Sustainably Made Furniture is a term that has been used in the furniture industry since the 1970s, but it’s only recently become more widely accepted and understood by consumers. The term means different things to different people, but at its core, it refers to furniture made from materials that are renewable or recyclable. It also generally implies that the products were produced without toxic chemicals or adhesives.
Sustainable furniture was first introduced in the 1970s when manufacturers began making furniture with recycled wood. At the time, many companies were beginning to use new techniques like kiln-drying and gluing their furniture together, which resulted in higher quality pieces that were lighter and stronger than those made before. However, there was no way to know if these materials would be safe for humans or the environment.
Today, most furniture sold in stores and online is made with non-renewable resources, such as petroleum-based resins, formaldehyde-containing glue, and toxic dyes. The following are tips for finding sustainably made furniture:
Made With Recycled Materials Label
Look for the label “Made With Recycled Materials” on your favorite brands. This label indicates that the product contains 100% post-consumer recycled content (PCRC). PCRC is any material that comes from something previously manufactured into another product. For example, a piece of plywood could come from an old tabletop, while a chair leg could have come from an old dining room chair.
Indications of Sustainability
If you can’t find the label “Made with Recycled Materials,” look for other terms that indicate sustainability. These include “Recycled Content” and “Post Consumer Residue Content.” These labels mean that the product contains some percentage of recycled content.
Research the Product before Buying – How was it Made?
When shopping for furniture, check the manufacturer’s website to see what they say about their products. It is important to look for furniture that is ethically sourced materials and labor wise. Buying furniture from artisans and crafters that handmake their products can ensure that they are a sustainable purchase. Products that have been hand-made by artisans such as Amish-made furniture are always made with high-quality materials and ethically sourced labor. They also last much longer than manufactured furniture meaning you will make use of the furniture for longer. This increases the sustainability of your purchase.
Ask About the Product
Ask questions! Find out how much of the material in the furniture came from recycled or ethical sources. It would be best to ask about the manufacturing process, including whether the company uses toxic chemicals or adhesions. Remember that Amish-made furniture does not use toxic chemicals and is always handmade, meaning it is already more sustainable than your off-the-shelf manufactured furniture piece.
Learn About Impact
Learn about the environmental impact of the materials used in furniture. Many companies claim that their products are environmentally friendly because they use recycled content, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the finished product is good for the planet. Make sure you understand why a particular brand is green. For instance, if a company claims that its product is eco-friendly because it uses recycled content, but the company is also using formaldehyde-containing adhesive. They aren’t being honest about their practices.
Buying local products reduces the transportation needed to get them to market. Even in the case of furniture. Local farmers often grow organic crops and avoid using pesticides, so buying local helps support small businesses and the environment.
There are many options for purchasing sustainably made furniture, including Amish Furniture sellers, certain department stores & home improvement centers, and even thrift shops. Remember that you don’t need to spend a lot of money buying high-quality furniture. You can find affordable and sustainable furniture at the right retailer.
Why This All Matters
Sustainable living isn’t just a trend; it’s a way of life. By choosing sustainable products over traditional ones, you can help reduce pollution, save energy, and protect our natural resources.