Non toxic materials to look for in furniture for a healthy home

by tine sintermann on May 25, 2021

Furniture is part of your home, your feel-good space, your retreat. It is close to you, it accompanies you for a long time. Isn't it incredibly important that this furniture is good for you, that is, non-toxic? Why is it so difficult to find brands that fully disclose all components and materials of their products? Be sure to look for certificates and labels that indicate sustainable and toxin-free furniture. In this article we show you 10 relevant materials for your new furniture that are non-toxic.

non Toxic furniture 

 

1. Bamboo - a sustainable resource

Bamboo is a great alternative, among other things, for petroleum and tropical wood. Bamboo is a very fast growing grass that, unlike trees, continues to grow after it is cut down - an extremely sustainable resource. In processing, it is very sturdy, durable and flexible.

  • Bamboo is very resilient, stores a lot of CO2, and needs very little fertilizer or chemical treatment.
  • Do not buy bamboo products that have plastic added to them.
  • Make sure it is made without harmful substances, for example melamine.
  • Pay attention to sustainable forestry, for example FSC (Forest Stewardship Council certification).

Bamboo

2. Cotton - a great fabric when organic

Cotton is one of the most important bases in the textile industry. Cotton grows back and is biodegradable. But especially with cotton, you have to consciously choose organic and certified cotton, because conventional production is harmful to the environment, often genetically modified and emits pollutants. In many cases, the production in less developed countries of origin is not socially acceptable.

  • Organic cotton consumes significantly less water in production than other raw textile materials and does not require pesticides.
  • Further processing of organic cotton does not use dangerous tanning and dyeing agents.
  • It is easy to clean and especially suitable for allergy sufferers.

 

Cotton

 

3. Jute - a durable natural fiber

Jute is the bast fiber from stems of the Corchorus plants, which originated in the Mediterranean region. Along with cotton, jute fibers are the most important natural fibers for textiles, which are nowadays imported mainly from India and Bangladesh. Jute is stretchable and tear-resistant, breathable and water-absorbent.

  • The production of jute produces little greenhouse gases.
  • Jute fibers often have long import routes, look here for appropriate certificates.
  • In the further processing of jute fibers, mostly harmful mineral oil is used. Look out for manufacturers who use non-toxic vegetable oils instead.

 

4. Latex - natural rubber from trees

Latex is an elastic and at the same time tear-resistant material, water-repellent and: regrowing. Latex is a non-toxic natural product, the milk of tropical rubber plants. Natural rubber is made from latex, which is used for a wide variety of products in medicine and cosmetics, in furniture and clothing or in the home. Natural latex is mainly cultivated in tropical East and Southeast Asia and Africa. When buying, it is important to pay attention to the origin and certification.

  • Make sure to buy only latex that declares to be “100% natural latex”. All other products, including “natural latex” may contain up to 25% of petrol based foam in the vulcanized mix.
  • Latex from mixed cultures is better for biodiversity than from monocultures.
  • The production of organic latex does not use pesticides.
  • Sustainability of latex also includes the welfare and protection of the habitat of indigenous people.

 

5. Wool - warming and sustainable

When we speak of wool, this means primarily the shorn fur of sheep or lambs. More noble wool comes from camel, yak or alpaca, for example. Wool is warm, naturally water repellent, and has low flammability. It is also stretchy and breathable, it is a very special material in the clothing and furniture industry.

  • Wool from animal-friendly and ecological production is of course the best wool. Be sure to pay attention to this!
  • Organic wool has not been treated with harmful chemicals.
  • Wool is biodegradable, no harmful microparticles get into the water through the wash here.

Wool

 

6. Linen - tear resistant and robust

Linen, also known as flax, is an ancient natural fiber that is more contemporary than ever. It is extremely tear-resistant and easy to boil (though difficult to iron!). Linen was replaced in the 19th century by the much cheaper cotton, whose products, however, are nowhere near as durable. The flax plant is processed into short fibers in a complex harvesting and manufacturing process, which are then spun into threads and finally woven into fabric.

  • Flax requires significantly less water than cotton.
  • It is well suited for organic cultivation without the use of pesticides.
  • Flax requires little fertilizer.

 

7. Wood - the classic

One of the oldest and most natural materials we know. A renewable resource, fantastic to work with, wonderful for a good indoor climate. Unfortunately, not all wood is non-toxic, sad but true. Especially the glazes, varnishes and paints with which wood is treated can become a problem. Polluted wood continues to evaporate into the indoor air for years and becomes a health hazard. Particularly with wood materials such as chipboard, harmful emissions occur time and again.

  • It is best to opt for solid nature wood from regional production, which is the least treated and has short transport routes.
  • Pay attention to sustainable forestry, for example FSC (Forest Stewardship Council certification).
  • Make sure that the surfaces are treated only with natural materials such as oils or waxes!

Wood

 

8. Metals - inherently non-toxic

The precious metals gold and silver or the copper alloy brass are also natural materials that give every piece of furniture a high-quality finish. All three are easy to work with and process. Precious metals are inherently non-toxic.

  • Nevertheless, when buying, make sure that the mining and manufacturing process are also non-toxic and socially acceptable. This is indicated by various certificates and labels, for example Fairtrade gold.
  • A good alternative is the use of recycled metals.
  • Gold and silver are particularly suitable for allergy sufferers. If the brass has been alloyed entirely without nickel, it is also hypoallergenic.

 

Did you know that D3CO works with all these materials? A sustainable and ecological production is very important to us. This absolutely includes working exclusively with plastic-free and non-toxic materials to make your home a healthy place.