With a staggering 22 million pieces of furniture thrown away each year, it’s more important than ever to consider sustainable furniture. Reduce, re-use, recycle is a mantra most of us are familiar with – but what does it mean in practice?
Reducing your impact on the environment means making an investment at the start. Check the credentials of the company supplying the furniture, and the product materials used. Although the initial cost can be more, quality furniture lasts much longer than cheap alternatives making it more economical.
Commercial furniture usually comes with a lengthy warranty which means faults can be repaired. Once out of warranty additional parts can often be bought, further extending the life of the whole item.
Choose furniture that can be reconfigured if you move in the future. This will avoid waste and extra cost. Likewise, choose hard-wearing fabric for soft furnishings and pick neutral or classic colours which will stand the test of time.
Some manufacturers offer furniture reupholstery services – if your furniture is in good condition but needs a refresh to bring it up to date, this is a great option.
If you have decided to replace your existing furniture, but the items are still functional, why not reach out to a local charity to see if this can be donated or re-purposed?
If your furniture has reached the end of its life then it can be recycled. Not only is this great for the environment and your business, but it’s also often more cost-effective than sending it to landfill.
More and more commercial furniture suppliers are considering their environmental impact; from the materials used, the way the products are manufactured, to packaging and logistics.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our pick of the top sustainable furniture pieces.
Moka Felt by Nomique
With a self-supporting seat shell made from 60 recycled PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles, Moka is a sustainable tub chair. With different shell colours to choose from, it’s comfortable, fun and can be used in many different spaces. You can watch a video on the life cycle of plastic bottles and the way the chair is made here.
The chair has a 5-year warranty
The Whale Boardroom Table by Plastic Whale and Vepa
This striking table is built from four modular pieces and the design is inspired by a whale. The top of the table includes a ‘blowhole’ which mimics a whale surfacing to breathe and table legs that echo a whales skeleton.
The finished product includes a tabletop made from FSC certified birch plywood, recycled PET felt and a 30mm layer of recycled PET foam. A total of 1004 recycled bottles are used in the design.
Plastic Whale’s initial aim was to clear as much plastic waste as possible from the canals of Amsterdam. The first bottles were used to make boats to collect even more plastic, and now (luckily for us) a whole set of beautiful furniture too.
Axyl Stool by Allermuir
This award-winning chair range by the Senator Group looks at home almost anywhere with its geometric design and unusual colour palette. The chair shells and stool tops are available in a variety of low-impact materials. Each unit contains up to 63% recycled materials and the whole range is 99% recyclable.
Additionally, The Senator Group have their own impressive recycling arm, Sustain, which saves as much as possible from landfill.
The stool has a 5-year warranty
Calvert by Sixteen3
Another award-winning product; Calvert can be re-configured depending on your needs. It can function as a space divider, storage, shelving unit or seating/breakout area. Not only is Calvert super stylish, but it might also prove more economical than buying all the above separately. Crucially, it’s also 99% recyclable.
Calvert has a 5-year warranty
Peacework by Connection
Peacework is a comfy single user booth (with integrated work surface) designed with focus work in mind.
The booth surround is made from lightweight PET/Felt materials derived from sustainable sources. This creates a buffer for any acoustic or visual distractions allowing for a calm, distraction-free zone.