Sustainable Furniture Brands

13 Sustainable Furniture Brands

Good furniture can make your home look classy and beautiful. But that’s not all that you should look out for as a person who cares about the environment. Furniture has a significant impact on the environment, so eco-friendliness is an important quality to look out for when shopping for furniture. Below we explore why and how we should choose sustainable furniture and feature 13 of the best brands making furniture with the environment in mind.

The environmental impact of the furniture industry

Although it takes more than wood to make it, furniture is one of the leading secondary wood products in the world. Shelter is one basic human need and furniture plays an important role in making it livable. Accent tables, coffee tables, sofas, end tables, bed frames, and other furniture items add functionality and beauty to spaces at home and for leisure. 

However, furnishing comes at an environmental cost. Some of the effects of the furniture industry on the planet, wildlife, and humans are listed below.

Pollution

One major pollutant from furniture is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are indoor air pollutants mostly found in refrigerants, paints, and pharmaceuticals. They are dangerous to human health.

Many furniture makers use paints, varnishes, and other products that contain VOCs as furniture finishing. Such furniture then emits VOCs in the home, potentially leading to adverse health conditions.

Hazardous air pollutants, known to cause cancer, are also emitted from wood furniture manufacturing. In situations where there is inadequate protection for the workers, they could sustain serious health injuries.

Furniture solvents and toxic finishing can pollute groundwater or water bodies around the factories.

Resource waste

The furniture industry uses a variety of materials, from aluminum to wood, plastic, and textiles. Some of these resources are non-renewable and some are consumed faster than they can renew. Unsustainable furniture consumption leads to waste and eventual scarcity.

In Europe, furniture waste accounts for about 4% of municipal solid waste. The total waste from furniture production and consumption amounts to 10.78 million tonnes1. Only 10% of the amount is recycled, while an astonishing 90% goes to the landfill. As of 2018, about 56% of Australians had thrown away tables2, chairs, and sofas.

Deforestation

Indiscriminate logging to meet the increasing need for fast and cheap furniture could cause serious deforestation. Research shows that the US demand for Chinese-made furniture is has a direct correlation with a reduction in tree cover in the Congo basin Africa3.

Deforestation puts eco-diversity at risk. In addition to causing a habitat crisis for wildlife, it makes global warming worse.  

Advantages of eco-friendly furniture

Wondering why you should care if your coffee table is eco-friendly? Here are some benefits of ethical furniture.

Recyclability

One challenge identified by the European Environment Bureau in the adoption of circularity in the furniture industry is recycling problems due to low-quality materials. As one of the concepts of sustainability is durability and recyclability, eco-friendly furniture is usually built to last and also be recyclable.

Environmentally friendly

Ethical furniture brands do not use harsh chemicals that put the environment and human health at risk. Instead, they use chemical compounds or natural oils that have low or no pollutants. They also operate following air quality regulations. 

Less waste

They make some furniture from recycled and repurposed materials like waste wood, plastic, and textiles. It saves a lot of resources from ending up in landfills. It also reduces the environmental cost of production by reducing the rate of virgin material extraction. 

Certifications 

Some organizations exist to promote ethical standards in furniture manufacturing and associated industries. They audit sustainable furniture companies to determine if they are meeting up with ethical sourcing, production, and labor standards.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies brands that use sustainable wood. Brands that use organic fabrics for their products can be certified by the global organic textile standard (GOTS).

Other certifications to look out for including Greenguard and Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED).

13 Ethical & Sustainable Furniture Brands 

Quick links to our picks of some of the best sustainable furniture brands:

Below you will find essential details about each sustainable furniture brand on our list. With the information, you can carefully choose the ethical furniture brand that best reflects your environmental values.

The information below tells you the following about the brands: 

  • Where they design for
  • Product range
  • Ethical values
  • Store location and shipping

1. West Elm

West Elm
Photo Credit: West Elm

For: home and office
Product range: furniture and decor 
Ethical practices and value: fair trade certified, FSC certified, locally manufactured
Store location and shipping: made in the USA and ships 

Popular furniture brand West Elm is known for its exquisite home decor and furniture. The brand is committing to forest preservation and has launched a collection of eco-friendly furniture.  The Sustainable Sourced collection which makes up 60% of West Elm products uses FSC certified wood.

