Interior design is not necessarily an industry you would associate with being particularly ‘green’ or ethical – and with good reason, because it’s not.
This industry, much like fashion, moves inexorably with what’s in vogue in any given season. Interior designers and their clients alike perpetuate a consumerist attitude, moving rapidly from one set of furniture or materials to the next, paying little attention to what happens to the discarded parts.
Fortunately, the tides are slowly changing. Designers are realising that they, too, are responsible for the environmental problems that threaten to overwhelm us. Our clients are realising that they should be as discriminating in their design choices as they are with their food and fashion.
As is often the case, fashion has led the charge in making us all wake up to the fact that where materials are made is important, as are the conditions in which they are made. If your hand-carved wooden table felled a tree in a dwindling forest and then barely made the carpenter enough to eat for a day, maybe it’s time to reassess your choices.
I encourage you – whether you’re a designer or looking to have the interior of your space redesigned – to be highly selective about the materials and pieces you use.
There are many ecologically responsible materials and products that are just as attractive and durable as their non-eco counterparts, and they do good to the world, instead of harm:
- Coconut and bamboo wood, harvested from sustainable forests
- Biodegradable upholstery
- Organic bedding
- Chemical-free foam
- Eco-friendly, biodegradable plastics
- Non-toxic paints
Stop buying cheap and nasty pieces from Ikea. When they break and you throw them away, oftentimes they become non-degrading landfill. You are contributing waste instead of wealth. Make good choices – for yourself, for your children. Do your small part for our future.