{This blogpost is also available in German / auf Deutsch – pic by Tiptoe Design, see below}

I could always restyle and rearrange our apartment. A comfortable home is just very important to me. In fact, my fiancé and I often buy second-hand furniture and decoration, do our own interior DIY projects, or even repurpose existing furniture through upcycling. That’s how we save money and resources. After all, as far as interior design is concerned, less is more and longevity is the best way to make your own four walls more sustainable.

But what exactly makes furniture sustainable furniture?

There is no all-encompassing certificate that recognizes sustainable furniture at one glance. There are always several factors involved. Personally, the following categories are relevant for me in terms of sustainability and interior:

  • Second hand or vintage furniture doesn’t use many resources, since they are already made, and they are usually cheaper in price. Just check out garage sales, flea markets, Etsy *, craigslist and even Ebay! In addition, there are lovely vintage furniture shops in almost every major city, just google a bit or ask around!
  • DIY projects – not everyone has the talent or patience, but Jesse and I were able to realize quite a few DIY projects up until now. I focus mostly on macrame DIYs and shelves and together we have already built a pallet table, as well as smaller tables and simple dressers.
  • Local / certified woods – if I would make a new purchase, I would pay attention to where the wood is coming from. A certificate doesn’t give me 100 percent security in terms of sustainability, but it’s a minimum for me. For example, Greenpeace recommends buying FSC-certified wood products, even though there is still room for improvement for the FSC.
  • There is also PEFC-certified wood, although I do not know that one that well. Here it is briefly explained by the German Enviroment Ministry, here are a few differences to FSC listed and here Greenpeace criticized the certificate. In addition, solid wood products are generally more stable and durable.
  • Design also plays a big role in sustainability. According to the Alliance of German Designers, sustainable design should be:
    • material-efficient and material-appropriate
    • energy efficient
    • non toxic
    • low-waste or waste-reducing
    • durable
    • suitable for recycling and disposal
    • ethically produced
    • and the logistics should have a sustainable supply chain

Longevity, natural materials and a timeless design are very important to me!

  • Fair working conditions: This raises the question of where the pieces of furniture is made, where the materials were sourced, and whether fair trade or direct trade relationships exist.

 

You see, it’s a long list! Since I want to try not to shop anymore at the big furniture manufacturers, who rather put out mass and trendy products, I did A LOT of research. In addition to the already well-known eco-shops for furniture such as Grüne Erde, Allnatura, Avocadostore and Selekkt *, I have found even more, individual labels that produce beautiful, sustainable furniture. Today I will focus specifically on furniture. In my next article I will also share some sustainable stores for interior accessories and decoration (lamps, carpets, baskets, etc.). But for now here my furniture list:

 

Tiptoe Design

Tiptoe Design from France relies on durable furniture, made in Europe. They use only PEFC certified wood from Europe, very, very little plastic (and when they do it is recycled plastic) as well as the durable and recyclable steel material.

I particularly like the modular idea behind the designs. Almost every piece of furniture can be individually adjusted with different colors.

The packaging (80% recycled paper) of the furniture is designed in such a way that it is packaged very flat so that material and CO2 emissions are saved.

 

Naan Furniture

I love the warm and simple style of Naan Furniture. They exude a calm and a certain boho vibe, but are nevertheless timeless. The company only works with wood from PEFC-certified forests. The designs are not only ecological, the furniture is also fair in price. I would buy a sideboard from Naan any day!

With the DIY kits by Naan, you can also individualize your furniture and create an even more special piece with your own hands!

 

Wedowood

 According to Wedowood, the entire supply chain from forestry to the final product is CO2-neutral. All materials are chemical-, pesticidal- and herbicide-free. The wood is completely FSC certified. All furniture is made in Denmark. In the design process, they are always looking for the most sustainable alternatives. For example, if bamboo is suitable and this is the more sustainable option, they use it. In terms of financing they have found a sustainable partner to work with.

 

Johanenlies

The Danish design inspired company based in Berlin JOHANENLIES uses only recycled lumber. Through the upcycling process, the label breathes new life into the natural material and at the same time, every product becomes unique. The pieces of furniture are manufactured in a workshop in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. From shelves to beds, chests of drawers, coffee tables and smaller interior accessories, you’ll find minimalist yet playful designs!

 

Kentholz

Upcycling is also an important factor for this Berlin-based company! Kentholz founder Stacey Kent uses only second-hand wood from Germany and Austria, which has been salvaged. Before it was worked up again with painstaking manual labor, the wood stood as a mountain hut in Austria or as a floor in German workshops. Again, due to the upcycling process, you can expect unique pieces, with small details, markings, individual textures, colors and shapes. “Our way of working helps to protect the old forests in Europe, which are seriously threatened by the intensive management of the wood industry,” says Stacey Kent.

In the shop you will find mainly beautiful tables, also ones with a marble look, as well as benches and chairs.

 

stocubo

Here the modular concept is in the foreground. At stocubo, all elements are made from PEFC certified wood sourced from European forests. For production in Berlin, the material is delivered as a finished plate and further processed in the workshop by the stocubo carpenters to the handmade cubes. Thanks to a stapling mechanism, these cubes can be changed and restyled as often as required without damaging the wood, as would be the case with screws. The production is local and fair in Berlin.

Here you can let your imagination run wild and I’ve already discovered shelves on some of the most sustainable bloggers on Instagram!

 

UpCycle Berlin

UpCycle Berlin also uses old Berlin timber. UpCycle Berlin buys this directly from the construction companies, who would have to dispose of this actually chargeable on the waste incineration. Here, too, you will find unique pieces again. According to UpCycle Berlin, fir wood is used for the production of timber. The materials are thus softwood, as known from old farmhouse furniture, as well as untreated natural wood. According to legislators, construction boards in Germany may not be treated with chemicals, so that no pollutants can reach the groundwater due to rain when used on the construction site.

