Whether you're planning for your 1st baby or refreshing your child's room from baby to toddler, or toddler to big kid, finding furniture that is both stylish and sustainably sourced can take a bit of searching. Here's a quick guide on sourcing stylish & sustainable furniture:
1. ReUse: Check out your local consignment or retail shops. This not only supports a local small business but it keeps furniture out of landfills and you can find well-built real wood furniture that can grow with your child at a bargain price! vs. the new particle board stuff made quickly today. If hunting local shops isn't your thing, I've come up with a list of 6 companies below that are making beautiful furniture with our earth in mind.
2. Look for Certifications: If you do buy new, an easy way to see if a company is a good steward of the earth is to understand their business practices. How do they source their materials, how do they ship their product & how do they treat employees and their community? There are a few certifications that can make this hunt simple! I look for: USDA Certified Organic, or does it meet the NSF/ANSI 305 Guidelines for products made with organic ingredients, FSC Certified (Forest Stewardship Council) wood, Cruelty free, BPA free, B Corp, 1%, Carbonfund.org, Fair Trade. Finding a company with all these certifications usually means the product will be costly. Don't sweat it if you only check one of these off when you are buying, it's a small step toward saving the earth!
B Corp is my new favorite certification because it covers many parts of a business' departments, so if a company has received this certification it's a great one to support with your money!
3. Splurge on Heirloom Items: Many times I see first time parents build a nursery that is perfect for their baby. What is not always taken into account, is they'll only use it in that manner for the first 2 years of their life and then adjustments to the bed and dresser (changing table swapped out) are typically needed. Finding a solid dresser for your nursery will be the best investment & earth friendly choice you can make rather than a single use changing table. Also, if you know your wanting more than one child buy the crib that will last and can be used multiple times again.
4. Check out these sustainable products: There's loads of stylish children's furniture out there, but it can take some searching to find one's built with our earth in mind. Below are a few products from brands thinking about both our children & our earth.
Product: High Chair
Their high chair goes great with a mid-century, industrial or Scandinavian room. They've made the chair out of BPA plastic, and while I would've loved to see it made from recycled polypropylene, they get credit for using FSC certified sustainable beechwood for the base. My friend suggested the wide legs can be a tripping hazard so keep that in mind when you're feeding your child 👀.
Product: Toys & Role playing centers
The playroom doesn't have to look like a clown threw up in your space. Research shows that neutral to light shades of colors can have a calming effect; I'll take any help keeping my kids calm! HAPE's toys are made out of mostly natural colors and they have such a variety of role playing units. A big plus is that HAPE works hard to ensure their products are sustainable by using bamboo wood and they connect both locally and globally with the communities they serve.
Products: Beds, Dressers & Cribs
West Elm has worked pretty hard to source sustainable products both globally and locally. This bed is made from poplar wood so will hold up and it's made in a Fair Trade facility in Vietnam. What is fun about this bed, is it's dual-function, the kids can make forts with it all through their young years! *West Elm and Crate & Kids have a wonderful selection of organic cotton & renewable fabric bedding as well.
Product: kids table and chairs
This UK based company uses a special plastic called ecothylene®, colorful post-consumer plastic that use no pigments or new plastics need to added, making it more eco-friendly than most recycled plastics. The one-piece structure of the chairs and table guarantee high strength and robustness. And this set can be recycled again when your done with it!
Product: Kid-sized Wardrobe
I love that this brand in made in the USA and takes into considering the shipping, by making products that will ship economically. They have quite a few great products but I love the wardrobe with or without the doors. The big bonus is that it's based off Montessori-model of being at the child's level, so they gain independence and can access their clothes themselves.
Product: Nobodinoz Oasis Bean Bag
This Spanish company has created a cool looking bean bag that can grow with your child. They create their products in Spain & France, using organic or eco-friendly fabrics. This chair below is made with an eco-velvet and the cover is completely machine washable. While the bags are filled with European Expanded Polystyrene Beads (EPS), it is 100% recyclable. You can find a recycling location here!