Sustainable furniture companies make furniture made from recycled, upcycled, or eco-friendly material. Up until now, they had a very niche demand; used by environmentally-conscious interior designers and clients. However, in the wake of a global pandemic and government-imposed lockdowns, this seems to be changing. A positive effect that humans have noticed, is the way nature is returning to normalcy. Visuals of clear water, clear skies, and endangered animals making a comeback have led many to question the impact of human beings on nature.
In the future, it seems that many more people will look to adopting sustainable solutions in their daily life and that includes the products we use at home- kitchenware, home décor, tableware, and furniture. Luckily, there are existing sustainable furniture companies & curators in India who have developed a catalog of eco-friendly, upcycled solutions and have been under Infurnia’s radar. Here are some of them.
Hyderabad-based Bamboo House India was founded by Aruna Kappagantula and Prashant Lingam in the year 2008. The inspiration for the company came from a furniture shopping expedition, where they found that the Indian market is filled with furniture made from non-eco-friendly plastic and composite material. This led to the setting up of Bamboo House India which is a company focussed on promoting bamboo furniture and household items; crafted by Indian artisans. Bamboo grows easily in India, can be harvested thrice in a year and being a grass, it simply grows back. Sturdy and durable, the furniture is completely bio-degradable. Interestingly, the company has diversified into a special project with the local municipality, in making upcycled furniture from storage drums, tires, and PET bottles that are collected from waste dump yards. The product range includes pouf, ottomans, and storage units. Overall, Bamboo House India provides enough and more options for anyone looking to include bamboo furniture in their interior design.
This Mumbai based company manufactures furniture from an unlikely material- cardboard. Founded by Haresh Mehta, Paper Shaper makes sturdy corrugated sheet based furnishing items. From cardboard baby cots, desks, sofas, and even coffins; it’s a sustainable furniture company born from the passion of origami. Furniture by Paper Shaper is reasonably priced owing to low raw material costs and cost between INR 1000 to INR 12000. Haresh Mehta’s vast experience in being a corrugated box manufacturer lends to the quality of Paper Shaper products and his creative mind lends to its extensive range. While the children’s furniture range has found has become largely popular owing to their child-friendly features; the adaptation by environmentally conscious consumers has also been surprisingly encouraging.
The globally renowned furniture retailer has for decades been focussing on a range of sustainable solutions as a part of its inventory. Combining eco-friendly material with great design, IKEA has shown that sustainable furniture companies need not make dull products. The company not only focuses on sustainability in terms of raw material usage but also the carbon footprint created by transportation. From using recycled ocean plastics to create furniture to weaving baskets out of rice straws; IKEA has found innovative ways of introducing eco-friendliness into their products. Recently, IKEA launched its limited-edition Hantwerk range of furniture and décor which consists of handmade products made from sustainable, upcycled, and recycled material. This was done in collaboration with India-based social enterprises such as Industree Foundation and Rangsutra. The collection uses material such as sustainable banana fibers and cotton.
Ubyld meaning “you build” is a Bangalore-based sustainable furniture company that creates products out of upcycled pine-wood and sells them as DIY furniture. Founded by Shobha Nair, Pradeep Nair, and Denzil D’Souze; the online seller has a vast range of products such as sofas, beds, cabinets, garden furniture, and more. Elegant, luxurious, and long-lasting, the wooden furniture is aesthetically appealing. Unlike most DIY products, which use poor quality raw material, the wood used by Ubyld, despite being upcycled, is of superior quality. The company’s online sales are mostly for DIY furniture however, for completely assembled pieces, one can step into the Ubyld store in Bangalore.
Realising that most of India’s high-quality handcrafted furniture and home décor items were being exported, despite the growing demand within, Anurag Singh, Ishita Singh, and Sumit Rastogi founded Fabuliv. The sustainable furniture manufacturer produces products made from glass, wood, terracotta, and eco-mix; the sourcing of which is done in a careful manner. Rooted in encouraging Indian artisans, the company hires them in-house to create unique elements. Consciously, the founders have focussed on controlling their carbon foot-print and making their eco-friendly products available to customers at an affordable price.
As the awareness about sustainability and impact of waste generation on the environment increases exponentially, there is bound to be a global shift in the way furniture is made. If current trends are any indication, not only will demand to intensify but there will be an increase in sustainable furniture manufacturing companies. In light of this, architects, interior designers, and home decorators will do well in adapting and creating their own source list for sustainable furniture.