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Our guide to ethical and sustainable furniture and homewares
Furniture and homewares are by default investment pieces, the idea is; buy something you love that’s also practical and will hopefully stand the test of time. However, have you ever thought about where your favourite sofa is made, or the material it’s made from? Sustainable furniture and homewares are: “goods that have a low impact on the earth, are responsibly sourced and made with materials that emit low carbon emissions or are recycled’’ explains designer and furniture design store Gingerfinch founder Peita Davis.
Choosing Australian made or international brands that manufacture and source raw materials in its local area is another good rule to shop by says Peita. Here’s our guide to sourcing beautiful, sustainable and ethical furniture for your home.
“As a rule of thumb I always ask three questions: who makes it, what is it made from and where is it made,’’ says Peita.
“Finding out who makes it helps eliminate any products that are made in dangerous or unethical conditions. Establishing what it’s made from ensures the production methods are not damaging to the earth. And asking where it’s made determines if it’s local because Australian made uses less carbon air miles.”
Trusting your intuition on a brand’s authenticity is the best starting point.
“If you are worried that a product isn’t sustainable, it probably isn’t. I’ve found that most brands who prioritise sustainability will talk about it,’’ Peita says.
“If there’s no mention of how a product is made, then it’s probably not sustainable.
When it comes to sourcing investment furniture and homewares Peita says the best policy is to slowly acquire pieces over time.
“If you build your furniture and homewares collection slowly it’s less likely to be ‘on-trend’ and you’ll treasure it more,’’ she says.
This means your furniture and homewares will be used and loved for generations, rather than ending up in landfill.”
“Antiquing is a refined skill that involves a keen eye. It takes hours of poking about but you also need to flex your imagination,’’ says Peita.
“A beaten up, dusty item found down the back of an antique or op shop could look amazing with better light and a little bit of elbow grease. Keep an open mind and a sharp eye and you never know what you’ll find!”
“I love online shopping as it’s so much easier to research the brand or product while you’re browsing,’’ says Peita.
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