sustainable furniture options

Walking The Talk On Sustainable Furniture & Home Accents

As a family run business, we are all about sustainability

You see, with a family run business like ours, the interests of the organization go far beyond basic profits, and run instead to the importance of building something lasting, a business that will thrive for generations to come.

For us, our ‘family’ extends beyond ourselves to all of our customers.

That’s the way it is for Worldwide Homefurnishings. Founded by the Mehta family patriarch, who still leads our organization, second generation members work to continue the tradition.

Part of that tradition is travelling the world, sourcing and ordering furniture that has a value beyond the individual pieces, furniture that will have a solid legacy both in terms of personal use and environmental impact.

This notion of ‘legacy’ in business is part of the platform that we’ve worked hard to create. It is fused with the notion sustainability and you can see that in the choices we make for Worldwide Homefurnishings.

Our challenge in sourcing furniture is to find manufacturers who are employing sustainable techniques for obtaining the raw materials, as well as the manufacturing of the finished products. The same cannot be said for the industry as a whole, however, with many distributors eschewing the notion of environmental friendliness in favor of a tighter bottom line.

There is room in this world for both notions, however, and it comes down to consumers clarifying their desire to buy exquisite pieces that don’t wreak havoc on the environment in the process.

The Marketing Of Woods

Many hardwoods are virtually extinct, so much have they been prized in the past for their look and feel. Certain varieties of rosewood, mahogany, teak… these are all endangered wood species.

Offering options made from environmentally friendly solid wood materials, sourced from sustainable, managed plantations, is always the goal for Worldwide Homefurnishings.

It’s not a transition that happens overnight, but with more consumer pressure being brought  to bear, more manufacturers are seeing the value and rewards of opting for sustainable woods.

Sheesham wood, a member of the rosewood family, but is not on the endangered list, is an excellent option. Because of the vulnerability of some kinds of rosewood, We are doubly concerned with ensuring the integrity of our sheesham wood suppliers.

While it is a slow growing hardwood, it’s a sustainable and far more frequently used option for tree farming and reforestation efforts than other hardwoods. Sheesham is fairly resistant to frosts and droughts, so can grow in environments not always noted for forestry. Its natural markings and rich colors make it a wonderful resource for furniture as each piece ends up looking unique.

Example? !nspire’s Mira Round Dining Table in Sheesham. Note the fabulous and unique wood grain patterns in the top, creating a timeless piece you can keep for years.

mira accent table from inspireaccent table mira from inspire

Another environmentally friendly option is mango wood. The incredible beauty of the natural characteristics and hard, durable makeup, as well as water resistant quality, of mango wood make it a perfect option for furnishings, but what makes it even better is the sustainable nature of its harvesting.

The thriving industry of mango fruit make the cultivation of the trees themselves a sustainable, secondary resource.

Compared to traditional hardwoods like oak, mango trees grow relatively quickly and, when they are too big to cultivate the fruits from easily, the wood can be harvested and replaced.

In the past, those trees were brought down but the wood wasn’t used, except as a heating source.

Now, as more and more manufacturers are seeing the value of mango wood, farmers are harvesting their more mature trees and creating a secondary income source for themselves. It’s a win-win.

The ready availability of mango wood makes it an affordable source of raw materials for furniture manufacturers that can sustain an industry well into the future.

!nspire’s Zax Accent Table in Distressed Grey is a perfect example of mango wood done right. The natural grain of the wood shines through the grey finish, to give it a rustic but still modern look, particularly with the black finish cast iron base.

mango wood accent table

Faux Features For Durability

There are pros and cons to natural fibers vs. ‘faux’ materials, like faux leather and suede, in terms of their environmental impact during manufacturing but when it comes to durability with furniture, you can’t beat faux materials for their quality appearance over the long term, with a minimum of care, to say nothing of their affordability.

Take the Angus II Accent Chair from !nspire. The plush seating with the faux cowhide fabric and faux leather backing are designed to last.

accent chair in cowhide faux from inspire

And that’s the point. Half of the battle with environmental sustainability in furnishings and home accents is the procuring products that will last the test of time and many ‘seatings’.

The world is a changing place and consumers are looking to make choices that make sense in the long run, for themselves, their families, and the earth too. Sustainable choices are within everyone’s reach: we just need to ask for them.

Do you consider the sustainability of the materials or manufacturing processes when you’re buying furniture? Tell us what it means to you.