There are several ways to ride the green tide at home; one of them is to get your home furnished with sustainable furniture.
What is sustainable furniture, you may ask. It is essentially pieces that can be continually reused, disassembled and then reused again. Or it could be furniture that can be used for a lifetime. Most sustainable furniture companies also focus on reducing the environmental impact of their items, such as using reclaimed materials or non-toxic furniture stains.
The environmental impact, and importance, of buying eco-friendly furniture is often overlooked. But with a raft of eco-friendly and ethically-minded furniture brands popping up all over the little red dot these days, shopping for eco-friendly and green furniture doesn’t necessarily need to be complicated or expensive.
One thing you should know about buying sustainable furniture, besides ensuring the durability of the pieces, it’s also important to check if the furniture stores meet standard requirements and carry certain international certifications issued by non-profit organisations.
The two most commonly observed international certifications in Singapore include the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The PEFC promotes sustainable forest management through forest certification, while the PSC issue certificates for forestry operations that meet their requirements.
From using reclaimed wood to using materials that are sustainably-sourced, here are seven eco-friendly and green furniture brands you should shop at. Not only will they make you feel proud of yourself for taking a step towards saving the Earth, the pieces will also add style and glamour to your living space.
1. Hommage Lifestyle
If you’re into Japanese-style interior and furniture design, you’ll find Hommage Lifestyle to be right up your alley. The furniture and lifestyle concept store in Singapore, which first started in 2003 as a furniture retail shop at Serangoon Central, offers a wide selection of ergonomic and minimalistic-themed furnishings from more than 50 Japanese brands that will sure to please those who love the aesthetics of the East.
The brand prides itself on importing understated but high-quality Japanese furnishings and accessories directly from established Japanese manufacturers and offering it here at affordable prices. Expect everything from armchairs, side tables and TV consoles to sofa, dining furnishings and even outdoor furniture. But one brand to focus on is Whisky Oak, by Nagoya-based retailer Yoshikei Corporation. Its range of home furnishings are made by artisans from whiskey barrels that have been salvaged from distilleries, so pieces have unique textures and imperfections are left untouched.
Hommage Lifestyle is at #08-08, Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road, Singapore 169074, tel: 6258 5258.
2. Journey East
Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind centrepiece or a vintage table, Journey East has got you covered. It has a wide array of furniture and home accessories, ranging from vintage offerings and industrial-styled furnishings made from iron and wood to Scandinavian-contemporary furniture pieces and more.
But what we wish to highlight is its eco-friendly reclaimed solid teak wood furniture, from the brand d-Bodhi, one of the most established eco-friendly furniture brands in the world. Available in thirty countries, it boasts an extensive catalogue of products made from materials such as reclaimed teak wood, recycled license pipes, benches, doors, iron pipes and even denim. For example, the Soul Collection is crafted from old, reclaimed wood found in Javanese houses and accented with iron for a modern touch.
Sporting intriguing wood grain and texture, no two pieces are the same and each sports its own character. Rugged and aesthetically pleasing, the furnishings all tell a story and will be a great addition to the home. Proceeds from every d-Bodhi purchase also go to a monthly donation to the Trees4Trees Foundation to support local farms and replant trees in Java. Reusing resources in the most sustainable and efficient way, you can be assured that your money will go a long way.
The multi-brand furniture retailer also carries 10 other brands such as District Eight, so there’s something guaranteed to suit each home.
Journey East is at #03-02, Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road, Singapore 169074, tel: 6473 1693.
3. Crate and Barrel
Whether you’re going for a rustic or timeless look for your home, you can’t go wrong with furnishings at Crate and Barrel. Its wide-range of European-style pieces are comfortable, stylish and totes Insta-worthy. But best of all, because the brand’s goal is to help you build a home that shows sustainability and respect for the environment, most of the different types of wood used to make its dining and home office collections are FSC-certified. See here for a list of pieces that are sustainable.
It also offers a range of sofas, bookcases and chairs made from renewable materials, such as certified hardwoods, reclaimed pine and solid mango wood. Furniture that makes your heart sing and environmentally-friendly. We’re sold.
4. Soul and Tables
Originally known as Ethnicraft Online, Soul and Tables is an FSC-certified furniture store that offers sustainable home furniture of contemporary and timeless designs. It makes the extra effort to use only ethically-sourced, sustainable Indonesian plantation teak and European (French and Serbian) oak to ensure that the manufacturing process does not contribute to deforestation.
Soul and Tables also carries several other quality brands besides its own brand Ethnicraft. There’s Notre Monde, which is known for its handcrafted and quality trays, mirrors and accent furniture, and European Bedding, which specialises in high quality, environmentally-friendly bedding products, such as 100 per cent natural organic latex mattresses made from Sri-Lankan natural rubber.
In the case of any defects, the store also provides a lifetime warranty, complimentary maintenance services, disposal services, and varnishing services. Need we say more?
Soul and Tables is at #02-01 and #02-03, Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road, Singapore 169074, tel: 9272 1545.
No stranger to the scene, IKEA has stepped up its game for environmental advocacy and sustainable living. Currently, it utilises a variety of renewable energy sources and waste management tactics to reduce the carbon footprint of its stores and factories internationally. Not only are IKEA’s products manufactured through eco-friendly practices, the brand also encourages customers to live a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle.
In its latest commitment to the environment, the world’s largest furniture retailer has released its People & Planet Positive roadmap, which outlines its 2020 sustainability strategy. One of the objectives in the report includes sourcing 100 per cent of its wood, paper and cardboard from more sustainable sources, such as recycled or FSC-certified wood. By 2030, it also plans to use only renewable and recycled materials for its products. Respect.
IKEA is at 317 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159965 and 60 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528764, tel: 6786 6868.
6. Mountain Teak
The collections at Mountain Teak are characterised by their sleek profiles and minimalist designs mirroring contemporary European aesthetics. From sofas to dining tables and to beds, the brand’s eco-friendly solid wood furniture uses reclaimed teak as much as possible – meaning to say that no new trees are felled. Oh, teak wood is also more durable and doesn’t weather as quickly. The collection by Italian design maestro Karpenter is a designer collection that uses the highest grade of certified solid reclaimed teak for the perfect modern furniture piece.
The brands it houses also do not use lacquers and are free of volatile organic compounds (VOC), thus posing no harm to both the owner and environment. Most of its furniture, especially the teak wood products, are also FSC-certified and PEFC-certified. See here for more sustainable teak wood furniture.
Mountain Teak is at #07-02, Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road, Singapore 169074, tel: 6224 717
As its name suggests, Originals hopes for homeowners to create their own “original” blend of furniture pieces from its wide eco-friendly catalogue. It carries a collection of traditional pieces made of natural wood and other recycled quality materials, with contemporary and unique designs.
It also offers an international selection of brands, as well as a specially curated line that features furniture pieces that are sourced from around the world, such as those made of natural teak wood and vintage Indian and Indonesian pieces remodelled into stunning, contemporary designs.
Originals gets its materials from various sources: The old teak materials that make up its Java and India Recycled Collections are from structures that have been abandoned, ruined or destroyed for rebuilding. All materials are ethically sourced for the preservation of the environment – indeed sustainability at its finest.
Originals is at #02-03, Sime Darby Centre, 896 Dunearn Rd, Singapore 589470, tel: 6471 9918.
Written by Cheryl Lim.