Not so long ago, if you looked for environmentally friendly furniture, you either came up short or found corrugated cardboard sofas that even dedicated treehuggers wouldn’t buy.
But today, the landscape has changed—literally—thanks to designers who are as committed to the environment as they are to beautiful furniture. Here, a few classic pieces that even Mother Nature can love.
What to look for
Start with wood that is recycled, standing dead or sustainably grown and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Choose furniture that is joined with water-based glues or traditional mortice-and-tenon joints. Look for hemp webbing (instead of metal springs), cushions made from hypoallergenic wool and natural latex and upholstered in organic cotton, wool, linen or hemp. For a finish, choose natural oils, resins and waxes.
Indoor air quality The EPA ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to human health. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde are widely used in the manufacturing of conventional furniture. Green furniture is made using water-based paints and renewable products, such as sustainable wood, wool, bamboo, organic cotton and linen.
More green options
Metal with a high content of recycled material.
Biocomposite board made from agricultural by-products, such as wheat, rice, oat straw, rye grass stubble or cornhusks.
Glass components made from recycled glass.
Biosynthetic textiles derived from wood pulp, corn, soy beans or rice.