21 UK ethical furniture brands making funky & fair furniture

Beautiful room with cream furniture and ethical and sustainable furniture

21 UK ethical furniture brands making funky & fair furniture

The furniture industry is something that often isn’t at the forefront of sustainability discussions. However, this multi-billion dollar industry is not always on the right side of ethical production and environmentally friendly practices either.

So, to make the quest for sustainable furniture a little easier, we have compiled a round-up of ethical furniture brands UK conscious consumers can love.

Contents

What is fast furniture?

Many of us may be familiar with the fast fashion sector. Fast furniture operates with the same principles. It is an industry that relies on low-quality products that are sold at a low price, incorporating rapid and mass production as the foundation of the industry.

Many fast furniture products are made of unsustainable materials, including virgin plastics and wood sourced from illegal logging practices.

The amount of furniture that is being thrown away is also staggering. Nine million tons of furniture is discarded every year, an amount roughly equivalent to 5% of annual landfill waste.

The majority of furniture now rotting in landfill was made within the last fifteen years. A growing attitude of treating furniture as disposable, following rapidly changing trends and fads, is driving waste levels and fuelling an industry that creates low quality products with the aim of rapid repurchasing.

What to look for in ethical and sustainable furniture

Many of the same concepts that we talk about with sustainable fashion relate directly to sustainable and ethical furniture too. Ethical furniture brands in the UK consider every stage of production, from the materials to the overall durability of a product. While their furniture styles may differ, most sustainable brands operate with the same core values.

Beautiful room with large windows and a view

1. Sustainable materials

A major part of what makes furniture sustainable is the products it is made from. When looking for sustainable furniture look for brands using recycled and sustainable raw materials. This means recycled plastics and natural materials with sustainable certifications. Forest Stewardship Council certification is one to look out for when purchasing pieces made from wood.

2. Free from toxins

From toxic chemicals used in plastic production to the menagerie of toxins involved in leather tanning, many furniture pieces are exposed to toxins throughout production.

Many end finishes too, such as stain and water resistance used on fabrics and carpets contain PFAs. These are now shown to be highly toxic and even carcinogenic.

Sustainable brands reject this model. They reduce as much as possible, or eliminate entirely, toxins in their supply chain and on their finished products to ensure products offer less risk to both the environment and human health.

For more on this theme, check out our articles on non toxic mattresses and organic mattress toppers.

3. Fair supply chains

A product can’t be ethical if workers were mistreated along the supply chain. Supply chain transparency, ethical certifications from organisations such as Fair Trade, and robust policies for upholding workers’ rights are essential for an ethical company.
Many ethical and fair trade furniture makers are small businesses or artisan makers, further facilitating a safe work environment.

4. No harm to animals

A lot of furniture retailers use animal-based products such as wool and leather. While opting for certified vegan products is the best way to ensure no animals were harmed, companies that source materials with certifications such as Responsible Wool Standard are also a good place to start.

5. Minimal waste

Like with the fashion industry, as noted earlier, waste represents a core problem in the furniture sector. Ethical furniture brands look to minimise the waste they create. Innovative cutting techniques to reduce scraps, made-to-order production models, and take-back schemes are all things to look for when searching for sustainable furniture.

6. Recyclable

Ethical furniture manufacturers consider what will happen to their furniture pieces when they can no longer be used. This means ensuring that furniture can be recycled, either through take-back schemes, or other recycling programs, to help reduce waste from the industry.

7. Long-lasting and repairable

Much like fashion, if furniture needs to be rapidly replaced it can not only end up costing consumers more in the long run, but also poses a significant environmental issue.

The best eco-friendly furniture brands make products built to last and have practical ways that pieces can be repaired if they do break. This means that furniture can be kept for a long time. 

Ethical furniture for UK consumers

Our website is reader supported. We sometimes earn a small affiliate commission for purchases made through links in our posts, at no extra cost to you. Read more about our policy.

Whether you are wanting elegant designs, art deco home decor, or contemporary styles, these are the sustainable furniture brands we love making pieces for UK shoppers that need a new furniture update.

1. Nkuku

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Mainly India
Price: £15 – £3,000
Sustainability creds: Some handmade products, use of some sustainable materials, charity partnerships, works with artisans

Nkuku creates furniture styles that are sophisticated and classic while still having a relaxed element. The brand uses natural materials, including leather and mango wood to create products that embrace an earthy vibe and that are built to stand the test of time.

