11 Furniture and Dècor Brands That Are Committed to Reducing Waste
While owning a home was once a pillar of the American dream, over the last few years it's become far less common for people to buy properties and more common for them to reside in rentals instead. And when you're renting, you have the luxury of packing up and moving every few years when you're ready for a change. But frequently purchasing, transporting, and getting rid of furniture not only puts a strain on your wallet, but also on the environment. Just as with clothing, fast furniture stores have it much easier (and more affordable) to furnish a temporary home; consequently, they made it more convenient to buy new furniture than to move the old pieces from home to home. The EPA estimated that 12.1 million tons of furniture and furnishings ended up in landfills in 2015 alone. That is a massive spike from the 2.2 million tons of furniture and furnishings that were thrown out in 1960.
Luckily, this is a problem with many different solutions. Consumers can use their spending power to effect change, and with so many environmentally-conscious brands cropping up all over the place, there's no longer a need to sacrifice on style or convenience to be sustainable. Each company is taking a different approach to tackling the issue—some offer short-term rentals and use recycled materials to build furniture while others are outfitting their pieces with long-lasting washable upholstery or focus on restoring used furniture. Others still have turned their attention to making their items biodegradable. No matter which path forward they take, these brands all have the same goal in mind, and many of these companies even go so far as to work with non-profit organizations to offset their carbon footprint and help with reforestation initiatives.
Want to live a little greener? We've created a list of home décor brands that are committed to reducing waste so you can purchase everything—from your couch and your rug to your mattress and your nightstand—with sustainability in mind.
Kaiyo, an online marketplace for stylish, pre-owned furniture, is making both buying and selling used furniture easier; the company is a more attractive option for those who would otherwise purchase a cheap dresser or leave an old armchair out on the curb. Kaiyo estimates that they have prevented over 800,000 pounds of furniture from going into landfills. If that's not enough, they also plant a tree through the National Forest Foundation for every completed order.
The Avocado Green Mattress is made of organic, sustainably-sourced materials and was deemed the most comfortable and durable mattress on the market by Consumer Reports. Although the mattress is biodegradable, you probably won't have to part with it anytime soon—it has a 25-year warranty so you know that it's built to last. To offset the carbon footprint of their factories, Avocado supports the Carbon Fund's reforestation projects.
If you're someone who moves a lot or has a style that is constantly shifting, you need to check out Feather. The subscription service rents out trendy, high-quality furniture made of recycled materials that will be passed to someone else when you're done with it. Delivery, assembly, and pickup are all included in the membership, so you won't have to lift a finger.
Room & Board
From outdoor furniture made out of recycled milk jugs to the rugs made from old fishing nets, Room & Board's furnishings don't let anything go to waste. The company, one of the founding members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, is constantly working with its manufacturing partners to find innovative ways to reduce waste. So far, more than 90 percent of their products are made in the United States, and they source their wood from carefully managed forests.
The Everset's monthly subscription model allows users to rent curated furniture packages for anywhere from 3 to 14 months or for as long as two year. At the end of your rental period, you can swap out, return, or purchase the furniture should you decide you can't live without it. Once the pieces are taken out of rotation, they are donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStores.
It's difficult to stand out on Made True's platform of "ethically elevated" brands, but Greenington does just that thanks to their beautiful bamboo furniture. The company sources from farmers who use sustainable growing tactics, and they use every single part of the fast-growing grass, ensuring that no fiber goes to waste.
All of Joybird's products are customizable and made-to-order, which means that you only ever get a piece that you love and will want to hold onto for a long time. They use responsibly sourced materials that are treated to last—the company even has a collection of pet-friendly fabrics to choose from. Like many other companies on this list, Joybird goes the extra mile: The company donates a portion of all of its proceeds to local conservation groups that work to plant trees and protect natural water resources.
ABC Carpet & Home
Sustainability isn't just a buzzword for ABC Carpet & Home—it's a central aspect of their mission. Their goal isn't just to make a change within their company, but rather to change the industry itself from the inside out. They use reclaimed wood and recycled materials wherever they can and prioritize handmade production.
Not only does Rove Concepts' small batch production system encourage the highest quality of design, but it also allows the company to carefully monitor the process for opportunities to reduce waste. They work closely with their artisans to ensure that the materials they use are environmentally sourced.