At UpCycle Berlin you will find wooden beds, shelves, tables and various small pieces of furniture.

 

Noodles Authentic Furniture
 

At Noodles Authentic Furniture longevity comes first. According to the company, the furniture is virtually unbreakable and can probably last for many decades (maybe even centuries?). In addition, Noodles uses only FSC certified wood and steel, which is almost 100 percent recyclable. Pictured you see a bed, but right now the Noodles kitchens are in high demand. They are durable, modular, made of sustainable wood and refined with organic oil. Just click here to check them out!

 

Kiezbett

Ecological, sustainable, regional, social and fair – Kiezbett from Berlin promises an all-round good product! The Kiezbett solid wood bed is built from the wood of local forests on the outskirts of Berlin. Most of the trees are harvested by apprentices, pulled by horses out of the forest and processed by a local sawmill. The Kiezbett is manufactured by hand in a production workshop and delivered in a reusable packaging by means of a cargo bike to the customer.

Kiezbett shows that zero waste can also play a major role in terms of furniture: Steve Döschner, founder of Kiezbett, has teamed up with a Finnish supplier of returnable shipping packaging. Together with RePack, he has specially developed reusable bags tailored to the Kiezbett, in which he sends the sustainable, social and fair solid wood bed to his customers.

A great concept with a classic, minimalist and therefore timeless design!

 

A few more words about prices: I know that the price for eco products is often higher than you would otherwise be used to from cheap chain furniture stores. However, high quality also means that you buy furniture for life, which lasts for decades. Nevertheless, I can say that many featured labels offer very fair prices! When we looked around for a chest of drawers, a comparable product from a large, well-known Swedish furniture company was not really much cheaper. In terms of quality and size of the furniture even more expensive. Nevertheless, I understand if your own budget simply does not offer you many choices. Then I would really recommend second-hand furniture or even small DIYs.

And of course there are more brands than the ones presented here. Leave your tips in the comments!

Photo: Noodles Authentic Furniture

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Ich stimme zu.

4 comments
  1. Super Post, ich seh das genauso wie du. Gerade bei Möbeln sollte man sich Neuanschaffungen gut überlegen. Als ich vor einem halben Jahr mit meinem Freund zusammengezogen bin, mussten wir uns auch mit diesem Thema auseinandersetzen. Die meisten Möbel, die wir haben, sind aus zweiter Hand. Ich habe einige Stücke geerbt und hänge daher sowieso daran. Mein Freund hatte auch einiges bereits von Bekannten und Verwandten bekommen oder über Verkaufsplattformen von Privatpersonen gekauft, wie beispielsweise einen alten Metallspind, welchen ich dann aber aufgehübscht und farbenfroh bemalt habe. Gerade bei Flohmarktfunden lohnt es sich manchmal ein DIY Projekt daraus zu machen. Das muss ja nichts Grossartiges sein. Bei Möbeln aus Holz lohnt es sich einfach häufig dieses zu ölen oder neu zu lackieren oder zu bemalen. Kann ich auch unerfahren DIY-lern empfehlen, man kann wirklich nicht so viel falsch machen.
    Ich selbst mag es sowieso gerne farbenfroh und mag es, wenn man die Einrichtung etwas zusammenwürfelt. Wichtig finde ich einfach, sich grob ein (Farb-)Konzept für die einzelnen Räume zu überlegen, damit es am Ende gemütlich wird. Gerade für Personen, die es aber lieber modern und schlicht haben, kann es aber etwas anspruchsvoller werden. Dann lohnen sich aber ebenfalls DIY-Projekte oder auch die Investition in ein hochwertiges Möbelstück, wie die, die du in deinem Post vorgestellt hast.
    Persönlich habe ich vor allem die Anschaffung eines Sofas als richtig schwierig erlebt. Es gibt zwar hochwertige, nachhaltige und wunderschöne Sofas, die sind aber sehr teuer. Am Ende mussten wir dann doch einen Kompromiss eingehen. Unseres ist sicher nicht das nachhaltigste, wir haben dann aber zumindest darauf geachtet, dass es robust, bequem und aus einem angenehmen Material ist.

    Zu den Empfehlungen fällt mir noch was ein: Häufig gibt es echt schöne Einrichtungsgegenstände und Möbel von sozialen Institutionen und Werkstätten von Menschen mit Behinderungen oder Personen mit psychischen Beeinträchtigungen. Meiner Meinung nach lohnt es sich, auch in solchen Geschäften oder an Märkten genauer hinzuschauen, da man dort wirklich schöne und nachhaltige Unikate finden kann.

    1. danke für deinen Input! Stimmt, in solchen Läden oder Institutionen kann man sich auch mal umschauen! Und ja, das Thema Sofas war nicht so easy, wir haben zum Glück ein relativ nachhaltiges von Sitzfeldt gefunden – das habe ich auch mal vorgestellt.
      Schön, dass ihr alles so nachhaltig und mit so vielen DIYs eingerichtet habt! Da freut man sich irgendwie noch mehr über die eigenen vier Wände 🙂

  2. Ich glaube beim Thema Preis darf man auch nicht vergessen, dass man viele dieser nachhaltigen Möbel oft gut wieder verkauft bekommt, was bei Massenware, die irgendwann auseinanderfällt, vielleicht weniger der Fall ist. Bedeutet natürlich auch mehr Mühe, aber manchmal verliert man dabei gar nicht so viel Geld.

    Ich glaube nur manchmal ist es wie mit Schuhen, man will nicht so viel geld ausgeben und kauft dann die günstigere Variante, die dann aber auch nur 1 Jahr anstatt 5 Jahre hält.