Sustainable Sofas

Shopping for a Sustainable Sofa

Over the past few years it’s safe to say that most people have spent more time at home and specifically on their sofas. Sofas are essential for a wide range of uses, from curling up to watch your favorite show, to having a Zoom meeting with your child’s teacher. But did you know that the average couch may contain flame retardants, toxins associated with polyurethane foam, and other harmful chemicals? 

If you’re searching for furniture that won’t bring toxins into your home, you’ve come to the right place. First, we outline what to look out for when shopping sustainably and the practices of a few of the most sustainable brands that we’ve come across. Then we go into detail on a few of our favorite sustainable sofas so you can dive right into shopping!

What to Look for When Shopping Sustainably

Made in the USA: Products that are manufactured on U.S. soil have a much lower carbon footprint—reducing the distance from the factory to your doorstep is key.

Resale Shops and Donation Programs: Instead of trashing returns or damaged items, some companies extend the life of products by selling returned or slightly used items (often at a discounted rate).

Recycled Materials: Look out for products that leverage recycled/upcycled packaging and materials.

Oeko-Tex Certified: This is a fabric certification that ensures an upholstery has been tested and proven free of harmful levels of toxic substances.

FSC Certified: This is given to wood products that are sourced from responsibly managed forests in order to provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

Tree Planting Programs: For every product made, a tree is planted.

Fair Trade Certified: Certified products are made according to Fairtrade International's environmental, economic and social standards.

GreenGuard Gold Certified: Products have been tested and scientifically proven to have low chemical emissions.

CertiPUR-US® Program: Certifies that foam materials are tested to meet standards for emissions, content, performance, and durability.

TSCA Title VI Compliant: This program ensures that composite wood products are tested and proved to be formaldehyde free. 

Comparing Sustainability Across Furniture Brands

A Few of Our Favorite Sustainable Sofas

The Modular Performance Sofa by Anabei

Sustainability Features at a Glance:

  • Made in the US
  • Cosmetic-down made using 100s of plastic bottles with each sofa
  • CertiPUR-US® certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • Forever chemical free, PFC/PFAS Free
  • Carbon Neutral Shipments - Compact & lightweight for a sustainable delivery.
  • Washable and interchangeable covers to promote longevity 
  • Lasts Forever - A timeless steel frame with stain-resistant covers to last a lifetime.

Anabei stands out with its remarkable sustainability initiatives, making significant strides in reducing its environmental footprint. Notably, the brand redefines what it means for seating to be truly sustainable by creating enduring, adaptable products. They've not only chosen high-performance materials such as powder-coated steel for the frame and exceptionally durable fabrics but have also embraced modularity, changeable slipcovers, and full machine washability for every single product. This ensures that wear and tear are distant concerns, and when you're ready for a change, Anabei offers affordable slipcovers, allowing you to easily update the look and color of your setup.

Anabei's Cosmetic Down upcycles hundreds of plastic bottles with each sofa and is CertiPUR-US® certified, ensuring it is free from ozone-depleting substances. Their thirteen performance fabrics are both machine washable and resistant to stains and liquids, all achieved without the use of "forever chemicals" (PFC-Free). Anabei goes the extra mile for the environment with carbon-neutral free shipping, thanks to their proprietary eco-shipping design, which employs lightweight, easy-to-manage boxes. Plus, they offer a risk-free trial, promising a full refund if you don't fall in love with their product. Anabei is reshaping the concept of sustainable seating by designing transformable, bulletproof products while also maintaining a minimal environmental impact.

The Diorama Sofa by Diorama

Sustainability Features at a Glance:

  • Made in the USA
  • Eco-compression packaging
  • Does not consume a single tree
  • Life-Proof design
  • Oeko-Tex Certified fabrics
  • Sustainable packaging materials

The Diorama Sofa is a sustainable, luxury sofa brand that's designed to last and manufactured in California. Its eco-compression packaging reduces transport emissions by over 300% per shipment! Did you know that 19 million acres of deforestation occurs every year? The designers of this brand did not want to contribute any further to this devastating impact this has on our planet. So they created a frameless sofa that does not consume a single tree. 

They have 18 different fabric options, all of which are Oeko-Tex Certified. You can be sure they are free from hazardous chemicals or treatments, making them safe for both you and your furry friends. And finally their packaging materials are non-toxic, recycled and utilize renewable foam. The Diorama sofa is a great investment if your goal is to look after our planet.

