Pro tip: Decorating sustainably can be beautiful, functional, and easy. From choosing sustainable outdoor furniture to supporting ethical manufacturing processes, read on for a breakdown of creating an outdoor space that embraces sustainability. Heres the drift:
Thanks to its reputation as a durable, long-lasting outdoor material, teak is a popular choice for sustainable outdoor furniture. Make sure to choose sustainably sourced teak wood, which is beautiful, durable, and made to last generations.
Also pay attention to manufacturing techniques; sustainably sourced teak prioritizes Agroforestry, allowing locals to farm other crops and learn the skills needed to build high-quality teak furniture, giving them a sustainable industry and wage.
Look for outdoor furniture made from recycled, sustainable materials. High-density polyethylene (or HDPE) lumber or composite wood is made primarily from post-consumer bottle waste—such as milk jugs or water bottles.
One of the best ways to decorate sustainably is to maintain the longevity of existing furniture and decor. Extend the life of sustainable materials with the proper maintenance and care.
Sustainable teak outdoor furniture
If sourced and produced correctly, teak is a great option for sustainable outdoor furniture. Sustainably sourced teak comes from facilities in Indonesia under the jurisdiction of Perum Perhutani, a state-owned enterprise responsible for the oversight of teak production. Sustainable teak outdoor furniture is made using time-tested methods and Grade-A, responsibly harvested plantation teak. The result is a win for everyone: sustainable materials, and furniture that’s high-quality, durable, and made to last for generations.
Teak is not only beautiful, but it’s also extremely hard-wearing, easy to care for, and resistant to rot and mold, making it an ideal choice for even the harshest of weather conditions. To ensure you’re sourcing sustainable teak outdoor furniture, shop from reputable brands that are transparent about their sourcing and production. AuthenTEAK carries teak furniture from vetted, industry-trusted brands such as Kingsley Bate, POVL Outdoor, Barlow Tyrie, Cane-line, and Gloster (to name a few), which prioritize the use of premium-quality and ethically grown and harvested teak.
See also: The Story of Sustainability Teak
Sustainable outdoor furniture made from recycled materials
When decorating your outdoor space, it’s also easy to find beautiful, durable furniture made from high-density polyethylene (or HDPE) lumber or composite wood. Made primarily from post-consumer bottle waste—such as milk jugs or water bottles—HDPE is built to withstand all four seasons and a wide range of climates and weather. When constructed properly, HDPE furniture ranks as one of the most durable and low-maintenance materials in the outdoor furniture industry.
One of the most well-known producers of HDPE furniture is POLYWOOD, which constructs its furniture from genuine POLYWOOD® lumber, a proprietary material made using landfill-bound and ocean-bound plastics. POLYWOOD recycles millions of landfill-bound and ocean-bound plastic containers every year, and its array of outdoor furnishings—which includes Adirondack chairs, dining, benches, lounging, deep seating, and more—feature color-stay technology and are backed by a 20-year warranty.
“HDPE furniture is amazingly low-maintenance and virtually indestructible—but better yet, this furniture has a great sustainability story,” says AuthenTEAK CEO Eric Brenner. “Not only does the POLYWOOD brand of furniture put ocean-bound plastics to good use, but because their furniture is so well made, it does not have to be replaced very often.”
Like POLYWOOD, Unwasted seeks to keep plastic out of landfills and oceans by reusing single-use plastics to create sustainable, recyclable, and design-forward outdoor furniture designed for industrial, commercial, and residential needs. By creating stylish and sustainable outdoor furniture, Unwasted seeks to accelerate the New Plastics Economy (a vision of a circular economy for plastic in which it never becomes waste or pollution.) For each product purchased, Unwasted donates 1% to the efforts of Plastic Oceans Canada. Unwasted has also joined The Ellen MacArthur Foundation to work towards a circular economy for plastic.
Sustainable outdoor decor and accessories
In addition to sustainable outdoor furniture, some outdoor accessories are also made from eco-friendly materials. For instance, KoverRoos has been making breathable eco-friendly outdoor furniture covers since 1994. Backed by a five-year no-fade warranty, KoverRoos furniture covers offer superior UV protection and are run through rigorous tensile strength tests to ensure long-lasting durability. Three out of KoverRoos’ four fabric types are from 100% recyclable materials, which can be recycled in curbside recycling bins. Additionally, as a part of the brand’s sustainability efforts/program, KoverRoos offers three annual scholarships of $1000 to distinguished students committed to furthering the three pillars of sustainability and the preservation of our environment.
European brand Capi has been designing stylish and eco-conscious planters since 1997. Part of the production process for Capi planters is completely CO2-neutral, and Capi Europe is also CO2 Neutral certified as a company. AuthenTEAK proudly carries Capi planters that are made from recycled materials and are recyclable in and of themselves. Capi Europe also participates in the COMACO Landscape Management Project, which promotes sustainable agriculture and forest conservation in Zambia, aiming to reduce uncontrolled deforestation and increase the net forest cover.
Maintain what you have
One of the best ways to decorate sustainably is to maintain the longevity of existing furniture and decor. Invest in the right maintenance and care tools to prolong the life and look of sustainable decor. Use protective covers when furniture isn’t in use and periodically clean with and treat your outdoor pieces with solutions specifically made for the outdoors.
The beauty of sustainable outdoor furniture
For AuthenTEAK, beautiful living goes deeper than just aesthetics. We’re proud to carry a curated selection of designer furniture that’s crafted with sustainable materials. From recycled, mindfully sourced materials to ethical manufacturing processes, the beauty of sustainable decor extends far beyond the backyard, improving the lives of people and places across the globe. We hope you’ll join us in embracing the beauty of the outdoors—in the havens we create and the choices we make.