Sabai Design Makes Sustainable Furniture At A Millennial Price Point
Between student loans and high costs of living, many millennials have less freedom to spend than their parents' generation did. This means often having to make the tough decision between buying either products that are affordable and bad for the environment, or stretching your budget to purchase products that are more sustainable. However, a recently launched furniture company is all about showing customers you can be about both sustainability and convenience: Sabai Design has the chicest, Earth-friendly sofas and sectionals you could ask for — and, they won't drain your savings account.
Caitlin de Lisser-Ellen and Phantila Phataraprasit, the co-founders of the Sabai Design, were inspired to launch their company when they went to ditch their IKEA furniture from college, and realized there weren't many furniture brands for young folks that were affordable, eco-friendly, and easy to assemble.
"We had trouble finding mid-tier furniture that we felt met all of our needs as modern women. We needed a couch that was convenient, [that] looked nice and felt nice, and [that] also reflected our growing desire to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of our lives," the co-founders tell Bustle via email. "Rather than waiting on that company to magically appear, we decided to dive in and try our hand at it."
Sabai — which is a Thai word meaning "comfortable" or "cozy" — features contemporary living room furniture, including three main products: the Essential Sofa, the Essential Sectional, and the Essential Ottoman. The Essential Sofa comes in single cushion and three cushion options, and costs $900. For people who like to lounge, the Essential Sectional will cost you just a tad more at $1,100. The Essential Ottoman — a nice touch to either the sofa or sectional — will set you back $250. All three pieces of furniture are available in a variety of natural colors (these colors can be switched up with slipcovers), and you can choose from two different shades of wood for the legs. According to de Lisser-Ellen and Phataraprasit, "The materials are as sustainable as possible to reach the price point — FSC certified frames, Certipur certified foam, recycled fiber pillows, and your choice of cotton, or recycled water bottle polyester velvet." As of now, the sofa, sectional, and ottoman are only available for pre-order on their site, but they are estimated to ship in early July 2019.
In addition to their contemporary living room furniture, Sabai Design also has a selection of pillows that are currently available for purchase on the online shop. There are a number of textured and patterned covers made from 100% cotton to choose from, as well as inserts made from recycled poly-fil. The prices range from $40 to $45. Any orders placed that are over $100 ship for free.
Sustainability as Sabai doesn't stop after your furniture is delivered, either. Sabai Design has a Closed Loop Promise, which guarantees that the company will buy back furniture at 20% of cost from New York customers, within three years of purchase, to keep sofas out of landfills. In a way, the two entrepreneurs hope this effort sets an example for customers, and others in the furniture industry that there are small things they can do to be more environmentally-conscious on a regular basis. "Sustainability is a collective effort. [...] Rather than overwhelming people to the point that they feel incapable of making a difference, Sabai is trying to meet everyone in the middle."
Though Sabai Design may not have a large furniture collection at the moment, de Lisser-Ellen and Phataraprasit say they plan to expand upon their furnishings, and they hope to make their living room furniture even more eco-friendly as time goes on.