West Elm uses wood certified by FSC or 20% reclaimed wood for half of their total production. The brand chooses only sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, Tencel, or Repreve polyester. They finish their products with low-VOC products. 

West Elm is boosting the local economy by partnering with local businesses. About 15 of the factories they work with have fair trade certifications and practice fair labor. This brand also believes in giving back and contributes to various charities and farmers’ training schemes. 

Shop West Elm

2. Savvy Rest

Savvy Rest Sustainable Furniture
Photo Credit: Savvy Rest

For: home
Product range: furniture and accessories
Ethical practices and value: non-toxic finishing, locally manufactured, GOTS certified, Greenguard certification, B Corporation.
Store location and shipping: based in USA and ships internationally

This brand makes customizable organic mattresses and furniture for the home. The brand’s materials of choice include sustainably sourced maple wood, natural Talalay latex, and organic cotton. Their wood stains do not have any trace of VOCs and the flame retardants are completely non-toxic.

They produce all their furniture pieces in Virginia, boosting the local economy and cutting back on shipping emissions. They and their manufacturing partners have an extensive collection of eco certifications. The brand is a B Corp and its suppliers are certified by GOTS, eco-institute, cradle to cradle, Greenguard, and Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc.

This brand donates to the carbon fund organization to offset carbon emissions and the brand is an employee-owned company. It belongs to the ESOP Association to better serve its employee-owners.

Shop Savvy Rest

3. Vermont Woods Studios

Vermont Wood studios
Photo Credit: Vermont Wood Studios

For: home and office
Product range: furniture
Ethical practices and value: handcrafted, locally manufactured, Fairtrade, recycled materials
Store location and shipping: based in the united states and offers international shipping

This brand is one of the most popular sustainable furniture brands available today. The brand has a strong commitment to forest preservation. The company only makes its furniture to order, which means they have zero unsold inventory. All their bed frames, dining tables, and chairs are fully customizable from design to wood and finishing choices.

The eco-friendly furniture brand uses natural hardwoods like cherry, maple, oak, and walnut that are sourced ethically from Vermont's Green Mountains and Pennsylvania. They use wood finishes like linseed oil, poly gel, wax, lacquer, and tung oil.

Their outdoor Polywood collection is made from recycled plastic lumber sourced from waste milk jugs and detergent containers. 

The brand works with independent local artisans to create its elegant wooden furniture and home decor items. Every worker earns a living wage and works in a safe environment.

The company was a founding member of the Sustainable Furniture Council. Having spent over 16 years in business, the brand has planted 88,864 trees and supported 26 NGOs.

Shop Vermont Woods Studios

4. Simbly 

Simbly
Photo Credit: Simbly

For: home
Product range: indoors
Ethical practices and value: FSC certified, locally made, member of 1% for the planet, non-toxic, recycled materials, carbon-neutral
Store location and shipping: made in the USA and ships internationally

Simbly’s style of furniture is for the modern minimalist. The eco-friendly furniture company designs sustainable furniture that can be assembled according to the consumers' individual needs. Each piece of furniture is basically a capsule piece.

The brand makes its multifunctional furniture from FSC approved Appleply, which is known for its elegance and durability. Their materials are non-toxic and formaldehyde-free. Simbly’s packaging is made with an average of 50% recycled material and is compostable.

Simbly donates 1% of its income to support environmental causes and plants one tree for every product they sell. It also offsets its shipping and manufacturing emissions through a partnership with EcoCart. The brand is a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and has a goal to be the first climate-positive furniture company.

Shop Simbly

5. ABC Home 

ABC Home
Photo Credit: ABC Home

For: home
Product range: furniture, accessories, and decor
Ethical practices and value: environmentally friendly materials, no harsh chemicals,  fair trade
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and ships internationally

This brand is known for its collection of modern sustainable-style furniture. They cater for furniture and decor for the living room, dining room, and bedroom. 

Their decor, regular tables, chairs, sofas, sectionals, coffee tables, and end tables are made by artisans in Europe and Asia. They partner with women’s fair trade cooperatives in India and Label STEP to ensure fair trade and ethical production.

ABC products are free from formaldehyde, flame retardants, harmful bleach, and dyes or VOCs. Their products are made from eco-friendly materials like salvaged or ethically sourced wood and plant-based fibers. 

