The degradation of natural ecosystems are among the greatest environmental challenges we are facing today. Massively responsible for the depletion of our planet’s resources is our current “linear” economy, which extracts, turns resources into products and then disposes of them. This cycle is also called “take-make-waste.” E.g. You buy a t-shirt, wear it for a while and then throw it away. In recent years there has been a growing, more sustainable system called “circular economy".
The Definition of Circular Economy by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:
"A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems."
"A circular economy reveals and designs out the negative impacts of economic activity that cause damage to human health and natural systems. This includes the release of greenhouse gases and hazardous substances, the pollution of air, land, and water, as well as structural waste such as traffic congestion."
Sustainable furniture companies are growing in numbers in response to this sustainable living movement, producing furniture that is sustainable and eco-friendly for the environmentally-conscious consumer. They are based on the closed-loop cycle of recycling. The goal is to design furniture that can be continually reused, disassembled and then reused again to reduce the environmental impact.
There are two furniture companies we would like to highlight:
First we have Los Angeles, California based Pollima, the world’s first carbon-negative furniture company. They unveiled their designs for their premier products, a dining table and chairs, last week. They are made of recycled metal and a highly pressurized hemp byproduct, which is actually more durable than wood, and are industry-leading from a sustainability standpoint while also incorporating a beautiful Scandanavian-inspired design.
Their process is a revolution in furniture manufacturing:
The byproduct is pressed with 170 tons of pressure to make a new material that is more durable than wood, so your furniture will last generations - without harming a single tree.
The proprietary material is completely biodegradable and uses no resin, no plastic, no trees, and the production is waste-free.
These tables and chairs trap the carbon present in the otherwise discarded hemp biomass, preventing it from reentering the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide through decay or incineration.
Pollima’s mission is to change processes of production and consumption, with a focus on working with nature rather than against it. Designed by Zac Feltoon, the designs reflect the natural biology and ethos of turning waste into beauty.
You can check them out here.
Second we have Sabai, a direct-to-consumer, sustainability-focused furniture company using a closed-looped system, which consists of a buyback program for their sofas with the intention to significantly reduce landfill waste. This means customers can sell their sofas back to Sabai, which then will be offered for purchase at a discount through their preowned line, Sabai Revive.
To make their products more durable, Sabai also offers a ‘Repair Don’t Replace’ initiative. Instead of purchasing an entirely new sofa with fresh slipcovers, cushions, pillows and legs, customers can swap out for worn or damaged parts.
Further their products are made with FSC certified wood and CertiPUR certified foam filling, and are upholstered in recycled and upcycled materials, including velvet, versus recyclable versus biodegradable materials.
It's fantastic to see that more and more companies are embracing sustainability and new companies emerging because it's something that people care about. This demonstrates once again the power of the consumer. If there's demand, brands and industries will follow.
*Ad Vitam is not affiliated with any of these brands, we just think they are doing great work and that's why we decided to highlight them.