Five Ethical European Home Decor Brands You Should Know
Behind our brand curation and buying decisions is a drive to bring together designer brands who live by the values we share. We love bringing together makers, brands and artisans who practice their craft with passion and whose businesses are guided by values of sustainability, ethical sourcing and of course design integrity.
While these values have become fashionable to espouse in the last decade, we look beyond marketing speak to ensure the brands we stock are not only leaders in design but are working for a sustainable and ethical future. From recycling, to organic and eco materials to improvements in supply chain and logistics. Not simply those producing a hero eco product line, but those who drive improvements across their businesses.
"There are many considerations impacting the selection of brands we offer our customers. Most importantly, our brand partners must believe in the values of sustainability, ethical production, and enduring design as much as we do."
So, what exactly contributes to our selection of a brand for our store, and who are the brands that made the cut? Firstly, we must love the design and aesthetic of the brand, but there is much more investigation before a brand makes it to the shelves of Bien Chez Soi Issigeac. We share just a few of the principles we look for in our home decor brand partners;
1 | DESIGN AND QUALITY
Firstly, it is all about design. Are they leaders in design? Do they innovate and excel in their product category, will their pieces stand the test of time? Will the product enhance the owners life? We ask these questions as we seek to find brand partners to introduce to you. It is also important to ensure the products we stock are not throw away items, rather, are sustainably sourced items that minimise their impact on the environment across the supply chain, and provide value for years to come.
2 | A CONTINUAL DRIVE TO IMPROVE PRACTICES
We partner with ethics driven businesses and brands. It’s not simply about a tag line or hero product, but a business with leadership and teams committed to continually improving ethical practices, sustainable sourcing, and use of environmentally responsible materials with the aim of improving outcomes for the planet. Businesses who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the environment in addition to a design aesthetic.
3 | PRODUCT CURATION FOR LONGEVITY
We stock products that will stand the test of time, from a design and quality perspective. From heritage linens, to sustainable wood products, to furniture restored with eco-fabrics that will last another generation or three! We curate quality designer pieces that will enhance your everyday life and become much loved pieces giving back beyond trend timelines, fashions and fads, providing value and returns for years to come.
Okay, so who made the cut?
We’ve highlighted just a few of our favourite eco-conscious designer brands who live by the values of design excellence, production quality, and sustainability. We’re proud to partner with these brands and bring a curated range of their products to you.
Finnish in origin, EcoFurn design and product range is driven by eco-values, and sustainability is at the heart of everything it does. Determined to be part of the solution, rather than the problem, Ecofurn produces products designed to minimise impact on the environment. Ecofurn products themselves are entirely recyclable made from solid wood, hemp and metal fastenings only. Crafted using traditional nordic building techniques, products are designed to be attractive, durable, fixable, and above all, ultimately recyclable.
Raw materials are sourced only from managed forests and sources with FSC certifications from Nordic origins only, so customers can be assured that no fragile rainforests have been touched in the production chain. Upon ordering, Ecofurn products are flat packed to reduce the impacts of logistics and shipping.
Products: Traditionally made nordic wooden furniture
Ferm Living’s approach to sustainability extends from the cradle (design concepts) to the grave (product end life). Though the company admits is product range and business is not entirely sustainable (yet), they are committed to increasing ethical sourcing, and overall sustainability across production, retailing and the business as a whole. Eco-conscious values are briefed into designs from the start, and sourcing, packaging, sales, freight and transport are all assessed for continual improvements in sustainability.
With a business that spans Europe and the globe, the scale of Ferm Living’s shift to sustainable principles will have a positive impact on customers, teams, suppliers and industry as as well as the planet.
Products: Home Decor, Furniture, Home Textiles, Home Accessories
Formed in 2007 by Lars Houe to bring Scandinavian design and affordable luxury for daily life. Houe’s design team focus on innovation and leading the new movement of contemporary Scandinavian design. The design team began seeing rubbish as a resource rather than a nuisance, creating designs using recycled plastics and sustainable materials such as metal and bamboo.
Houe’s award winning FALK chair has won awards for its sustainable innovation, and the team is committed to leading the movement of attainable designer furniture created with an ecological conscience. As the Houe team espouse, when you recycle your household plastics, you are also part of this same eco movement working together for a better future for our planet.
We can’t wait to see the stylish designs yet to come from this Danish innovator…
Products: Outdoor and Indoor Furniture
With a history spanning centuries, Libeco has always been a leader in creating lasting products for discerning customers and ascribes to the highest standards of production, quality and design. Linen is one of the most durable, sought after and sustainable fibres in the world and customers often purchase and collect Libeco linen that becomes a household staple for a lifetime.
Certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the brand upholds ethical standards of production and conditions of work for it’s employees and suppliers.
Since 2011 Libeco has also been working with Co2logic to reduce its environmental footprint, a program which includes Green electricity, LED lighting, solar panels, a more environmentally friendly car fleet and optimisation of waste processing. In 2013 Libeco was officially certified as co2 neutral, and by 2016 had achieved zero waste production.
Libeco’s Belgian linen products are designed to outlive trends and fashions, and are produced and crafted to last.
Products: Belgian Linen Home Textile products
A design business dedicated businesses to sustainability, Designers Guild has been focused on continually improving its environmental and ethical practices for over a decade.
Led by founder Tricia Guild, the company runs on 100% renewable energy, uses electric vehicles for all logistics, makes products from natural and recyclable materials, has eradicated single use plastics in their offices and recycles all paper products used. They also work on a number of ethical work projects, including working with World Acre Trust on a monthly basis, being signed up to SEDEX in their supply chain, and actively and regularly review the business ethical practices and improvements.
Designers Guild have also recently implemented an up cycle cotton product program and continue to promote recyclable and environmentally responsible materials throughout their design, operations and supply chain. In 2019 they introduced eco-product ranges including the Lisbon fabric range (pictured below), made in Italy from discarded yarns recycled from the fashion industry.
Products: Wallpaper, Fabrics, Furnishings
BIEN CHEZ SOI VINTAGE FINDS & ARTISAN PIECES
Our vintage restorations feature one-off gems sourced from across Europe; pieces we’ve discovered, fallen in love with and restored. Each one off piece is reworked and given new life so they can continue to be cherished for years to come.
We also partner with local artisans to create beautiful, handcrafted items often made from recycled or eco-conscious materials. In store, lampshades are crafted by artisan couple Rom&an Creations using a mix of locally sourced recycled paper and eco-friendly materials, and our local glass blower carefully reworks genuine brocante bottles into striking hanging lights. Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond furniture to the organic and ethically sourced coffee we serve in our in store café.
Pop in to the store and be inspired by our brand partners, vintage collections and local artisan pieces to see just how chic eco conscious home decor really can be.
Products (in store only): Vintage Collectables, Restored Furniture, Artisan Collaborations