By Chedva Kleinhandler, Houzz
I always strive to make my home more sustainable and ecofriendly, but every year, I'm reminded to pay more attention to the environmental impact of my decor choices. I hope you can all gather ideas below for choosing ecofriendly fabric and using it in your home.
Nina Jizhar, original photo on Houzz
Natural can mean bold and beautiful. When using natural-fiber fabrics such as cotton, wool or linen, buy organic when you can. Otherwise, the harm caused by chemicals and pesticides used to grow and manufacture the fabrics may outweigh the advantages.
Organic cotton comes in many forms: high end, indie designed or straight from a web retailer. Designer Nina Jizhar upholstered the wingback chair above in an organic cotton she designed.
The Lettered Cottage, original photo on Houzz
The fun thing about linen and cotton is that they are so versatile and used for many different weaves. Some, like velvet, are delicate and elegant. Some give a more rustic vibe, like these burlap curtains that lend texture and depth to this nook.
Ecofriendly fabric is available at almost any level and price point. You can find it at fabric e-commerce websites, to-the-trade companies or specialty companies such as Rubie Green, which sells green fabric exclusively.
Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25, original photo on Houzz
There are many opportunities to go green when you're shopping in big retail stores. This popular pintuck duvet from West Elm is made of organic cotton. Just make sure to read the product information.
Why not wool? Unlike linen and cotton, wool isn't made from plants; but when you buy organic wool, it ensures the sheep are being fed and treated well — and who wouldn't want that kind of peace of mind?
Man-made green. Synthetic fabric may not sound very green, but many ecofriendly fabrics are made of 100 percent recycled polyester from bottles and other plastic containers.
While polyester has many advantages (like being less prone to staining and creasing than cotton or linen), it's still a less sustainable choice than organic natural fabrics.
Zin Home, original photo on Houzz
Hemp is all the rage. Not only is the production of hemp fibers chemical free, some even argue it improves the soil where it is grown. Hemp fabric is also extra durable, so it's a great choice for furniture that gets a lot of wear and tear — such as your dining chairs or your sofas.
Sustainable vintage. Using secondhand furniture is not only trendy and affordable, but also sustainable. Vintage Renewal is a Colorado boutique that uses vintage or upcycled fabric to give formerly used furniture a new lease on life.
Niche Interiors, original photo on Houzz
Here, vintage linen was used to reupholster a bench by the foot of a bed for a country-style bedroom.
Stretch vintage fabric onto a canvas for instant, low-maintenance art — perfect for kids' spaces and craft rooms.
Kate Jackson Design, original photo on Houzz
Here, designer Kate Jackson got chairs and stools from Lee Industries and Hickory Chair, two companies known for their sustainable furniture. The two companies also invest in soy-based foam for the seats, sustainable wood and more.
Details count. Even a small measure such as getting an organic cotton blanket instead of a nonorganic one is a step forward.