Tips for Sourcing Sustainable Wood Furniture


We’re on a mission to help connect our clients to eco-conscious pieces for the home. Today we’re sharing tips for sourcing sustainable wood furniture for the home. Whenever we’re looking to source wood furniture, sustainability is top of mind. And while no item can be completely free from environmental impact, there are certainly options that are better than others. 

We recently had the opportunity to review the Sustainable Furnishings Council’s wood furniture scorecard. The Sustainable Furnishings Council is the dominant organization around interior design and sustainability, so we were excited to get our hands on the results of this scorecard, which took 123 retailers and ranked them against various factors relating to sustainability.

Keep reading to learn which retailers are currently leading the way in sustainable wood furniture, plus a few tips from the EGI team!

Top Scoring Furniture Retailers

The chart below shows the top-scoring retailers (26+ points). These retailers were scored in the following categories: Responsible Wood Sourcing Policy; Responsible Sourcing Practices and Performance; and Additional Actions.

To be honest, we were shocked to see IKEA on this list! But IKEA has made a big commitment to sustainability in recent years. While they are a bulk retailer (which often makes us assume they simply cannot be sustainable if they’re pumping out so much product on fast timelines), IKEA uses many sources of recyclable wood. This brings those materials that would have otherwise been disposed of back into rotation. 

While we really don’t use IKEA to source pieces for clients, their price points are accessible to most consumers, which makes them an excellent option for people who are budget conscious but are still passionate about sustainability. There’s often a mis-conception that eco-friendly products cost more, but that is most definitely not always the case.

Crate & Barrel was an exciting top scorer, especially because they are a well known company to both designers and consumers alike. Crate & Barrel is committed to providing circular, yet design-forward, options for conscious consumers. They work to offset their carbon footprint while also prioritizing ethical supply chains and sustainably sourced materials! You can even browse by FSC®- and  oeko-tex®-certified collections on their site to make sustainable shopping easier.

Click here to review the full scorecard!

More tips for Sourcing Sustainable Wood Furniture for the Home

What Makes Wood Sustainable? 

Generally, a sustainable product is made from natural materials (free of harsh chemicals or toxins) that are biodegradable or reusable at the end of their normal lifespan. Wood products qualify as biodegradable, meaning they can be broken down naturally by the organisms in an ecosystem. This makes them a great option for recycling at the end of their life (although well-made wood pieces can last for decades with proper care). 

Another factor to consider is whether the products are produced consciously. A truly sustainable manufacturer will ensure that the production of an item does not contribute to environmental harm. Or they will choose to offset any carbon emissions that occur during production by investing in an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. These companies also refrain from overproduction and focus on quality over quantity. Furthermore, sustainable manufacturers often offer recycling programs and ensure that any shipping and packaging materials are recyclable and/or biodegradable.

Look for Industry Certifications

When buying furniture or sourcing materials for your home, look for products with the Forest Stewardship Council’s FSC certification. Per their website, “this certification ensures that wood products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.” If buying a piece online, check the product description to see if the piece is FSC certified. Or reach out to the company to find out which of their products might have this certification. 

William Sonoma, the parent company of Pottery Barn and West Elm, are focusing heavily on providing as many products as possible that are FSC certified. As another large player in the retail space their efforts are helping to make sustainable wood products widely accessible to consumers.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

As always, we urge clients to practice conscious consumerism when furnishing or redesigning a home. Conscious consumers find a balance between purchasing trendy items over timeless pieces in order to cut down on excess waste. Well-made wood pieces are expensive, but they will last a lifetime, so it’s absolutely worth the investment in our eyes. If you’re feeling stressed about a particular purchase, reach out and we’ll help you along the way!

Consider Antique or Vintage Pieces

Antique malls and vintage shops are ALWAYS top of mind when we think of furnishing a home. We love to browse online vintage and resale shops when we’re looking for something specific, and we LOVE that the high-end design world has embraced this as well! Here are a few great sources that you may enjoy browsing:

As always, we’re continuing to gather sustainably-minded topics and resources for you, to help make your journey into sustainable design that much easier. We hope this post can serve as a resource to you in future furniture shopping!

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Interior Designer Andrea Durcik Columbus Ohio

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Traveling, animals, and all things design encompass Andrea’s life, fueling her creative energy every step of the way.

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