Nkuku has made some steps towards becoming more sustainable. It has been conscious to try and limit its impact in its choice of materials, however, the use of, or more information regarding certified materials would be great to see.

2. Ecobirdy @ Selfridges

Based: Belgium Ships to: Worldwide (available through Selfridges)
Made in: Italy
Price: £190 – £820
Sustainability creds: Use of recycled materials, circular economy learning materials

Proving that old toys can still be fun, Ecobirdy creates mainly funky kids furniture (with a few styles for grown ups too) from discarded plastic toys. The designs from this innovative brand are colourful and quirky, ergonomically designed, and made to brighten up any space.

Championing circular economy principles, furniture made by Ecobirdy is created 100% from waste products, including old toys. Inspiring the next generation, the brand has also developed a school-programme to introduce the littlest eco-warriors to a sustainable future.

3. Tom Raffield @ Heals

Based: UK Ships to: UK (Available through Heals)
Made in: UK
Price: £135 – £960
Sustainability creds: FSC-certified timber, local production

Understanding that the correct lighting can make or break a space, Tom Raffield designs unique lamps and light fixtures to add the finishing touch to any room. These playful handmade designs draw inspiration from everything from traditional Cornish baskets to the ebb and flow of the sea against the shore.

Tom Raffield uses timber from FSC-certified sources to make these stunning designs. Products are handmade and produced locally in Cornwall, taking a slower approach to production.

4. Boori

Based: Australia/UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: China
Price: £30 – £1,200
Sustainability creds: FSC-certified timber, convertible products

Taking inspiration from nature, Australian brand Boori creates furniture to suit the needs of newborns right through to the teenage years. Understanding that kids grow quickly, the brand makes innovative designs to grow with children. Products such as expandable cot beds that can become full adult-size beds and convertible beds that get a new life as sofas offer something unique in the market.

Boori uses certified timber to limit its impact. Boori’s concept of furniture that grows with children helps to limit repurchasing of items and the waste this creates.

5. Funky Chunky Furniture

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Made in: UK
Price: £20 – £1,800
Sustainability creds: Local manufacturing, use of natural materials, made-to-order production model, sustainable materials

For sustainable wood furniture look no further than Funky Chunky Furniture. Embracing rustic design styles, the brand uses natural wood for many of its pieces. Handmade, each piece is individual and represents a dedication to quality craftsmanship.

Understanding the responsibility it holds to act sustainably, the label uses FSC-certified wood to minimise its impact. Its made-to-order approach helps to reduce waste and deliveries are carbon-neutral if you choose the Shop Pay option.

6. Hannun

Based: Spain Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Europe
Price: €30 – €2,000
Sustainability creds: Certified B Corporation, FSC certified materials, PeTA Approved Vegan, Carbon Neutral, use of sustainable materials, PEFC certified

Hannun puts sustainable production and expert craftsmanship at the core of its furniture designs. It creates gorgeous wooden furniture plus sofas and beautiful homewares. Many of its items have a nature-based feel, incorporating rustic wooden elements, combined with a stylish minimalistic approach.

Creating sustainable products designed by artisans, Hannun is on a mission to solve the furniture industry’s contribution to environmental destruction. The brand uses sustainable and natural materials to minimise its impact and has reputable certifications to back up its sustainability claims.

7. Graham & Green

Based: UK Ships to: UK & Ireland
Price: £38 – £3,000
Sustainability creds: Use of recycled materials, supports charitable causes

Graham & Green utilises quality materials, expert design and a refined colour palette to make furniture that is classy and elegant. Aiming to create furniture that delights, the label pays attention to even the smallest of details when making its quality pieces which range from garden, to sofas to home accessories.

Graham & Green uses recycled materials in some of its products and supports charitable initiatives that work with young people. However, more concrete policies or information regarding the brand’s sustainable activities would be great.

8. Rockett St George

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Price: £25 – £3,500
Sustainability creds: Use of some recycled and reclaimed materials, elements of some packaging is sustainable, aims to improve sustainable practices, charity partnerships

Products on offer from Rockett St George have just the right amount of quirky charm. Many pieces from this UK ethical furniture maker incorporate an almost rustic feel, while the expert craftsmanship and clever design makes them still feel modern and chic. The brand has a range of ethical homewares, as well as furniture for every room in the house.

Rockett St George has identified some good areas to focus sustainable improvement plans and has made goals to increase sustainability. We’d love to see further concrete, meaningful and organisational-wide practices and policies if possible!

