Eco-friendly furniture

Eco-friendly furniture for your kitchen

What to look for when choosing sustainable cabinets and surfaces

By Paula Woods |

Choosing eco-friendly furniture is a sustainable approach to interior design with a positive impact on the environment that helps limit a self-built or renovation project’s carbon footprint.

For ideas, take a look at this round-up of kitchen cabinets made with sustainably sourced, recycled or reclaimed materials.

Stronger together

Plywood is an engineered timber where multiple thin layers of wood are bonded together for strength, stability and durability. Choose products made with timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and formaldehyde-free adhesive.

Eco-friendly furniture

Bespoke spruce veneer plywood kitchen from Uncommon Projects.

Good value all round

These fronts are made from recycled wood and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. By recycling the bottles in this way, the plastic has a useful lifespan of at least 25 years.

Kungsbacka matt anthracite kitchen, units, worksurface, sink and tap from Ikea

It’s in the detail

When commissioning a custom-made kitchen, request that plastic parts are kept to a minimum or avoided altogether.

Bespoke crown-cut oak-veneer plywood kitchen with adjustable wooden plinth and raw concrete quartz worksurface from Sustainable Kitchens

Second time lucky

Investing in a quality used kitchen from specialist companies such as Rehome prevents perfectly sound furniture going to unnecessary waste.

Preloved Martin Moore painted kitchen from Rehome

Yard sale

Search reclamation yards for reclaimed timber boards and ask a joiner to create made-to-measure units. Find one via the British Woodworking Federation Group (BWF).

Bespoke cabinets made from salvaged boards with black granite worksurface from Mark Lewis Interior Design

Hard lines

Richlite is made from many layers of paper saturated with resin pressed under heat, which bonds the layers and cures the resin. The paper is recycled post-consumer waste or FSC certified.

Eco-friendly furniture

Kitchen and worksurface in Richlite Grays Harbor, from £300 per sqm, Surface Matter. Bespoke kitchen from 202 Design

On the bright side

Valchromat is a recyclable FSC-certified fibreboard made using organically dyed recycled pine and softwood forest waste. It ’s 30 per cent stronger than medium density fibreboard (MDF).

Tanta plywood cabinets with Valchromat fronts and Durat recycled plastic worksurface from Wood Works Brighton

Is it certified?

If you want wood cabinets, opt for those made with British or European-grown timber that’s been certified by the FSC or PEFC to ensure the wood is sustainably sourced and to limit the emissions associated with transportation.

Eco-friendly furniture

Handcrafted kitchen in PEFC-certified raw band-sawn oak, raw oak-veneer plywood and Richlite by Inglis Hall