Alternatives to buying new:
. Update your old furniture with a coat of paint and new handles etc.
. Ebay – on-line sale room for new and used items.
. Donate unwanted items to your local Besom – a Christian charity providing a bridge between those who want to give time, money, things or skills and those who are in need.
. Streetbank – local community network for sharing things.
Ethical furniture and accessories:
If you are buying curtains, bed linen, cushions etc it is likely that they may consist of cotton – have a look at my page on clothes to read about the production of cotton and how important it is that we buy Fair Trade, organic cotton wherever possible.
When buying wooden furniture look out for FSC labelling (Forest Stewardship Council logo). This ensures that the wood you are buying is from forests that are managed with consideration for people, wildlife and the environment.
. Myakka – fairly traded furniture from India. I have a few items of furniture / accessories from here and love them! They get great compliments too.
. Warren Evans –UK’s best green bedroom furniture company, all FSC and handmade in London. All our bedroom furniture comes from Warren Evans – we’ve had it for years and it’s still looking great and does exactly what you want bedroom furniture to do.
. Traidcraft – as well as beautiful gifts and ethical clothes Traidcraft do a gorgeous range of bed linen and other home accessories.
. Nigel’s Eco Store – the best innovative energy saving products and eco gifts direct to your door.
. One Village – working with craftmakers’ cooperatives and community enterprises in Asia and Africa.
. Fou Furnishings – organic bed, bath and table linens, using the highest quality organic cottons, for homes and hospitality businesses.
. Abaca – 100% organic natural mattresses, bedding and beds.
. The Worm That Turned – garden accessories and gifts.
. Modish Living – the home of Scandinavian style – reclaimed wood furniture, from barns, railway sleepers, fishing boats etc.
. Peepultree – fairly traded and sustainable solid timber furniture and a unique collection of handicrafts, gifts and lighting.
. Decorator’s Notebook – this web-site has lots of lovely homeware and gifts.
. Ikea – invariably when kitting out a new house etc you will end up buying at least some things from Ikea (like it or not!). I was therefore pleased to read about their Foundation and work with refugees as a partner with UNHCR. Also, currently 78% of their cotton is ethically sourced, and they are working on the rest. Furthermore, Ikea are investing significant amounts to tackle climate change.
House building and decorating:
. Ecos Organic Paints – odourless, solvent free, water-based 108 colours of paint.
. Eco Merchant – sustainable building materials – suppliers of natural insulation, windows, doors, lime plasters, renewable energy systems etc.
. Salvo – the Salvo Directory lists architectural salvage dealers, showing yards shops and showrooms where you can buy antique, reclaimed, salvaged and green material as well as vintage, retro and upcycled goods.
. Natural Collection – good range of ethical food / clothing / toiletries / cleaning products / presents. This is the site I use for all my non-perishable shopping e.g. cans, cleaning products, flour, toiletries etc etc. They offer delivery in recycled packaging.
. Ethical Superstore – Fairtrade, eco-friendly, Organic & UK-made shopping.
. Traidcraft – established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty-fighting poverty through trade.
. DoJo Ecoshop – the natural choice for great eco alternatives to everyday goods. A unique range of natural organic mattresses, beds made from sustainably produced timber, organic bedding and towels, greener home and gardening, eco paint, recycled mats for shiatsu and yoga, fairly traded toys and sustainable fabrics, all sourced from ethical suppliers or made in their workshop from organic materials.
. Liv – clothing, homeware and skin-care – beautifully created, ethically made. Liv’s vision is to make it easy for you to find beautifully created, ethically made clothing and homeware that’s kind to your pocket.
. Greenshop – one of the UK’s leading environmental retailers.
. Friends of the Earth shop – a range of ethical food / cleaning products / gifts.
. Ecotopia is the eco-shop from Ecotricity – a range of ethical food / cleaning products / gifts / business supplies.
. By Nature – eco fashion / Organic underwear / ethical jewellery / eco gifts / green gift ideas / eco-friendly presents.
. Fab & Fair – beautiful goods sourced with care.
. Greenfibres – eco pioneers since 1996.
. Wikaniko – a UK company committed to helping families to become greener, benefiting themselves, their health and the environment, without it costing the earth – literally.