Shop ABC Home

6. Avocado 

Avocado
Photo Credit: Avocado

For: home
Product range: furniture and accessories
Ethical practices and value: Oeko-Tex certified, GOLS certified, non-toxic materials, B corporation, climate-neutral certified, clean energy
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and does not offer international shipping 

The Avocado brand makes sustainable wooden furniture, eco-friendly mattresses, and beddings. The climate-positive furniture company has been carbon-negative since 2020. All their US-based facilities run on solar and wind energy.

They do not use polyurethane, off-gassing adhesives, synthetic latex, chemical flame retardants, and heavy metals. Their products are also free from formaldehyde, Azo dyes, PVC, chlorine, and phthalates. 

Avocado's fabric choices include GOTS organic wool, cotton, and kapok fiber. They use reclaimed wood or FSC certified wood for their bed frames, end tables, and dressers. The brand’s wooden pieces have no knobs or handles and contain zero VOC sealants.

The brand’s responsible production practices and organic materials have earned it many certifications. These certifications include Greenguard Gold, GOLS, Oeko-Tex, Control Union and Made Safe. 

Avocado pays its workers fair wages and benefits. Following international labor standards, they do not allow child labor along their supply chain. The brand is a member of 1% for the planet and has supported social and environmental initiatives like Big Green, Kula Project, and Plastic Oceans.

Shop Avocado

7. Joybird 

JoyBird Sustainable Furniture Brand
Photo Credit: Joy Bird

For: home and office
Product range: furniture and decor
Ethical practices and value: supports artisans, fair labor, handcrafted, non-toxic
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and does not offer international shipping

If you love mid-century and transitional aesthetics, Joybird is one sustainable furniture brand you should check out. They make customized end tables, desks, bed frames and mattresses, coffee tables, and dining room furniture.

The Joybird factory is in Mexico, and the workers get fair wages, a safe work environment and medical benefits. Joybird partners with One Tree Planted to plant more trees than they use to give back to nature.

Shop Joybird

8. Medley 

Medley
Photo CreditL Medley

For: home and office
Product range: indoors
Ethical practices and value: FSC certified wood, non-toxic finishing, locally manufactured, GOLS certified, Oeko-Tex certified, Greenguard gold certificate
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and ships worldwide

Sustainable furniture brand Medley designs all kinds of home furniture. From accent tables, accent chairs, sofas, sectionals, dining tables, ottomans, bed frames, and storage pieces.

The brand uses sustainably sourced alder, solid bamboo, walnut, and maple from FSC certified forests. They also use Certipur-US certified foam or GOTS certified latex for cushions. Other sustainable materials they use include certified organic cotton, wool, hemp, and recycled synthetics. 

Their entire collection is VOC-free and has no fluorocarbons, fire retardants, Azo dyes, heavy metals, pesticides, and formaldehyde. Rather than use chemical finishes, they use natural materials like olive oil, beeswax, and carnauba wax.

Medley makes all its products in the USA, this gives it a lower carbon footprint and helps to boost the local economy.

Shop Medley

9. The Citizenry

The Citizenry
Photo Credit: The Citizenry

For: home
Product range: furniture, decor, and bedding
Ethical practices and value: supports artisan communities, fair trade
Store location and shipping: based in the USA  and ships internationally 

This sustainable furniture brand produces its luxe pieces in a limited quantity. The small batch production helps them avoid unsold inventory waste. The Citizenry uses hinoki wood and rattan vine which are sustainably sourced.  They claim that the leather in their products is ethically sourced or vegetable-tanned saddle leather.

Artisans from around the world work with the brand and are paid appropriate wages. The Citizenry gives back to the community by providing artisans with entrepreneur development grants. The grant fund comes from 10% of the brand’s profits.

Shop The Citizenry

10. Masaya & Co

Masaya & Co handwoven sustainable chair
Photo Credit: Massaya

For: home
Product range: furniture
Ethical practices and value: vegan, fair trade, carbon-neutral shipping, sustainable materials
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and ships internationally

Minimalists will love Masaya & Co for their simple aesthetics and multi-functionality. The sustainable furniture company is a Made Trade partner, which is known for its fair trade practices. Their selection of eco-friendly furniture includes dressers, media consoles, coffee tables, bed frames, barstools, and benches.

