With extravagant, luxurious furniture stores scattered throughout the city, it might be difficult to vet out the more sustainable options, but there are actually plenty to choose from. Listed below are green furniture options for every budget in Boston.
Twelve Chairs in Boston’s South End features funky, high-end furnishings with sustainability and environmental stewardship in mind. Everything offered at the store must meet certain environmental criteria. The young founders strongly believe that good design is not only beautiful, but also ethical, functional and environmentally sound. Twelve Chairs is perfect for those looking for furniture with a vibe that mixes modern, rustic and bohemian styles.
Furnishings from Bostonwood are 100 percent made in New England, which not only provides local jobs in a slow economy, but also means the products have a lower travel footprint because the materials are not shipped across the country or from overseas. Bostonwood also tries to reduce waste produced during the manufacturing process by donating discarded sawdust to local farms.
Circle Furniture is a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, which was created to promote sustainable practices among manufacturers and retailers of home goods. Preservation and conservation are at the core of Circle Furniture’s mission, so all of its wood offerings are responsibly sourced to prevent deforestation.
SOWA Open Market
Of course, the greenest furniture of all is secondhand furniture. SOWA Open Market in the South End is a great place to find vintage goods and furniture made from reclaimed materials. SOWA is Boston’s most well-known flea market, but this isn’t your average yard sale. SOWA invites artists and local vendors to show their goods, and trendy food trucks line the streets as shoppers dig for vintage treasures.
Whether your local thrift shop is a high-end vintage shop or a national budget chain, you’re likely to find a variety of pre-owned furniture. Like shopping on Craigslist, thrift shopping requires a bit of patience and imagination. Just think what a can of paint or a re-upholstering job could do. Thrift shopping makes many people nervous because they want their home to have a unified, cohesive look, but there are many ways to achieve this with used furniture. Shopping within a certain color palette or time period aesthetic can help guide decisions. And remember, some of the world’s most prominent interior designers use thrifted and vintage items in their magazine-worthy projects.
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Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.