The discussion around ‘fast fashion’ recently has been an interesting and thought-provoking one. It has encouraged people to think about making more careful purchases, investing in fewer, quality items and shopping second hand.
For the sake of the planet, I believe we should consider taking the same approach when furnishing our homes. I know a lot of people already do their bit – upcycling junk shop furniture for example has been really popular for years now and fun to do. In fact, when I first started this blog back in 2013, my hobby was transforming old pieces of furniture and giving them a new lease of life with a coat of paint and new knobs and handles.
Although I don’t have the time to do that as much now, I still try to furnish and style my home in a considered way. I admit I love a trend and a high street home accessory now and then to refresh a room, but I don’t shop excessively and try to only purchase the things I really love or need.
When buying new homeware or furniture, it is a great idea to invest in a few pieces that are not only well made but sourced sustainably. That’s why I was excited to discover Harfi recently. This brand is all about creating the perfect home with ethically sourced, handmade homeware and lifestyle products from talented artisans across the globe.
The collections are on trend but with a timeless quality. If you love the relaxed, boho interior vibe, you’ll adore Harfi’s products. Thinking about investing in a few, statement pieces for the home? If so, these would be my favourites:
Beni Ourain Rug
A standout, must-have product for me is the classic Beni Ourain rug. These beautiful, large wool Moroccan handmade rugs in cream and black look stunning in any home and give an instant instagram-worthy update to your living room or bedroom. Not only that, the thick, sumptuous wool adds a layer of luxury to the floor, making it cosy, warm and soft underfoot. The perfect accessory for this season!
A quality throw is a versatile item that can add colour and texture to a room. Drape it on a sofa, chair or bed – you could even display it as a wall hanging. If your sofa or armchair is looking a bit tired, don’t rush to replace it – simply add a fabulous throw like this one:
The Nahla Moroccan throw in mustard has decorative pom pom tassels and would enhance any the home in any season.
One of the most popular ethical handmade homeware items has to be the humble woven basket. So useful and versatile, these handy storage baskets can help contain clutter in the living room, store blankets in the bedroom or even act as plant holders. Not only practical, they also add a bit of character to a space. The most popular basket shape currently has to be the handwoven ‘belly’ basket which has a lovely Moroccan vibe.
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Other Eco Friendly Ideas
Of course, beyond shopping there are other things we can be mindful of when it comes to creating a beautiful and sustainable home. Earlier this year I was fortunate to visit a very special eco house – the first in Europe to achieve performance standards set by the renowned German Passivhaus Institute. This amazing Victorian house was retrofitted in such a way as to be totally eco friendly with zero energy bills. It was fascinating and gave me pause for thought; we may not be able to achieve quite the same eco-credentials, but there are definitely ideas to take away, for example:
Choose sustainably sourced wood – To help combat deforestation, look for wooden furniture that is made using sustainably sourced wood. There should be a label that says ‘FSC certified wood’ on products that have been made using resources that are responsibly managed. Rather than factory mass-produced furniture, smaller independent furniture makers could give you a really unique and sustainable piece of furniture to cherish.
Re-use & recycle – when we embrace pre-loved items, whether chairs, sideboards, tableware, vases or curtains, not only can you save money but you are doing your bit for the environment. It pays to look on ebay and gumtree for second hand items – and don’t forget to sell or give away your unwanted furniture and homeware, too!
Choose Eco-Friendly Paint – there are more organic paint products on the market than ever these days; look for those that say ‘low VOC’ as they are better for the environment, containing less chemicals, but are not inferior in terms of colour choice or performance.
Be creative – if we update what we already have, for example reupholster an armchair or get the sewing machine out to create curtains, blinds and cushion covers from vintage fabrics, we can create really individual, one-of-a-kind homes guilt-free!
Collectively I believe we can be ethical in our choices, without sacrificing a beautiful home in the process. Would you agree?