The 5 Best Stylish, Sustainable Homeware Materials

The 5 Best Stylish, Sustainable Homeware Materials

Eco-conscious living means different things to different people. Whether you’re steering clear of fast fashion, composting at home, or banishing plastic from your life, any contribution is a step in the right direction for a healthier planet.

Making informed choices isn’t always easy – but it is important. Choosing sustainable homewares is one way to live lighter and reduce your environmental impact while curating your sanctuary at home.

Here are our 5 favourite materials leading the sustainability renaissance in Australia.

1. Cork

Cork is a firm favourite in interior design. The light, strong, hydrophobic, fire-resistant and 100% recyclable material is ideal for chairs, lampshades, tables, sofas, and even upholstery if the bark is shaved thin enough.

Harvesting cork bark doesn’t hurt the trees; in fact, a single tree can live for centuries. But even better, cork has a ‘refined raw’ aesthetic that perfectly suits Scandinavian and coastal interior aesthetics.

Our tip: Get creative with cork. Find a sustainably sourced cork armchair, lampshade or side table, and you’ll never look back.

2. Bamboo

Bamboo furniture has been around for about 700 years, but it’s the recent innovations in bamboo fabric you should be excited about.

Bamboo fabric is unbelievably soft, durable and eco-friendly, making it a perfect alternative to cotton or silk bed sheets.

A single bamboo shoot can grow several centimetres a day, using less than 30% of the water needed to grow cotton. With moisture-wicking fibres that stay naturally hypoallergenic wash after wash, bamboo sheets also create a healthier home environment than cotton or linen.

Our tip: Buy bamboo bed sheets from Australian companies with sustainable supply chains. You’ll sleep easier at night – we guarantee it.

3. Hemp

Hemp is finally outgrowing its hippie reputation as Australians learn more about this sustainable wunderkind.

Hemp is made from the fibres of cannabis stalks (the non-THC kind). It feels like canvas but performs more like eco-friendly bamboo fabric, resisting shrinking and pilling even with frequent washing. Also like bamboo, hemp needs very little water and no pesticides to grow.

Our tip: Hemp can be used in rugs to rope, curtains to clothing, food to furniture. Seek out Australian-made hemp homewares to ensure you’re making an informed purchase.

4. Vegetarian silk

We all love the softness of silk, however concerns have been raised with respect to the cruelty of animal silk production. Vegetarian silk, also called Peace silk, is a kinder alternative also that uses no pesticides or hormones. Vegetarian silk producers let the larvae grow into adult moths before collecting the cocoon, unlike traditional silk production, which involves killing the larvae.

Our tip: Vegetarian silk is a new material. For now, bamboo is a more affordable, eco-friendly bed sheet option that’s arguably softer than silk.

5. Natural wool

Australia has a lot of sheep. Shearers gather more than 300 million kilograms of wool from around 70 million animals every year.

The natural wool Australia is known for comes from live animal shearing rather than sheep killed for their wool. Hence, it is naturally more sustainable than cotton or polyester and among the highest quality worldwide

But we have a long way to go. Few farmers practice proper organic methods, and animal abuse concerns are still rife in the wool industry. That said, the number of sustainable, reputable Australian wool suppliers rises every year.

Our tip: Merino wool is unbelievably adaptive. You won’t find a softer sweater, stretchier workout gear or warmer socks. But check labels and research the producer before purchasing.

OLARA: Australian made sustainable homewares

If you’re looking to make more sustainable homeware choices but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. OLARA bamboo bed sheets use sustainably sourced natural fibres to create the softest eco-friendly fabric you’ve ever felt.

Do yourself and the environment a favour by slipping into OLARA bamboo sheets today.

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