How to make stylish sustainable changes to your home

Reuse, up-cycle & save waste

I hate throwing things away. From glass jars to beautiful wrapping paper, I see a second life for everything and furniture is no different. You could repaint an old chair or stool to show it off in a different light. What was once a step-up stool would work equally well as a side table in your living room.

I’ve recently taken to drying out bouquets of flowers, transforming a perishable gift into something that will last years. Side note - they can be quite brittle so be careful as you handle them.

Use a rug as a tapestry or a tea towel as wall art (see the feature here). No item is bound to one preconceived function - get creative and you’ll be surprised by what you can do with what you already have.

Dried flowers saved from the bin

Buy less, buy better & buy second-hand

I’m a self-confessed shopaholic so I’m trying really hard to get into this one. Over the years, I’ve realised the items I appreciate are not always the most expensive but are the ones made with quality. They’ve stood the test of time and come out with bumps and scratches that create character.

Buying second-hand can also be a great way of getting affordable quality furniture that won’t go out of style. Facebook marketplace and ebay are my favourites for finding pre-loved treasures, and I love a local car-boot sale too. You could even buy something and put your own spin on it with a new shade, re-upholstered in a different fabric or give it a new paint finish.

Marcel Breuer cesca chair found on Facebook Marketplace for £20.00

Swot up on emerging sustainable materials

From mycelium mushroom surfaces to low VOC paints, brands are pushing the boat out on developing new sustainable materials.

The interiors industry is finally waking up to the demand for sustainable options, so don’t be afraid to ask about the environmental impact of a product when buying. This holds your local shop accountable for what they’re selling, spreading the awareness of this movement in the world of interiors.

Know where it’s made

Another aspect to check-up on is where things are made. Fast fashion has got better addressing this through more visibility on supply chains and manufactures, but the homewares industry has a way to go. Shop locally where possible so you’ll know exactly where your items come from and you can rest easy with a smaller carbon footprint.

Donate - it's the circle of life

The good old saying “someone's trash is someone else's treasure” is 100% true. Donate your unwanted furniture or decor items to your local charity store. If your item is too large, arrange a collection (Red Cross & many other charities offer this for free). Alternatively if you think you could earn a bit of cash - why not flog it on Facebook marketplace or ebay to earn some cash and help someone else find what they’ve been looking for!

I picked up this shell trinket tray from ebay & the shells from a trip to the beach