In 2020, "make a house a home," is simply Step 1—the real goal is to "make your home a holistic haven." The past few months have taught us just how important it is to curate a space you feel your most well self in, from the bed you sleep on to the air you breathe (which can be five times more polluted than outside air!). Trouble is, sustainable shopping can be confusing unless you know exactly what to look for. So, we're making your eco-friendly sourcing simple; it all comes down to three letters: MPL.
Materials: It's all about sourcing items made from renewable fabrics—±think cotton, wool, and linen. These materials are low maintenance in the best way; they are grown using sustainable farming practices and without chemical inputs. Whether you're upgrading the throw blanket on a new bed or need some place mats for outdoor dining this season, check the label to look out for:
- GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard): Only products that contain 70% organic fibers are GOTS certified and all chemical inputs have to meet specific environmental and toxicological standards.
- GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard): Products must contain 95% certified organic raw materials, and rubber plantations and processing units up to the final sale are certified according to the standard.
- Oeko-tex Standard 100: Oeko-tex Standard translates to "safe" in human ecological terms—every component of the product has been tested for harmful substances.
- MADE SAFE: A rigorous scientific screening process that only allows the use of ingredients that are not known or suspected to harm human health, animals, aquatic life, or ecosystems.
- Greenguard Gold: Identifies interior products that have low chemical emission, improving the quality of air in which the products are used.
Production: Aim for as many of your belongings as possible to have a positive or neutral environmental and social impact. In addition to organic certifications, which unite ecology and social responsibility, other certifications to look for are fair trade and carbon neutral. These take into account rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards (i.e., just wages and safe working conditions). Brands like Avocado Green Mattress are Climate Neutral Certified, which means they've calculated their entire footprint, from their farms in India all the way into your home, reducing where they can and offsetting where they can't.
Life Cycle: Ultimately, you want furniture and decorative accents that are built to last. Consider whether what you're buying is reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable. Materials like wood, glass, and ceramic tick the boxes and look good doing it. For larger items (like mattresses), look for 20-plus-year warranties that the company stands by. Avocado Mattresses, for example, have a 25-year warranty and are made with biodegradable and recyclable materials.
As a final check, always ask yourself: Am I riding a trend wave, or is this something I can see in my living space for the next 10 years? There's nothing worse (and more wasteful) than designing your home in the style of the moment, only to change it in six months. Think Avocado Green Mattress, not rotating water bed.