The Sofa by Floyd

Sustainability Features at a Glance:

  • Made in the USA
  • Full Cycle Resale Shop
  • TSCA Title VI Compliant 
  • CARB-2 Certified
  • Annual sustainability goals

First up we have The Sofa created by Floyd. It is mostly made in the USA which reduces resources and energy used during the construction. They make the sofa frame from either the all-natural, top-grade birch plywood or radiata pine plywood. Both wood types are TSCA Title VI compliant and CARB-2 Certified which means that they are free of formaldehyde and other harmful toxins. Over the past year Floyd launched Full Cycle, which is a resale shop that extends the life of their products. What’s more is, they started measuring and offsetting the carbon emissions from their transportation in order to reduce their carbon footprint. They also provide a guide to their customers on how to sell, donate, or recycle once they’re ready to dispose of their products which is a unique and innovative way to support sustainable living. You can also download Floyd’s annual “Impact Report” which details the methods they used to create sustainable products.

But Floyd didn’t stop there.  They have big plans for the future too and intend to reach their goals by 2025.  Check them out below:

Sustainability Goals by 2025

  1. Ensure 70% of material comes from either recycled or renewable sources.
  2. Minimize packing materials and eliminate single use plastics.
  3. Use 100% FSC certified wood across all products.
  4. Measure, disclose, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our supply chain.

The Bondi by Inside Weather

Sustainable Features at a Glance:

  • Made in the USA + domestically sourced materials
  • Oeko-Tex Certified
  • Bluesign Certified 
  • FSC Certified
  • TSCA Title VI Compliant
  • Products feature upcycled materials
  • Recycled packaging made of renewable materials
  • 1 tree planted for every box shipped
  • Resale Shop
  • National Forest Foundation partnership: 1 tree planted for every order placed

The Bondi Collection by Inside Weather seems to be the most sustainably made sofa. First off, it’s made in the U.S, which reduces the amount of energy used to make the product itself.

Inside Weather also uses recycling and upcycling practices. They recycle any excess from their wood sheets. In fact, some of their designs are even intended to absorb such “waste” according to their website. The boxes they use to package their products are also made from upcycled, biodegradable materials. And finally they say that for every sofa made, roughly 200 plastic bottles are upcycled to make the foam used in the cushions.

The materials used across their products also seem to be quite sustainable… They use eco-solvent wood finishes, both the foam and wood is domestically sourced, and they use renewable foam in their packaging which is the first foam ever made of sugar-based contents in the industry. Their pillows also do their part to save the planet—the synthetic down material used being made of 100% recycled down alternative. 

They have certifications and organizations to back them up as well. The Bondi made-to-order sofa is Oeko-Tex Certified and Bluesign Certified both of which ensure that products are free of harmful toxins. For every order placed with them one tree is planted via the National Forest Foundation. They are also TSCA Title VI Compliant which means that their products are free of formaldehyde. And finally they are FSC Certified which means their wood materials come from responsibly managed forests. 

And finally check out their QuickShip items which reduce the amount of furniture going into the landfill. Many companies dispose of returned items even if they are in good condition. Instead of disposing of perfectly good products, Inside Weather instead puts them back up for sale at a discounted price to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Their website provides detail about sustainability in the descriptions of each product. Now that was quite a mouthful, but you get the point. We found Inside Weather to be a really great option if you’re on the search for sustainable furniture.

The Ludlow by Maiden Home

Sustainability Features at a Glance:

  • They use renewable, soy-based foam
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certified

Maiden Home is proud to build sofas with sustainable practices that will keep the toxins out of your home. All of their products seem to be somewhat equally sustainable and The Ludlow Collection is one our favorite picks!

Their cushions, fabrics, and wood all have eco-friendly features. First of all, the cushions are made with renewable, soy-based foam and are CertiPUR-US® Certified. This means that they are free from formaldehyde, flame retardants, ozone depleters, and other hazardous toxins. All of their fabrics are made without antifungal additives as well. But they go a step further with their Performance fabrics that feature Crypton® Home and Sunbrella. These are made stain-resistant with GREENGUARD Gold Certified non-toxic treatments. And finally their wood is responsibly sourced and meets the Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards. They also use low-VOC, water-based glues and stains whenever possible.

While Maiden Home doesn’t seem to focus heavily on marketing their brand as sustainable, they are doing a pretty good job at providing sustainable materials to the customer. If you’re looking for a chic traditional sofa, Maiden Home’s Ludlow will not disappoint.

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