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Your shopping guide to eco-friendly materials


(The d-bodhi trapesium dresser is made out of reclaimed teak. Shop: Journey East)

It’s been trendy to recycle and upcycle furniture, giving pieces a chic new lease of life. But furniture, interior and fabric designers are taking eco-friendly aesthetics to the next level. Consider these materials when you go shopping:

  • RUGS - natural fibres like jute, sisal, seagrass and coir (fibre from coconut husks)
  • SOFT FURNISHING & LINEN - organic cotton, bamboo and hemp
  • FURNITURE - rattan, bamboo and cane
  • DECOR - any of the above, cork, and concrete

Did you know? Concrete, even in its raw state, is environmentally friendly and natural. It is used architecturally as well as for interior spaces, from beautiful bench tops, decor (such as vases), to furniture.  


(This dining table is made with reclaimed wood! Design: DistinctIdentity)

If you’re in favour of this green trend, ask where furnishings come from and how they were made before acquiring them. Look out for:

  • anything that is made from recycled materials
  • reclaimed wood
  • avoid exotic woods, unless certified

Did you know?  Unlike wood, which is not a renewable material and can come from harmful harvesting methods, bamboo literally grows like a weed – at eight times the rate of trees! Better still, when it is harvested, the plant grows back rather than dies. Similarly, cork – which can be used widely in interior furnishings – is a bark that is harvested from living cork oak, leaving the tree alive.

(Bamboo flooring and other ways to go green at home)

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