triples the budget. Much preferred them when they didn’t mass ship entire lots to OH.

Suzanne

Thanks for all the great resources! I’ve been pretty happy using FB Marketplace and Nextdoor lately. I’m surprised how a bunch of used furniture can be pulled together in a decent design, especially at such a low price point. I have also over the years invested in some handmade heirloom pieces, but those need to be saved for and considered more carefully.

Sahaja

I love that you recommended buy vintage or 2nd hand as a way to be sustainable. I was able to get higher quality furniture peices buying on fb marketplace or next door than buying the same peices from a big box store. Or get peices from stores I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

Sahaja

Another site I would highly recommend is MadeTrade. They have everything from decor, bedding, clothes that are sustainable, ethical. You can even find US made, women owned or POC owned if you want to support specific companies.

Jenny

Yay! Thank you for this! I’ve always worried about the Earth Mothership when buying home goods — and is super helpful

Susanna

I guess it is the price we pay for finding sustainable bargains, but Etsy, Chairish, ETBH, et al have somewhat inadequate search engines given the mass and diversity of items they are listing. You have to sort through so much crap to find anything decent.

Siel

Oh how I wish this existed for European brands

Rusty

*sigh*
Another USA only viable topic.
Nice idea, love the sustainability aspect, but unfortunately very insular in its reach.
🙄

Kara

The most sustainable option, buying vintage or secondhand, can be done anywhere. Also, if this is something you take issue with frequently on this USA-based blog, sounds like it’s a niche that could be filled by YOU wherever you live!

K

Would you suggest they highlight brands from every single country?

nice stuff to use.

Mel

Wait, eco friendly to balance out the astro turf in the front yard?

Katie M

Should definitely add Golden Age Design – they have an amazing inventory of vintage MCM furniture!!

Lily Fielding

I have a Sabai couch and I love it!! Super easy to clean, affordable, and beautiful.

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