Sustainability has become a big part of many people’s lives and some Singaporeans are willing to pay for it. In our Consumer Sentiment Study H2 2021, we found that 82% of Singaporeans are willing to consider paying more for a sustainable home.
Many are willing to invest in sustainable living and the top sustainable features that people want in their homes are smart cooling systems, high-insulation windows and doors, and solar panels.
However, these things are slightly less attainable on our own for those of us living in HDBs – unless you’re in flats where HDB is installing solar panels.
If you’re concerned about the environment, you would most likely have some environmentally friendly habits you already regularly do. Ditching single-use plastics and bringing your own reusable containers to get takeaway, consciously recycling, buying organic food, reducing buying of fast fashion – these are just some of the easier practices we can incorporate into our daily lives to reduce our environmental footprint.
Another way to reduce your impact on the environment is to get sustainable home furniture. This involves buying furniture made from ethically sourced materials like wood and produced responsibly. But why buy sustainable furniture anyway?
Why Should You Buy Sustainable Furniture?
Wood that comes from sustainably managed forests means that the forest owners are committed to preserving the continued sustainable growth of the forest and its ecosystem, including wildlife and community.
In other words, if you buy a piece of furniture made from sustainable wood, you know that it did not harm the environment or contribute to deforestation, was not illegally logged, and did not endanger the livelihoods of people. One indicator of a sustainable brand is if it’s FSC-certified. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organisation that sets the standards for sustainable forestry practices.
Protecting forests is clearly an issue close to heart: in the same Consumer Sentiment Study, 4 in 5 Singaporeans voiced the need to preserve forested areas from urban development.
Sustainable furniture can also mean fewer chemicals used in the production process, so the products are safe when they’re in your home. They are also less wasteful and may make use of recycled materials to reduce the impact on the environment. Here are some places you can find sustainable furniture.
Where to Find Sustainable Furniture Brands in Singapore
Sustainability is the name of the game for Creuse, which is all about turning unwanted wood into functional products. The company developed as a side business from Xcel Industrial Supplies, a local manufacturer and provider of innovative pallet and packaging solutions that advocates zero waste.
Creuse’s name itself means creative reuse of reclaimed or unwanted wooden pallets to reduce waste and contribute to the circular economy. Its products are upcycled from wooden pallets and transformed into functional furniture. What’s more, the company aims to share its zero-waste approach with Singapore and holds workshops for the public and educational programmes for kids.
The product range is small, but you can shop for furniture such as tables, stools and crates, as well as coasters and other small items.
Address: Xcel Industrial Supplies Pte Ltd, 3 Fourth Lok Yang Road, Singapore 629700
Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 8am – 6pm; Fri: 8am – 5pm
2. Woody Antique House
Think timeless vintage pieces sourced from all over Asia from China, Tibet, Mongolia and India, to Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. Each antique piece made from different types of solid wood has been refurbished and restored to pristine condition, so you not only get to take home a piece of heritage, but you also don’t contribute to any waste.
Woody Antique House also carries a Reborn Teak series which includes furniture made from recycled teak collected from old houses in Indonesia. To add colour to your home, there’s also a variety of outdoor chairs, tables and lounges and eclectic accessories such as lamps, screens, bronze statues and figurines.
Address: Blk 13 Dempsey Road, #01-05, Singapore 249674
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10am – 6pm; Sat – Sun: 10am – 7pm
3. WTP Furniture
For WTP Furniture, celebrating Southeast Asian heritage and timeless craftsmanship goes hand-in-hand with sustainable practices. The nearly three-decade-old furniture retailer started off as an antique store and now sells a wide range of furniture designed and crafted by its master artisans to withstand the test of time.
Its pieces – from dining tables and chairs to sideboards and lamps – come in a variety of styles from rustic to contemporary and eclectic, and are made from materials like rattan, oak, beech and mango wood.
On top of selling furniture, WTP also offers short- and long-term rentals of its products, interior design and upholstery services.
Address: 3 Kung Chong Road, Singapore 159141
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 10am – 7pm
4. Soul and Tables
Soul and Tables prides itself on offering consciously curated furniture that not only adds to the character of the home but also ensures that no harm is done to the environment. It carries an extensive range of furniture for the living room, kitchen, bedroom, and home office, from various European brands from Belgium, Netherlands, Asia, and the US.
Check out brands such as Ethnicraft and Karpenter which have FSC certification for their products made from solid wood. The brands have a variety of dining tables, drawers, desks, nightstands and consoles.
Address: Tan Boon Liat Building, #02-03 and #02-09, 315 Outram Road, Singapore 169074
Opening hours: daily 10am – 7pm
5. Mountain Living
At Mountain Living (formerly known as Mountain Teak), you’ll be able to find a range of solid wood furniture collections that are thoughtfully curated with the environment in mind. All the brands that the furniture retailer carries do not use lacquers and are free from volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are known to have detrimental effects on humans and the environment.
Most of the furniture it carries are made from sustainable woods such as teak, oak and walnut, and are certified by the FSC. Check out brands such as Karpenter and Square Roots for furniture. There’s also Herdmar for cutlery, Serax for homeware and Mountain Living’s own VOC-free bamboo tableware collection.
Address: Tan Boon Liat Building, #07-02, 315 Outram Road, Singapore 169074
Opening hours: daily 10.30am – 6.30pm
6. Grey and Sanders
With a philosophy of "life is too short for boring furniture", Grey and Sanders seeks to provide furniture that "tells a story". Each of the local furniture maker’s tables is unique and made by its own craftsmen from natural materials.
The company practices sustainability by ensuring that its materials and finishes are non-polluting. Its range of solid wood tables come in different types of wood such as teak, walnut and ashwood. Solid wood not only lasts a long time but can be refurbished to maintain it and repurposed into other products.
Address: Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road #06-02, Singapore 169074
Opening hours: daily 11am – 7pm
7. Journey East
As one of Singapore’s established furniture retailers, Journey East offers an extensive range of furniture, home decor and accessories for the living room, bedroom, dining room, and workspace from a variety of furniture brands, including its own line PLAYplay. It started out as a retailer of vintage and retro furniture and has now expanded its offerings to include eco-friendly reclaimed teak wood.
Check out d-Bodhi, one of the brands Journey East carries, for its furniture and home decor pieces made from recycled teak wood, and recycled license pipes and iron pipes. According to the company, sourcing for the right pieces of recycled teak wood must be done carefully and once made into furniture, it lasts longer due to having a lower moisture content. What’s more, using recycled teak means there’s no need to cut down new trees.
For unique, one-of-a-kind finds, check out the vintage furniture range in art deco styles which includes restored furniture from the 1920s to 1960s sourced from Java.
Address: 315 Outram Road, #03-02, Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074
Opening hours: daily 10am – 6pm
Other Ways to Go Green at Home
Besides buying from these brands with a conscience, you may also consider buying secondhand furniture to reduce waste and help your budget as well. Check out our guide on how and where to buy secondhand furniture.
If you are renovating your home, here’s your chance to opt for more eco-friendly furnishings and appliances too such as by using non-toxic paints, installing eco-friendly flooring and buying energy and water-efficient appliances.
Of course, no sustainability journey is complete without adopting the 3 Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – in our daily habits to contribute to making the world a better place.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at creating your own upcycled furniture and homeware accessories at studios that offer workshops such as Triple Eyelid and Everyday Canoe.
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This article was written by Audrey A.. She can’t wait to move into her own place so she can finally get a cat (or two) and an espresso machine to fuel her love for flat whites. For now, she’s saving up and dreaming of her next trip.
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