The popularity of purchasing sustainable and ethical furniture has been sharply increasing over the last decade, as people begin to question how ethical their purchasing habits are.
Many people put off buying sustainable furniture due to the cost, and instead opt for cheap, “fast-furniture” brands such as IKEA or Fantastic Furniture. Items from these cheaper furniture brands often do not last as long due to the lower-quality materials they are constructed from, with the purchase of subsequent replacement pieces eventually adding up to the cost of one higher-quality piece.
To ensure the furniture or brand you are looking at is environmentally sound, look for Good Environmental Choice Australia authentication or the Green Tick.
For those who are looking to add a beautiful, long-lasting piece (or pieces) of sustainable furniture to their home, the below brands tick all the right boxes.
Initially known for their plush sofas and mattresses, the latter of which has won numerous awards, Koala have branched out to create timeless furniture pieces to fit into any home. The Australian brand is B-Corp certified, meaning that they have been assessed on several ethical standards and have achieved a high score. They source their timber from responsibly managed forests, all of which is under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and are the only Australian furniture and mattress retailer that supports 1% For the Planet, meaning that 1% of their annual gross sales is given away to help protect the planet.
Wooden furniture is the pillar of Trit’s classic, chic collections. Because of this, they ensure that their wood comes from sustainable outlets. Their partnership with Ethnicraft means that each piece of furniture is crafted from wood gathered from well-managed forests that enforce strict replanting and policies, restricting how many trees can be felled each year. Trit House is also a part of the FSC, which guarantees that products originate from forests that are managed in a way to meet the social, economic, and ecological needs of present and future generations.
Creating sustainable, long-lasting furniture for home, work and learning spaces, Koskela seeks to not only make an impact in a room but seek to impact the world in a tangible way. One of the ways in which they do this is by meaningfully collaborating with First Nations creators and designers, committing to reconcile with their history and cultures. This allows the artists and makers that collaborate live the creative life they wish to lead by being compensated fairly, whilst maintaining their traditional practices. Koskela were also the first Australian furniture company to gain B-Corp certification, with a commitment to minimising their environmental impact and goal of reaching a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Established in 1976, Urban Rhythm has been creating top-quality furniture from the heart of Melbourne for decades. Focusing on materials obtained from environmentally conscious sources, they source timber harvested from government approved sustainable forests. The brand also offers a range of sustainable furniture constructed from reclaimed wood gathered from demolished old buildings, giving a second life to these resources. Urban Rhythm have also committed to planting a native tree with every Australian hardwood cabinet or table furniture purchase, through their partnership with Carbon Positive Australia.
Shopping sustainably has never been easier, or more stylish, so consider a purchase for the planet when it is time to update your home.
By Sarah Panther