So absolute is our family’s commitment to secondhand shopping that my three year old, Ramona, calls all shops “Charity Shops.” (Except she misses out the T because she is a cockney.) They are pretty much the only shops we go in to!
I call our style Landfill Chic and our whole house was, and our new bus is, decked out in this rugged manner.
However, where we couldn’t source stuff secondhand, from charity shops or street corners, we would research hard into how to make a more ethical choice.
In fact, if we had more money at that time we might have done this a little bit more. (As it was, Landfill Chic was all we could afford, mostly.)
For example, we needed flooring and I didn’t know about this BEAUTIFUL homemade, recycled floor back then, so we delved into the world of ethical carpets etc. In the end we opted for 100% wool as it is a renewable resource. (Then when it arrived we saw it had been shipped all the way from New Zealand! Yikes. Welsh sheep are obviously too superior with their strong musical heritage to provide carpet.)
In an ideal world, our family home would be a mixture of stuff heading for the landfill and fair trade and small, independent makers.
Having done a bit of thinking about this I wanted to suggest a few options for your home. These are companies I have worked with through the Fair Christmas Fayre I used to run, and ones I have since come across.
Willow and Hall for the beautiful sofas
Willow and Hall design and produce the most stunning sofas right on Britain’s soil. They are an independent company that are able to oversee every part of the chain. The owner, Sarah, says
“At Willow & Hall ethics means treating people fairly. This means everyone from our suppliers, craftsmen, customers and staff. We are passionate about the quality of our products and we know that if we make them by using lovely raw materials which are then handled by talented craftsmen who are passionate about making quality furniture then all this will make a beautiful final product that we can be proud to offer to our customers.
We like to understand the full journey our products make and that everyone in the process is treated fairly. We do not like the idea of externalising production costs so that a factory worker in the third world pays through their poverty for low cost products in the UK. Therefore our products are good quality at good fair prices.”
Super stylish and ethical- everything you want in a sofa.
London Reclaimed for the most fabulous Wine Box TV Cabinet
I’m really excited about this business that hails from our old corner of London. They teach disadvantaged young ‘uns the worthy skills of furniture making and they reclaim all their timber. This Wine Box cabinet is just lovely.
A whole kitchen from Milestone
With Milestone’s eco range you can choose an entire kitchen built from entirely recycled materials. Or you can chose the Man VS Tree option- a whole kitchen made from one tree from a sustainable Forest, made by one dude. With his two bare hands. (And maybe a tool or two.) Awesome.
He’ll let you get in his fully sustainable and organic bed, that Greenwood. Hand made in the UK and made to measure, these beds make me just want to fall asleep with delight.
Traidcraft’s upright chair and furniture set
I love it when something that is Fair Trade blows perceptions of Fair Trade out of the water. This chair and coffee table set is soooo stylish and fun, it has an almost Mid Century Modern feel to it.
Have you found any awesome ethical furniture businesses? They can be hard to track down so do leave a tip-off…