Decorating your home is a great interest and hobby for many in Sweden, but what is not seen in interior design magazines and furniture stores is the long chain from raw material to finished product that is associated with many social and environmental problems. Furniture and home textiles are often manufactured in low-wage countries where laws on working hours, wages, freedom of association and the working environment are often violated. Garden furniture, for example, is often made of tropical wood from felled rainforest and the manufacture of home textiles causes large emissions of chemicals and water shortages that have both social and environmental consequences. But, there are great alternatives! Take a look at the tips below. The key to a conscious consumption of home interior is to reuse, fix and buy used.
Advice for a conscious consumption of home interior
- The best thing you can do is use what you already have! A simple tip for renovating is to refurnish existing furniture.
- Remake! Renovate, repaint or change fabric – a small fix can make a big difference.
- Marketplace, Blocket, Tradera, physical second-hand shops and flea markets – these places are full of furniture that needs to be loved by a new home, which is the second best thing you can do to renew or build a home.
- Textiles such as fabrics, tablecloths, curtains, blankets and pillowcases are available in abundance in the above-mentioned places.
- Shop long-term – let the purchase of newly produced interiors take time. Do you really need it? And if yes – look for used first, lastly new, but with quality and good manufacturing methods.
- Look for eco-labels (see below) if you are going to buy new home textiles to avoid unnecessary chemicals both in the manufacturing and in the finished product.
- Look for alternatives to tropical wood and choose FSC-certified furniture if they are made of tropical wood such as mahogany and teak.
- Dare to ask in the store where and how the product you want to buy is made.
- When buying candles, invest in pure wax and avoid paraffin. Feel free to buy Nordic Eco-labelled. Read more about Nordic Eco-Labelled candles and the environmental impact of candles here (in Swedish). Many candles and tealights contain uncertified palm oil which contributes to the destruction of rainforest to plant plantations.
Page updated 2021.