April is Earth Month and there’s no better time to think about how we can be more conscious consumers. One place to start is at home. Opting for eco-friendly items that are less impactful on the planet can also be better for our health, such as organic and toxin-free bedding, towels, and even mattresses.
However, it’s important to understand the term “eco-friendly” doesn’t imply an industry standard. So start by looking at labels and product descriptions. If it reads organic, sustainably sourced, OKEO-TEX Certified, recyclable, made from recycled materials, or GreenguardGold Certified— it’s likely a good choice.
Furthermore, with so many brands offering beautifully designed yet conscientious home furnishings, there’s no need to sacrifice style. Here are sixteen brands to consider. Keep in mind that while it’s nearly impossible to manufacture any products that’s 100 percent eco-friendly, every choice can make a difference.
According to the EPA, in 2017 Americans wasted 12.2 million tons of furniture, and 80.2 percent of that went to landfills. One solution that’s particularly wise for people who move frequently is to rent furniture from Fernish. This startup currently serves Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego), Seattle, the New York City Metro Area, and the Washington DC Metro area. From beds to dressers, sofas, side tables, and everything in between, Fernish offers popular brands including Crate and Barrel, Floyd, and CB2 in addition to an in-house brand.
With sustainability at the forefront of its business model, ZZ Driggs is a B-corp certified furniture platform offering contemporary and antique furnishings to rent or buy, as well as rent-to-buy. ZZ Driggs even offsets 100 percent of the carbon emissions produced from operations including shipping, pickup, delivery, and transportation.
Style is everything at ZZ Driggs. Take the Madda Sofa for example. Available in Aegean, Koi and Cornflower hues, this living room staple is the epitome of chic.
Neighbor is a sustainable-led outdoor furniture brand, that manufacturers high-quality products that are built to last and stay out of landfills. One example of the brand’s sustainability practices is using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified teak wood and lumber from recycled milk jugs. One of Neighbor’s best pieces is the Modern Teak Outdoor Loveseat. With a minimalist yet on-trend look, it is customizable with six different Sunbrella fabrics that won’t fade even in the harshest sunlight.
Thomas Hayes Studio
Thomas Hayes Studio is a made-to-order furniture brand that manufacturers in Los Angeles. This assures the highest craftsmanship, avoiding waste and pollution. The furniture is built for a lifetime without a factory or carbon footprint. One of the Hayes’ best offerings is the TK Bed. Made of solid wood with a custom upholstered bolster, it’s the epitome of warm modern and high design.
Pottery Barn is one of the most eco-friendly mass furniture retailers. It is the only home retailer that has remained on the Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable US Companies on this list for the past five years. There’s a good reason for this. The brand’s 100 percent wood furniture is Greenguard Gold and 100 percent of Pottery Barn’s cotton is responsibly sourced. With thousands of items, it’s fair to say the Chunky Boucle Ivory Hug Swivel Chair from PB Teen quite simply stands out. Hardly for teenagers, adults will covet this accent chair for their living rooms.
Kids play pieces are often made of plastic, add nothing to the aesthetic of the space (they often detract from it), and aren’t created for multiple generations to enjoy. Casarokids makes beautifully-designed playroom pieces with rockers, climbers, ramps, and towers sustainably sourced from New Zealand forests. The paints and lacquers are also toxin-free. As if that wasn’t enough, the brand’s recycled packaging produces no residual waste.
Sproos is a recently launched startup that makes shower kits ideal for renters. Made from premium molded silicone, this material not only prevents pesky fingerprints but also eliminates the toxic chrome plating process. The showerheads have a flow rate of 1.8 gallons per minute which complies with both WaterSense and CalGreen standards.
Easy for anyone to install, choose from red, white or yellow colors. Then add some of Sproos’ smart accessories such as a shelf, cup holder, anti-fog mirror, or brilliantly designed cell phone holder.
Meno Home makes some of the cleanest candles on the market with 100 percent American-grown soy wax. All the fragrances are 100 percent phthalate-free, as well as free of all California Prop 65 list cancer-causing ingredients. There are no mutagens, reproductive toxins, organ toxins, or acute toxins in the brand’s sophisticated-smelling fragrances.
The vessels have a minimalist style that’s versatile enough for all spaces from the most modern to traditional. Made from recycled soda-lime glass, they are also recyclable. Even the wicks are made from organic cotton.
The Novogratz is taking a major step toward becoming a more sustainable company with the launch of their new bedding line which features 90 percent recycled polyester, reducing the burden on oceans and landfills. These comforters, sheet sets, and body pillows are made in fun, bold colors and whimsical patterns— perfect for guest rooms, kids’ rooms, or any place that would benefit from a pop of color.
Boll and Branch
Those who prefer a classic aesthetic will love Boll and Branch. The bedding is made from 100 percent organic cotton and is strictly sourced from sustainable plants. This process also uses 90 percent less water than conventional cotton.
The Nopo is a female-owned online marketplace that sells home furnishings and decor as well as clothing and accessories. The Earth Month Collection features a variety of sustainable decor items that give back to the planet.
Available in four colors, the Loop Stool is made with recycled material from Santander, Colombia. For the production of every loop seat cover, 6.62 pounds of textile surpluses are recovered that would otherwise end up in landfills or the ocean.
The Citizenry is a sustainable home decor brand that partners with local artisans worldwide. It is also fair-trade certified by the World Fair Trade Organization. The Aegean Cotton Bath Towels are quite a find. Made from a blend of organic cotton and linens, these luxe towels feature a lightweight waffle weave exterior and a terrycloth interior. Made in Turkey, they are also Oeko-Tex and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.
Social Studies offers chic tablescape kits for sale and rent. The brand was built on sustainability principles to reduce the amount of waste produced during events from plasticware. Each kit minimizes the amount of disposable packaging used including the reusable hardshell exterior used for shipping and the reusable inserts to protect and hold items in place. None of the kits contain single-use plastics.
For Earth Month, the brand teamed up with non-alcoholic spirit purveyor Seedlip to create The Mother Earth. This kit includes a dinner plate, salad plate, flatware, glassware, napkins, runners, salt and pepper shakers, a slate gauze runner, candleholders, candles, and votives along with the Mother Earth Bundle.
Using natural, plant-based cleaning products, such from the female-founded brand L’Avant Collective, is an easy swap for a more sustainable lifestyle. The brand has eco-friendly bundles of hand soap and dish soap which include a beautifully designed refillable glass pump and refill pouch. This pouch uses 61 percent less plastic than a typical 32-ounce plastic bottle. The Fresh Linen scent smells like a five-star hotel. Their super effective multi-purpose cleaner is also refillable and has the same delightful scent.
Original BTC is a family-owned business that makes stunning light fixtures including chandeliers, sconces, and pendant lights, as well as lamps. All of their products are handmade by skilled craftspeople, using recycled metals to reduce landfills. Any clear-cut glass that breaks or isn’t up to standards goes back to the factory where it is melted back down.
The Chard Chandelier makes a showstopping addition to a dining room, living room or even home office.
Mattresses can be filled with chemicals and manufactured in a way that is damaging to the environment, but not Essentia. Made in a GOLS and GOTS certified organic factory, the brand manufactures memory foam mattresses using natural materials such as Hevea milk and plant extracts for the healthiest sleeping experiences. Essentia devotees sleep better at night knowing their bed didn’t negatively impact the environment. It is the world’s only natural memory foam mattress.