Furnishing your new place is always an exciting endeavor — are you going all millennial pinks or minimalist bronze accessories? — but increasingly, younger generations are looking for a crucial element in their décor-buying decisions: whether their furniture is eco-friendly. Architectural Digest reported in 2018 that, according to data from furniture maker West Elm, "about 85 percent of millennials seek out responsibly sourced product." For millennials, furniture doesn't just need to look good; it needs to be part of a wider environmentally-friendly context, from its manufacturing to its purpose.
Sustainably-made furniture is becoming easier to find, and there are new innovations being made every day; high-end furniture makers are looking to innovative recycled materials to produce new pieces, according to Wallpaper, while cheaper options are being constructed out of everything from mushrooms to recycled plastic and tree bark. If you're on a hunt for environmentally friendly furniture, it's no longer likely that you'll be met with a clueless look from your local furniture salesperson. Making sure that you get sustainable furniture doesn't necessarily mean spending a lot; it means asking the right questions and doing your research to identify where your product comes from, how it's made and how well it'll last. Here are five key ways to ensure your furniture is doing the least amount of harm to the planet.