The Year of Sustainable Interiors
No longer a niche for eco-warriors or the uber-privileged, sustainable interiors are about to become de rigueur. It’s good news for interiors lovers and great news for the planet. Just as it has become second nature to build and improve our homes in an ecologically (and economically) sustainable way, so the things we put into our homes, and the way we choose them, are also evolving.
We all remember the UK’s Primark obsession. As with clothes, the enemy of sustainability in interiors is our disposable culture; buying cheap, fashionable items that don’t stand the test of time or trends. Thankfully, this way of shopping is waning, and brands are being encouraged by you, discerning shoppers, to be transparent about how their products are made or sourced. Interiors companies are taking their commitment to sustainability seriously, not just because it’s green, but because there’s a good deal of money to be made there too. Forget having to shop in a ‘sustainable section’ for much longer: responsible interiors are becoming much more mainstream, and we are being given more choice about what – and how – we shop.
Here are our tips on how to shop sustainably for your home:
Natural materials (e.g., wool, wood, paper, stone) are more likely to have a gentler impact on the environment than man-made ones. Look for language that tells you how the item has been treated and choose organic materials where possible. Aqueous (water) based dyes or AZO-free, non-toxic dyes are free from nitrogen and bleach – all important things to look for in clothing, bedding and children’s items. When buying new wooden items, look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) mark which ensures that the wood is sustainable.
Think about how the product has been created and its impact on the environment or the community around it. Is the brand clear and open about where it has come from and who made it? Transparency is key to sustainability and companies respond to being asked the right questions.
The old adage of ‘buy well, buy less, buy once’ has never been truer. The most sustainable items are ones that already exist. We scour vintage markets and brocante fairs for one-off antiques, and love mixing modern, functional items with beautiful old pieces for a totally unique look. It has never been so easy to source vintage items – gumtree, ebay and Facebook marketplace are awash with existing treasures that will add character to your home.
If you do want to buy new, take time over your purchases and consider saving up for a very special item. The craftsmanship in an item like a hand-embroidered crewel bedspread is visible; it will last for decades and become an heirloom to be passed down for generations.
Happy sustainable shopping!
Farheen and Ozma
The Boule-in – carefully chosen French antiques in a stunning Suffolk setting.
Edward Bulmer paint – natural paint in beautiful shades
Ninety Percent – sustainable fashion with a conscience, sending 90% of the profits to charity
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