As more and more people in the UK become conscious of their environmental impact, the demand for sustainable outdoor furniture is on the rise. But what exactly makes outdoor furniture sustainable? And what should you be looking for when buying it? In this article, we'll explore the key factors to consider when purchasing sustainable outdoor furniture.
The material a piece of outdoor furniture is made from is one of the most important factors to consider if you’re conscious about sustainability. Some of the most eco friendly garden furniture materials include:
- FSC-Certified Wood: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests.
- Recycled Plastic: Look for items made from recycled plastic. It's a great way to keep plastic waste out of landfills and reduce the demand for new plastic.
- Metal: Metal outdoor furniture is often made from aluminium - a durable, long-lasting material that you can easily recycle.
- Natural Fibre: Natural fibres, such as bamboo or rattan, are renewable and biodegradable.
The design is an essential factor to consider when buying sustainable outdoor furniture. Look for quality pieces that are designed to last. It’s worth considering if you can easily repair or repurpose them.
Think about the overall size of the piece, too. A compact item will have a smaller environmental footprint than a bulkier one, so try not to get anything bigger than you need.
Look for certifications that indicate the piece has been independently verified as meeting specific environmental standards. The following credentials indicate sustainable garden furniture in the UK:
- FSC Certification: As mentioned above, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification indicates that the wood used to make the furniture is sourced from a responsibly managed forest.
- GOTS Certification: The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a certification that indicates that the textiles used in the furniture (such as cushions) are organic. Textiles are produced under environmentally and socially responsible conditions to meet this standard.
- GREENGUARD Certification: GREENGUARD certification indicates that the furniture has been tested for chemical emissions and meets specific indoor air quality standards.
Teak: A sustainable choice for outdoor furniture?
Teak is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. It’s known for its durability and resistance to rot, decay, and insects. It is a hardwood harvested from mature trees and is famous for outdoor decking, garden furniture, and ships. But is it a sustainable option?
How sustainable is teak?
Teak is an excellent option for sustainable garden furniture in the UK, if it’s harvested from responsibly managed forests. Look for teak certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which, as mentioned earlier, ensures that the wood is sourced from responsibly managed forests.
The FSC is an international organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests. The organization was established in 1993 and has since become one of the most recognised and respected certifiers of sustainable forest management. It sets strict forest management standards and independently certifies forests that meet these standards.
FSC-certified teak is grown in government-controlled or community-owned forests, and the logging process is monitored closely to ensure that the forest can regenerate. Forest biodiversity is also carefully monitored and protected.
What’s more, FSC certification protects the rights of local communities and indigenous people.
Some other organizations also certify teak as sustainable, such as the Rainforest Alliance. When buying teak, it is crucial to ensure that any certification comes from a reputable independent body.
Another vital factor to consider is the age of the tree the teak comes from. Teak trees take a long time to grow and mature. Harvesting younger teak trees isn’t considered sustainable practice, so if eco-friendliness is your main aim, it’s best to avoid buying wooden furniture manufactured from these trees. Go for furniture that you know is sourced from older trees, which is considered much kinder to the environment.
Advantages of teak garden furniture
Teak furniture has several advantages. So, it’s an excellent choice for outdoor spaces. Plus, teak is especially resistant to rot and decay due to its super-high, natural oil content. When you invest in teak, you know it’s a durable option that can last for decades. What’s more, it's naturally resistant to insects, so you don’t need to chemically treat it to keep the bugs away.
A further advantage of teak furniture – it’s natural and biodegradable. This means that once it’s time to replace your garden furniture, it won't contribute to landfills and pollution in the same way that synthetic materials will.
Maintaining teak garden furniture
Teak furniture is naturally durable, but requires some maintenance to keep it looking its best. To protect the wood from the elements and maintain its natural colour, you should treat it with a sealant or teak oil every few years.
At Cotswold Teak, we’re committed to a greener, cleaner world. Make a responsible and sustainable choice for your outdoor space with our FSC-certified teak garden furniture. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it’s available in a wide range of stunning styles, with something to suit every garden.
Our beautiful, environmentally friendly garden furniture is waiting for a new home in your outdoor space. Browse the range here and find the best pieces for you.
Shop environmentally friendly garden furniture at Cotswold Teak today
For more garden furniture information and buying advice, read the Cotswold Teak blog…