9. Wolf & Badger

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide (stores in the UK & USA)
Price: £10 – £5500
Sustainability creds: B Corp certified, ethical marketplace, cruelty-free products, ethical supply chains

With quirky lampshades and funky ethical homewares on offer, items from the Wolf & Badger ethical marketplace bring individuality and fun to any space. A platform for ethical companies and designers, Wolf & Badger hosts a wide range of products. Many styles incorporate bright colours and contemporary designs to create products with a real flair.

Wolf & Badger’s ethical marketplace simplifies the process of finding sustainable and ethical products. The organisation ensures brands adhere to strict ethical policies before listing them through the Wolf & Badger platform, giving assurance to consumers that a product is genuine in its ethical claims.

10. Made Trade

Based: USA Ships to: Worldwide
Price: $125 – $6200
Sustainability creds: Climate Neutral Certified, ethical marketplace, use of recycled materials, hand made products

Offering minimalist furniture designs, furniture styles hosted by Made Trade are created with a contemporary aesthetic in mind. Styles combine block colours, natural materials and a variety of textures to create furniture that feels fresh and sleek.

Built on the foundations of sustainability and ethics, Made Trade vets every brand before adding it to its catalogue. The company has been included in Cosmopolitan and has achieved Climate Neutral status.

11. Barker & Stonehouse

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Price: £70 – £11,500
Sustainability creds: Carbon Neutral Plus, founding partner of Trees 4 Trees, sustainably designed stores, electric vehicle deliveries

Furniture from Barker & Stonehouse is contemporary and sleek with industrial elements that give pieces a unique look. The brand’s use of natural unpainted wood and industrial metal gives a stylish contrast within its pieces to create some cool design pieces.

For every delivery the company makes, they plant a tree through the Trees 4 Trees program. Taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability, the company’s stores are equipped with renewable energy innovations and living walls.

12. Smithers of Stamford

Based: UK Ships to: UK, USA & Europe
Price: £18 – £18,750
Sustainability creds: Use of some sustainable materials

Furniture from Smithers of Stamford is where rustic charm meets industrial chic. The label’s wide range of products uses materials such as concrete, wood, metal and rawhide, showing an expert use of textures to make products that have an almost architectural feel.

Smithers of Stamford uses some reclaimed materials in its furniture, helping to reduce waste levels. However, a greater use of certified sustainable materials and comprehensive sustainable policies and practices would help to make this brand more eco-friendly.

13. Swoon Editions

Based: UK                       Ships to: UK 
Price: £29 – £3279
Sustainability creds: Small-batch production, ethical working principles, plans to further increase sustainability practices 

Having been seen in Vogue, GQ, as well as Elle Decor, Swoon Editions is a furniture company with some serious style credentials. Swoon has furniture pieces perfect for every room in the house, and is an organisation that is passionate about making every home the ultimate haven. Believing that everyone deserves the home of their dreams, the label also works to try and keep prices fair.

Swoon Editions supports a production model that emphasises small batch production. This manufacturing process goes a long way in reducing needless waste. The brand is also working on improving its returns process to better align with the organisation’s sustainable principles.

14. Oka

Based: UK                       Ships to: UK 
Price: £35- £3,795
Sustainability creds: Working to increase sustainability across the organisation, aims to reduce its carbon footprint

With a contemporary charm, OKA makes sleek pieces for modern living. Embracing a pared back aesthetic, OKA pieces let the quality of the design do all the talking. For sustainable furniture, UK customers can choose from styles for the bedroom, dining room, lounge, and even a range of trendy gifts. OKA has something for every room in the house.

OKA has started to give a greater focus to sustainable practices. The label has made commitments to reduce its overall carbon footprint and transition to use more sustainable materials. This commitment demonstrates a growing attitude of sustainable production which is a great thing to see from this label.

15. Brityard

Based: UK                       Ships to: UK
Made in: Supports UK makers
Price: £17 – £2500
Sustainability creds: Supports small independent makers, made to order products, items made from natural materials 

With an expertly curated collection of quality furniture pieces from independent British brands, BritYard had to be on our list of best sustainable furniture brands. The label puts a special focus on handcrafted pieces and has everything from cutting boards to deck chairs in its range. 

As well as furniture, the BritYard also hosts clothing, beauty products, and even luxury teas, coffees and other tasty goodies. 

BritYard exclusively stocks independent British brands. This gives a valuable avenue for consumers to reach smaller ethical companies. Items in the collection include made to order products and those incorporating natural materials.

