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Can designers and homeowners curate beautiful spaces while reducing our impact on the planet? Learning how to decorate sustainably and with an artisan approach will not only help our planet but will also provide us with the opportunity to be more creative with the way we furnish our homes.
In this post, we will discuss the differences between sustainable and ethical, the importance of eco-friendly interiors, and how to incorporate these elements into an artisan-style home.
Many sustainable and ethical brands celebrate traditional crafts and design methods that have been handed down from generation to generation and as such, are classed as artisan brands. Creating an artisan-style home will not only help you incorporate a more sustainable element into your room design but will also help create a beautifully unique room.
Artisan is another word for handmade. Artisan objects are often aligned with traditional crafts such as weaving and sewing. Many small communities in developing countries sell their artisan products overseas as a way of supporting their communities. These artisan products have a big impact on their economy! Closer to home, you’ll find artisan home décor brands that employ highly skilled craftsmen to create beautiful pieces for homes and spaces which are both sustainable and ethical.
Sustainable interior design is where a designer considers each material used in a design to ensure that they are either renewable, regenerative, or recycled. This can range from large elements such as the flooring to minute details such as the wadding in your cushions.
What does it mean to be ethically made? Ethically made means that the workers within the processing chain are treated fairly. They are given a decent living wage; their working conditions are comfortable, and they are not exploited or overworked. It’s important to note that this is the entire processing chain from the factory to the shop floor.
The word sustainable is fast becoming a buzzword for every business, from home décor to clothing. But why is it that sustainability has thrust itself to the forefront of all our purchasing decisions? Well, we are fast running out of the earth’s natural resources, resources which we use in many areas of design and décor.
From the wood in our sofas to the fabric of our curtains, we need to start thinking about where this material comes from. Sustainability, simply put, means that it is a renewable, replaceable, or regenerative material. Many furniture companies are now taking social accountability for their products by using sustainable materials and ethical suppliers.
A decade or so ago, when sustainability was a relatively new practice, and only a few home décor brands offered such products, it’s fair to say that design came second to the importance of the sustainable element of décor items.
Sustainable design was seen as boho in style and unaffordable for mainstream consumers. A decade later, sustainable home décor has become much more affordable with a huge range of designs from modern to traditional style and with many more pieces such as furniture, paint, and home accessories are now being created from ethical and sustainable materials.
While sustainability determines a resource's renewable element, you will also find home décor products that are ethical and eco-friendly. Be aware that these are not interchangeable terms! An eco-friendly product is one that is mindful of the earth, the amount of water or energy it uses to produce it, and whether it uses sustainable materials to create it.
Many people assume that sustainable home décor brands will also be ethical (and vice versa) but this isn’t always the case. When possible look for approved trademarks such as SFC membership (Sustainable Furnishings Council) and Fairtrade which focus both on ethics and sustainability of items.
If you are looking to add some sustainable, artisan elements to an existing design scheme, then adding the final touches with handmade home décor is perfect for you. Sourcing high-quality handmade items will help you create a unique space without blowing the budget. For a truly artisan approach, source elements that have been made using traditional methods from ethically sound companies.
Thankfully, many home design companies now have sustainable products, which certainly makes things easier! But in essence, you are looking for products that are not going to have a significant impact on the environment, be that when they are being made or when they are being disposed of (or rather, recycled). Choosing a sustainable material is important for an eco-friendly design, but it’s also important to think about the energy used to make the product and how ethical the processes are.
Knowing how to decorate sustainably and source eco-friendly products that are both sustainable and ethical will help you curate a truly stunning artisan scheme. For information on how we at City Home are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, check out our commitment statement, and click here to shop our home furnishings!