Masaya & Co uses responsibly harvested walnut, teak, and mahogany hardwood of the finest quality. All wooden surfaces are finished with natural oil containing low VOC. The fabric for cushions is Sunbrella. The fabric is a sustainable synthetic material made from fabric waste and is recyclable.

The company works out of Nicaragua and supports about 150 local artisans to earn a living. The craftsmanship and heritage of the local communities are passed down through Masaya furniture.

The brand plants 100 trees for every product they sell and has planted 900,000 trees so far. Through the Made Trade carbon neutral shipping policy, Masaya & Co offset shipping emissions.

Shop Masaya & Co

11. The Joinery

The Joinery
Photo Credit: The Joinery

For: home and office
Product range: furniture and accessories
Ethical practices and value: recycled wood, clean energy, handcrafted, eco-friendly fabrics
Store location and shipping: based in the USA 

The Joinery began as one man’s efforts to make eco-friendly furniture last long through careful maintenance. Over the years the certified B corp has grown to a large team of talented people who use traditional methods to make furniture for modern times. Their range of ethical furniture includes bed frames, dining room tables, chairs, coffee tables, sofas, sectionals, and storage.

The brand crafts its furniture pieces from locally sourced lumber certified by the FSC. They also use natural fabrics like organic cotton and wool. In addition to using eco-friendly materials, the Joinery also uses biodiesel, wind, and solar energy to power its operations. 

The Joinery’s furniture doesn't move from worker to worker, each piece of furniture is completely handcrafted by a single worker.

They recycle wood chips and sawdust generated in their manufacturing process into wood briquettes. These briquettes are donated to the local community.

Shop The Joinery

12. Emeco 

Emeco sustainable furniture 70% recycled plastic chairs
Photo Credit: Emeco

For: home
Product range: furniture
Ethical practices and value: reclaimed wood, low toxicity finishing, LEED-certified, recycled materials, local materials, eco-friendly packaging
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and ships internationally

Emeco first made fire-resistant, non-corrosive torpedo-proof chairs for the US navy. The company has since extended its services to the public. They offer sustainably sourced furniture that is made to last for generations.

This sustainable furniture company rarely uses virgin materials. The aluminum chairs are made of recycled post-consumer soda cans and scraps from manufacturing. The recycled aluminum chairs have 17 times less energy density than virgin aluminum chairs. They also use recycled water bottles, locally reclaimed wood, cork, and responsibly sourced wood. 

The innovative brand has invented its own materials, reclaimed wood polypropylene, and eco concrete. They are made from industrial plastic waste, sawdust, recycled glass, and calcium sulfoaluminate cement.

For their wooden products, Emeco uses low VOC finishes and for aluminum tables and chairs, the finishing is VOC free. They also operate a clean and energy-efficient production system. Emeco’s packaging and shipping materials are recyclable. They also have a take-back policy that allows customers to return old furniture for recycling.

Their family-owned factory complies with state and federal labor laws and is certified by LEED.

Shop Emeco

13. Ecobalanza 

Ecobalanza
Photo Credit: Ecobalanza

For: home and office
Product range: furniture
Ethical practices and value: locally handmade, non-toxic, eco-friendly packaging, handmade
Store location and shipping: based in the USA

Ecobalanza describes its pieces as luxury organic furniture. They offer only customized bed frames, sofas, and chairs. Their furniture is made from hardwood sourced from FSC certified forests. 

The brand also uses organic materials like jute, organic cotton, hemp, and sustainable wool from small farms. All the fabrics used in production are third-party-certified as non-toxic. They also incorporate GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex into their furniture. Ecobalanza’s products also have GOTs, Oeko-Tex, Greenguard certifications.

To cut back on carbon emissions and resource waste, the brand uses minimalist packaging. Producing all their furniture locally also supports artisans and boosts the local economy.

Shop Ecobalanza

Conclusion

For a more sustainable life without having to skimp on great furnishing, there are some eco-friendly furniture options to explore. This article provides essential information to help you get started or continue incorporating sustainable living into your furnishing choices.

Jennifer is a content writer with an educational background in Public Relations and Advertising. From her desk in Lagos, Nigeria, she helps businesses around the world reach and connect with their audiences.
Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels
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