The difference it makes when we choose ethical and sustainable home decor
Ever wondered how much better the world is when we choose ethical and sustainable home decor over price and convenience?
I mean, sure, we all know that shopping for products that have been ethically sourced and that are more environmentally friendly is a good thing.
But with all of the doom and gloom messaging out there about the state of the planet and the unrelenting pace of climate change, it’s easy to lose sight of the difference that we as mere conscious consumers can make.
So next time, you’re feeling hopeless and decide to indulge in retail therapy, remember that when you shop for ethical and sustainable home decor, you really do make a difference!
Buying sustainable home decor means sending less to landfill
Well designed and well-made pieces not only look beautiful, but they also last longer.
That flat-pack desk made from MDF is less able to tolerate the dings and scratches that come with everyday use, and will be even less likely to survive a house move.
Where will it end up after a year or so? Yup, you guessed it - landfill.
But say instead we opt for a second-hand oak desk picked up from an op shop? Or a hand-crafted designer piece made from sustainable timber?
I’ll wager a tidy sum of money that both options will look gorgeous and unique and can be sanded back when the kids scribble over them in crayon.
Sturdy furniture can move house with you if needed, and I’ll bet you’ll still own those pieces in twenty years when you’re sat there writing your memoirs.
Eco-fabrics mean happier & healthier textile producers
I wrote a piece a few months ago on the horrors of cotton production. It truly shocked me how something that I had once viewed as a sustainable fabric could be so damaging to the planet and its people.
From harmful chemicals that poison people and waterways to exploitative pricing and unfair trade, regular cotton is a no-go for me now.
Instead I seek out organic cotton, bamboo, hemp and flax for my home furnishings.
It does cost a little more but that helps to limit unnecessary splurges - I save up to buy what I need, when I need it.
And you know what? I love and cherish those purchases far more despite forgoing a few extra flat whites in the process.
Ethical sourcing creates empowered communities
When we shop from brands that work closely with artisan producers, we know that we are directly supporting the makers.
It’s as if we have our arms around their shoulders, like friends whispering a supportive word in their ears.
Our purchase helps them to make a living, provide for their families and continue to create beautiful products in empowering, uplifting conditions.
The irregularities in the weaving, the coloured threads that zigzag throughout the fabrics and the motifs that tell of bygone times add texture and vibrancy to our homes in ways that brands making mass-produced, machine-printed products cannot replicate.
Yet they do try - cultural appropriation is on the rise with traditional designs being copied and capitalised on by even top-end designers who should know better.
I long for a world where big brands partner more closely with artisan producers on capsule collections that celebrate their talents and pay them handsomely, rather than making a profit by mimicking their designs without a thought for what they mean.
Getting creative results in a conversation-starting home unique to you
When we are mindful about what we buy and display in our homes, it shows.
Our personal style starts to shine through and links the rooms in our houses together with a cohesive thread.
It’s so much harder to find your style in a world of mass-produced goods, don’t you think?
Sure, you can create a beautiful home from an afternoon of shopping in Freedom Furniture or Habitat, but what that home really says about you gets lost in a sea of pretty styled items with no soul and no story to tell. All fur coat and no knickers.
See? So many great outcomes just from being more considerate about where we shop and what we buy.
And there’s never been a better time to be a conscious consumer with impeccable style - you just have to know where to look.
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