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Eco Furniture and Sustainable Décor

Updated on June 12, 2017
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As a lover of the environment, GetFactsnotHype takes a special interest in protecting people and planet with wiser, eco-friendly choices.

Eco chair and other furniture
Eco chair and other furniture | Source

Eco sofas, chairs and beds

Eco furniture

There are a handful of eco furniture companies, with three really good ones that soar to the top of the list. These companies make eco sofas, eco chairs, eco ottomans, eco dining room chairs and more.

The first company I want to mention is Eco Select Furniture, who uses leather or hemp products, most of which is sourced locally. The timber is never harvested from our National Forests, but instead is obtained from certified and sustainable forests. All pieces are hand-crafted and they do some custom work as well. The fluids from the leather tanning process are reused and the byproducts are upcycled to make brick additives, compost, and organic fertilizer.

Another good company is Cisco Brothers which has 2 collections, one that is semi-eco and the other which is really green. The John Derian collection uses soy-based foam cushions, non-toxic glues, and FSC-certified maple wood. Their super green collection is called "Basal Living" in which all the frames are built from FSC certified hardwoods with a combination of hemp webbing, jute and burlap. The exposed legs are made of reclaimed woods and are stained with low VOC oils. Each piece in that collection is fastened not only with steel screws but also is double-doweled with water-based formaldehyde-free glues. The padding and cushions in the Basal collection are 100% pure natural latex and pesticide free wool batting. The upholstery choices range from organic cotton to a recycled cotton and acrylic blend. The last time I checked, Cisco Brothers was still a wholesaler, so you have to buy your items through an approved retailer (store) or interior designer. I will still list their website so that you can take a look at Cisco's eco furniture here.

Eco Chair Components: A Diagram

Diagram of eco chair components made by Viesso

In the previous segment I mentioned 2 places, but Viesso is another good eco furniture company and offers the largest selection of eco furniture pieces for every room of the house with the largest fabric choices and colors. You can narrow your search and choose only recycled fibers, natural fibers, organic fibers, or no flame retardants, so that you can choose just how green you want your furniture to be. In some cases you can even choose the wood color of the alder wood used on the chair or sofa legs. They have a fairly large selection of beds and an outdoor furniture collection too. Viesso's outdoor collection uses recycled stainless steel and FSC certified recycled teak wood. I'm including a diagram of all the parts and how it's made for the SFI kiln dried alder hardwood frame used in both their chairs and sofas. The link for eco friendly Viesso is available here.

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Diagram of eco chair components
Diagram of eco chair components | Source
Maine Bunk Beds
Maine Bunk Beds | Source

Eco Beds for Children

Eco furniture for children is hard to find, but this company does it with ease. They make children's bunk beds that are free of toxic glue and formaldehyde and are made with your choice of stain or non-toxic paints and finishes. The poly-whey scratch-resistant finish is made from recycled whey protein and far surpasses the strictest indoor air-quality standards.

The paint used is 100% free of: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs); Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs); solvents or harmful poisons; Lead; Mercury; radioactive materials; Petroleum byproducts; plastics; synthetic preservatives; and any strong odor. These eco friendly beds are designed for kids, but built for adults. No particle board, chipboard, composite materials, or cheap pine is used, but instead these beds are sourced, milled, shaped, and built. The lumber is locally sourced near the company from a sustainable, renewable hardwood of Poplar (sometimes called Tulipwood). You can even add a desk or dresser drawers to most of the styles they offer. Some beds have stairs in leiu of a ladder, and there's even a triple bunk bed. Paint colors are your choice. View eco Maine Bunk Beds at this link.

Kids activity stations and play stations that are eco-friendly.
Kids activity stations and play stations that are eco-friendly. | Source

Kids Eco Activity Stations

Another company offering eco furniture for children is Skydesign who feels very strong about their commitment to a child's green environment. They make seating, storage, tables, bookcases and multi-purpose furniture featuring recycled, renewable, and low-impact resources with low-VOC emission finishes. Their practices also include using FSC-certified wood. There are many fun, playful activity stations available such as: the bus activity station, glider plane or train activity station as well as submarine and catepillar playstations. The also have chairs, benches, stools and shelving. The Greenplay activity stations by Skyline Design are sold at designersraum.

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Eco friendly window treatments and shades
Eco friendly window treatments and shades | Source

Eco Shades and Drapes

Eco window treatments and window coverings

Eco window treatments and window coverings are hard to find but there are a few places available using eco friendly materials. Many shades still contain some sort of a polyester blend, but companies are contributing to a greener world.

The Shade Store where green matters is probably the biggest contributor to eco window shades, blinds and eco drapes. Many of their materials are GreenGuard and Microban certified, which ensures air quality and offers antimicrobial benefits, and they feature Oeko-Tex approved materials, and use Azo Free Dye Stuff. Their drapery collection and "Roman shades" collection include natural sustainable materials such as cottons, linens, silks and wools. The eco friendly woven woods are made from natural grasses, reeds, paper, and bamboo. Most of their "Roller shades" collection uses a blend of paper, jute, and poly.