16. Furniture Village

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Price: £100 – £30,000
Sustainability creds: Signed up to the British Retail Consortium Climate Action Roadmap, aims to become carbon neutral, eco-friendly furniture collection, use of some sustainable materials

One of the best known furniture retailers in the UK, Furniture Village has a wide variety of styles and designs. The store has furniture for every room in the house and has a range of products that are versatile to suit any room decor inspiration.

Furniture Village has made some good goals for improving its environmental impact and has started to make progress in achieving these goals. It would be great to also see more evidence of ethical supply chain practices too.

UK Second-hand platforms for ethical furniture

For affordable sustainable furniture, secondhand is a great idea! These platforms bring you some of the best in the UK.

17. Scaramanga

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Price: £45 – £1850
Sustainability creds: Vintage products, ethical supply chains, give-back schemes

Whether you are searching for a vibrant art deco cabinet, looking for a vintage storage trunk or hunting for a decades old school desk to add the finishing touch to a quirky home office, Scaramanaga is the place for you. This unique company specialises in everything vintage. They find quality pieces from the world of yesterday that make fabulous furniture additions in the homes of today.

By its very nature of reusing products, Scaramanga operates with a sustainable approach. The company also works with small-scale producers and artisans and supports gender equality and fair and safe conditions among its suppliers.

18. British Heart Foundation

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Sustainability/ethical creds: Preloved products, helps to support those living with heart conditions

When it comes to sustainable purchasing, there are few options more sustainable than shopping second-hand. Whether you are opting for a shabby chic look, elegant decor or funky abode, British Heart Foundation has a wide variety of preloved furniture products to suit any taste and style. Making this deal even sweeter, you are helping to support those in need in the process.

The British Heart Foundation helps to fund scientific breakthroughs and support those living with heart conditions across the UK. The organisation runs campaigns to help increase awareness and understanding of the importance of heart health. It finances millions of pounds in research every year.

19. Preloved.co.uk

Based: UK Ships to: UK (dependant on seller preferences)
Sustainability/ethical creds: Preloved marketplace

A great place to score some quality furniture for a fraction of the price, Preloved is, as the name may suggest, a platform for pre-loved items. As such, the online marketplace has a range of unique homewares and furniture that cuts out the middleman and sells directly from the furniture’s previous owner to the new consumer.

By its very nature as a preloved platform, Preloved offers a sustainable service. It helps to give furniture a second life, saving good products from being sent to landfill.

20. Lot.co.uk

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Sustainability/ethical creds: Preloved marketplace

Focusing on designer furniture, LOT offers a preloved platform for finding high quality, timeless pieces. The platform hosts the likes of well-known furniture designers such as Tom Schnieder, Fredrikson Stallard, and Gio Ponti, offering pieces that are unique and of superb quality.

Like other second-hand platforms, LOT helps to extend the life of quality products. Its preloved platform helps to keep quality materials out of landfill.  It also simplifies the process of finding quality preloved items through compiling them into one easy-to-use marketplace. 

21. Ikea’s Buy Back Scheme

Based: Sweden (UK HQ) Ships to: UK
Sustainability/ethical creds: Preloved items

While it is specific to Ikea products, this Swedish furniture giant offers a take back scheme, where used Ikea furniture is taken back by the company to be resold as preloved items.

Products are assessed to still be in good condition before they are accepted into the scheme, so you can be sure when using this service that you are buying quality products.

As a leader in the furniture industry, Ikea’s scheme helps to send a message that there are options to reduce waste and still maintain a profitable business model in the furniture sector. By engaging with the takeback scheme, consumers can get Ikea products for a fraction of the price they retail for when new.

Furniture for the future

While the sustainable furniture industry may still be growing, it is responsible for creating a sustainable choice. Brands making ethical furniture UK consumers can love help to change the way we shop for furniture.

The industry represents a fairer stance on production. It represents ethical brands go the extra mile to ensure sustainable materials are championed and carbon emissions are minimised. These sustainable brands are making furniture that can be loved for years to come.

For more ideas for ethical and sustainable furniture for your home, check out our articles on eco-friendly sofas and non-toxic and natural mattresses.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE: 5 SUSTAINABLE FASHION HACKS INSIDERS SWEAR BY TO SAVE YOU MONEY!

Sign up for your free guide and the latest sustainable fashion news, exclusive offers & the latest from us direct to your inbox every fortnight

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Good Maker Tales Ltd registered in England and Wales at: 124 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX. Company number 14279167.

© 2023 All rights reserved