When you think of vegan interior design, what comes to your mind? You may think of spaces free of animal products, a healthy lifestyle or sustainable practices. The main goal of vegan interior design is to avoid all animal products and byproducts. However, when it comes to sustainability, this can get a bit tricky because some vegan alternatives, while better than animal products, are not the most sustainable for the environment. Hopefully this blog post will provide you with ideas of vegan alternatives that are non-animal based and also sustainable for the environment.
What is sustainability?
Before discussing sustainable vegan alternatives, it is important to understand what sustainability is. According to The United States Environmental Protection Agency, sustainability is the basic principle that our survival, both directly and indirectly, depends on the environment. To maintain sustainability is to create and keep the conditions under which humans and nature can coexist harmoniously to support the present and future generations to come.
Striving to be as sustainable as possible
Vegan interior design is all about the reduction of animal products. From a vegan standpoint, animal agriculture is unethical. From a sustainability viewpoint, it also significantly harms the environment. Processing raw animal matter such as hides uses excessive water and contributes to pollution. Looking to other materials to create vegan interiors without compromising aesthetics, Walden Interiors often uses plastic and petroleum-based products. The downside to these products is that they also impact our oceans and environment. Overall however, plastics and petroleum-based products use a lot less resources.
Ideally the best alternatives would be to use all-natural plant-based products, but this can be difficult to attain. Not all of these products are fully developed yet, nor are they easily accessible and affordable for everyone, such as pineapple, mushroom or agave leather. Nonetheless, I can offer some common vegan fabrics that many people often use today. These fabrics don’t use any plastics or petroleum-based products in them. For example, organic cotton, linen and hemp are worth the investment because you can reuse and repurpose these alternatives. They use minimal water, and they are animal cruelty-free. I will go into further detail about these amazing products below!
Sustainable plant-based alternatives
One of the most common vegan fabrics is organic cotton. According to PETA, when grown without harmful chemicals, cotton is eco-friendly, easier to clean than wool and most of all, extremely soft and comfortable to the touch. Organic cotton is an excellent choice for bedding — just check that it is certified organic prior to purchasing. Similarly, hemp, another sustainable alternative, is commonly incorporated into rugs and other upholstered furniture. Not only is it a great plant-based option but it is also a super durable fabric and does not irritate your skin. Despite its higher cost, it is sustainable and a long-term investment worth purchasing.
Another popular vegan alternative is linen. This textile originates from the fibers of the flax plant, and it is used primarily in bedding and some upholstery. It is soft to the touch, nontoxic and a natural and certified fabric; a perfect choice for a good night’s sleep. Be sure to check out our previous blog, How To Design A Vegan Bedroom: An Ultimate Guide, for more information about the plethora of vegan alternatives you can include in your bedroom!
Let’s make sustainability work for you!
In recent years, veganism has boomed in popularity. There is a growth in technology and companies exploring alternative plant-based sources to create products from animals with the same look, feel and performance. However, cruelty-free non-animal alternatives can be more expensive due to scarcity. Moreover, few retailers and manufacturers understand what defines a vegan product. Working with a vegan interior designer is a great way to find vegan products and ensure that you are getting the best selections for your home!
Part of sustainability is the longevity and durability of products. In other words, throwing away cheap products will cost more in the long run; they have to be replaced, and they contribute to landfill. With vegan interior design, you purchase items that may be an investment, but the goal is to have them for a long time. One way to ensure that the products you are using are vegan is to reuse and repurpose old furniture. This also adds to the sustainable nature of your home. When you upcycle, reupholster or repaint your existing furniture, you are able to customize and choose vegan fabrics and finishes that work seamlessly with your home’s aesthetic.
It’s no surprise that sustainable design choices are beneficial for our environment, but did you know choosing plant-based products also positively affects your health? Many homes have furniture, textiles and other products that are made up of unnatural, harmful chemicals. For example, formaldehyde is a toxic chemical in furniture that has been linked to some cancers, according to The American Cancer Society. All animal-based products contain preservatives which pose risks of allergies and asthma. Instead, by using plant-based alternatives, your living spaces become more breathable and the fabrics won’t irritate your skin. Learn more from our previous blog post: How Your Home Affects Your Health! Even though vegan and sustainable design seems like a large investment now, it may be worth considering because it allows you and your family to live in a much healthier, chemical-free home.
It’s all about awareness!
This educational blog post about sustainable vegan interior design is to showcase sustainable options to choose from when it comes to living a vegan lifestyle. Even though there are product limitations to vegan interior design, there are many sustainable solutions and numerous possibilities to include in your home that have a minimal impact on the environment. Most importantly, I encourage you to be conscious of your decisions when designing and decorating your home. Vegan interior design aims to reduce suffering and value all lives so ask yourself: How can I incorporate a vegan lifestyle into my home? Is there a better vegan alternative that does not hurt our planet? How can I repurpose my furniture to reduce waste? You can also watch our YouTube video, Vegan Interior Design, to learn more about vegan design in general!
Want to learn more? No worries, I’m here to answer all your questions! At Walden Interiors, we specialize in working with our clients to create custom dream homes. You can book a discovery call with us by clicking this link: https://walden-interiors.com/contact/ — let’s create your dream home today!