Another company is North Solar Screen which has one product in particular which is an indoor, transparent, solar shade called "Vela Eco Green." That sheer-like shade is PVC free, lead free, VOC free and is Leeds friendly in 3 of the 5 leed certification categories. Here's the direct link to North Solar Screen's Vela Eco Green PVC-free solar shade.

Budget Blinds uses minimum VOCs and sells Greenguard certified products meeting the strictest chemical emissions requirements. Their woven wood line is made from jute and bamboo. The packaging is 100% recyclable.

Rawganique is a sweatshop-free facility making PVC-free, plastic free, vegan products with sustainable fabrics. The make 100% hemp curtains and their roman blinds are made of linen or hemp. They also have some organic cotton décor for bed and bath.

You may find some occasional things at Plumridge, Smith and Noble, or American Drapery Systems (of Minnesota).

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Eco upholstery fabric for chairs, sofas, and seat covers
Eco upholstery fabric for chairs, sofas, and seat covers | Source

Eco Upholstery for Seating

Eco sofa and chair upholstery

Whether you have an eco sofa or chair made, or have an existing piece recovered, or a (DIY) do it yourself project, you'll need some eco upholstery fabric for the furniture piece(es). I'm providing several sources for eco upholstery for seating.

The most eco conscience upholstery fabric company today seems to be "O Ecotextiles". Most of their dyed organic cottons are free of heavy metals, AZO colorants and aromatic amines, and the wastewater is certified pure by independent auditors. Their blended bamboo and organic Willapa collection starts with collected bamboo being sent to their yarn manufacturer who uses bacteria and enzymes to neutralize the sulfuric acid so the wastewater can be returned to the ecosystem safely. This new viscose production method is very environmentally responsible and coupled with the fact that the bamboo is grown using sustainable farming methods and the harvesting techniques do not threaten Panda habitat makes this an almost carbon neutral effort.

Another good company is Organic Cotton Plus who carry not only organic cotton, but also carry hemp, jute, flax, linen and silk, as well as some undyed wovens. Fabric is often sent to 4 different countries before a final output product is reached and this company tries to curb most of that by containing all the various steps of the process within as small a geographic area as possible. Most of their certified organic fibers used to make the fabric (with some exceptions) are grown, processed, milled (woven or knit), and finished (dyeing or flanneling etc.) all in one country. They also have some double wide fabric which would require almost no seaming for most projects, which is convenient.

Designtex is another good company, which in 2003 was the first to market with Eco-Intelligent polyester made with an antimony-free catalyst for panel and upholstery. In 2006 Ingeo, the world's first biopolymer, made from corn, is introduced by Designtex as biodegradable drapery and panel fabric. In 2007, the company is the first to market with 100% post-consumer recycled polyester upholstery made from bottles. In addition to upholstery for furniture, they also sell drapery and wallcoverings. In 2010, they introduced dnaWALLSTM, a non-woven, high performance, pvc-free wallcovering substrate.

A Do It Yourself Tip (DIY):

When wool is used, one might want to consider an organic cotton sateen as a ticking layer because wool fibers can travel out through the looser upholstery fabrics and the ticking keeps the wool in place. A true down-proof ticking is not needed on wool as it would be with feather shafts on down feather upholstery, so the sateen should work just fine with wool.

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Natural latex mattress is eco-friendly
Natural latex mattress is eco-friendly | Source

Eco Mattresses

Eco friendly latex bed mattresses

When an eco mattress is considered, one may think of an organic mattress or even soy foam may come to mind, but natural latex is very eco friendly. The raw product is taken from the sap of rubber trees so it's a natural source.

Natural latex is not the same as polyurethane foam (or polyfoam) which is petroleum based, which takes a lot of chemicals to produce and more again to make it flame retardant. The traditional mattress of polyfoam also has a tendency to trap moisture including sweat. Natural latex (also not the same as synthetic latex) has none of those properties.

Natural latex has a host of eco attributes:

  • Is both recyclable and biodegradeable
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Mold resistant
  • Mildew resistant
  • Dust mite resistant
  • Little or no off-gasing
  • Not highly flammable and so does not require fire retardant chemicals
  • Comes from a renewable resource - Hevea Brasiliensis (rubber) tree
  • Uses a smaller carbon footprint to produce than other eco mattresses

Some of the latex mattress companies have gone a little further with their eco conscience by having their product eco certified and/ or by using FSC certified wood with regards to the rubber tree. Many of the companies also sell other eco products in case a latex mattress is not for you. Keetsa for example sells mattress covers in organic cotton or a hemp blend. They also sell an eco memory foam mattress called "Bio-Foam" which is a new type of memory foam that replaces a portion of the petroleum oil with castor bean oil, a natural plant oil. The foam has no detected harmful VOCs and no detected formaldehyde. Natural Sense sells organic beds and organic wool toppers. Foamlite sells matching latex pillows. Warning: A natural latex mattress may not be recommended for small children, so try one of the other eco mattresses.

Resources for eco mattresses including latex:

All about Keetsa's eco mattresses

Natural Sense Organic Mattresses (Latex page)

Foamite latex mattress and other Eco Mattresses

FoamOrder - A seller on behalf of Natural Sense mattresses

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© 2013 GetFactsnotHype


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