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5 Ways To Shop Sustainably For Your Home with Keep Sofa

Every year three million sofas are thrown away and routinely incinerated, contributing significantly to global warming. The only way to halt this toxic cycle that is damaging the planet, is if people buy more thoughtfully and less frequently. This is where Keep comes in. With their timeless designs and conscious materials, Keep co-founders James Rubin-Smith and Rob Hudson are on a mission to help people love their sofas for longer.

Keep is launching with three stylish modular sofa collections in four neutral fabric options, so they don’t go out of fashion and with replaceable covers they can grow with their owners for years to come. Keep is a pending B Corp, with the aim to be fully certified by 2025, and has also pledged to donate 1% of total annual revenue to charities doing good for the planet.

 Here they share some insight on how to shop more sustainably.

TOP TIPS FOR SHOPPING FURNITURE SUSTAINABLY

1. TAKE YOUR TIME TO PLAN

“Buying a piece of furniture is a big investment so allow yourself time. Time to think. Time to consider how long you’ve liked a style. It can be very easy to buy into trends without realising that you’ve been influenced by your Instagram feed.

When buying bigger pieces of furniture, it’s also important to think hard about whether you’ll be living in a similar sized house in five years time, or, whether you might have a pet, a baby or a housemate who constantly spills red wine! Considering multifunctional or configurable pieces, such as a modular sofa, that can adapt and grow with you through each stage of your life is a good place to start.”

 

2. MATERIALS & DURABILITY

“We’re used to seeing labels detailing the composition of our clothes (70% cotton or 48% wool blend) but it’s time to start paying attention to the labels for homewares. Choosing renewable, biodegradable, and recycled materials is a good start but it’s also important to understand the lingo. When buying upholstery, you may come across phrases such as ‘abrasion resistance’ or ‘rub count’. This measures how hard wearing a fabric is and the range is usually between 10,000 cycles to 120,000 cycles. Hard-wearing fabrics are generally above 20,000 cycles. For Keep sofas, all fabrics are above 60,000 cycles.

Another term seen on upholstery is ‘UKFR’: a legal fire resistant standard. Often, this fire resistance is achieved with a chemical treatment applied after the fabric is woven, which can be harmful to both us and the environment, and can also negatively impact the end-of-life options. For better, more environmentally-conscious fire resistance, look for fabrics that are ‘inherent FR’ or ‘Green FR’.”

 

3. ACCREDITATION

“Look out for brands that have sustainability certifications. These indicate compliance with environmental and social standards set by independent organisations. Some examples of certificates you might see include Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and B Corporation certified. There are also material-specific certifications which declare that ethical and consciously sourced materials have been used such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for wood products and OEKO-TEX® for fabrics.”

 

4. ORIGIN

“Even in food and fashion, it’s easy to overlook the origin of products and the distance they’ve travelled to reach us. Look for brands with transparent supply chains so you know you’re shopping for UK-made furniture. Not just to benefit the planet, there are a huge number of skilled artisans in the UK who deserve our support, including when it comes to furniture. Keep’s sofas are all handcrafted in small batches in North Wales.”

 

5. LONGEVITY & AFTERLIFE

“Even if it’s a long way off, considering the afterlife of a product before you buy it, is important if you want to think sustainably. Ask yourself questions like: Is it recyclable? Could I repurpose it further down the line? Can it be broken down into individual parts for easier recycling?

Buying well and buying once will be more of an investment, but if you’re fortunate enough to be in the position that you can afford it, this is the best thing for the planet.”

 

6. TIMELESS DESIGN

“When choosing larger investment pieces, consider more timeless designs with simple lines, quality materials and a restrained colour palette, as they will compliment a variety of styles and settings over time and as your design aesthetic evolves.

Layering colour, pattern and texture through more trend-led, smaller homewares such as accessories and textiles, is a great way to allow you to inject more of your personality into your space and these smaller items will be less detrimental to the planet if you decide to update them.”

 

Like the look of Keep? Have a browse here.

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