The concept of sustainability is based on the principle of using our resources in a way that allows them to regenerate without harming living beings and ecosystems. For politics and science, the guiding principle of sustainability rests on three pillars: economy, ecology and society. However, the implementation of this extremely complex principle is carried out by each individual and is now applied and supported in many areas of daily life.
It has almost become the norm to prefer low-packaging products and to transport them in cloth bags instead of plastic bags. But there are now also many good approaches for living and interior design that effectively support sustainability by rethinking consumer behaviour. Let us show you what sustainable furniture is all about.
The most important criteria for sustainable furniture include its durability, the use of natural materials and energy-efficient, waste-reducing production. They are traded directly and produced as regionally as possible. A mass-produced product from the furniture discounter that has been manufactured as cheaply as possible and travels long distances to the end consumer will not be able to meet these criteria.
In interior design, the sustainability principle is often implemented by smaller labels that use their independence to incorporate their own ideas and values into all production processes. These are, for example, manufactories and workshops that produce high-quality furniture themselves as one-offs or in small quantities from recycled and fairly traded materials.
These will inevitably be somewhat more expensive to buy; however, the longer durability and the higher resale value compared to quickly assembled items, which barely survive a single move, should be taken into account. Often, these high-quality individual parts hardly lose any of their value over time.
It can be worthwhile to look around on the second-hand furniture market as a first step. The use of a piece of furniture beyond one cycle corresponds to the idea of sustainability. If it outlasts several owners, this is a sign of value and good workmanship. The internet offers a variety of marketplaces, but you can also find what you are looking for at flea markets or household liquidations. Turning away from mass-produced goods and opting for second-hand has the advantage that you can enrich your living ambience with unusual individual pieces.
Upcycling can be seen as the counterweight to the throwaway mentality. Products intended as waste are materially upgraded and converted into other, valuable products. It avoids the need to produce new raw materials, reduces pollution and keeps energy consumption low.
Upcycled furniture can be made from old ship planks or discarded scaffolding planks from the building trade, for example. Their history often lends them a very special charm, and they are robust and long-lasting.
The furniture trade also supports sustainability by sourcing regional woods from sustainable forestry, which are post-treated exclusively with organic oils. Tropical and plantation woods are taboo.
For your home textiles, you can also make sure that certified cotton was used in the manufacturing process. Corresponding seals provide information about this.
Despite all the good intentions, the furniture of choice is not always found right on the doorstep. However, online ordering and shipping does not necessarily have to mean wasting resources. Increasingly, companies are aware of their overall responsibility and are designing and using reusable shipping packaging. Delivery fleets are being converted to electric vehicles. Your choice allows you, as a consumer, to show your appreciation for this commitment and investment in the future.
Sustainable living can also be implemented within one's own four walls without purchasing sustainable furniture or second-hand inventory. The interior can be revitalised with little effort - depending on your level of craftsmanship and your enthusiasm for DIY.
Perhaps your custom-made kitchen is exactly what you always wanted, but you feel it could be a little more modern and elegant? By simply replacing the fronts, you can create a completely different atmosphere and enhance your culinary experience. Sometimes all it takes is new handles, an antique knob from the flea market for the chest of drawers or a set of new door latches in a timeless design to lift the atmosphere and set the mood. For the goal of sustainability, the following applies: Every little building block contributes to the big picture.