Consumers are taking note of the impact their purchases have on their health and wellness, particularly in the last year. From sustainably sourced materials to chemical-free finishes, consumers are making smarter choices that not only affect the health of themselves and their families, but also the environment. The Sustainable Furnishings Council’s (SFC) 2021 Green Home Furnishings Consumer Study tracked consumer interest and behavior regarding sustainable furnishings.
In the past year, nearly half of total respondents (47 percent) spent between $1,000 and $4,999 on home furnishings. Thirty-five percent of respondents indicated that they have purchased environmentally safe home furnishings in the past. Overall, women indicated a greater concern about environmental issues than men, were more likely to purchase environmentally safe furnishings and were more likely to practice environmentally conscious habits.
Nearly all of respondents (97 percent) were interested or very interested in buying environmentally safe home furnishings if they cost about the same as other options, with women expressing slightly more interest than men (97 percent of women compared with 95 percent of men). For environmentally friendly furnishings that come with an added cost, 87 percent of respondents indicated a willingness to pay more for a certified environmentally safe product. Thirty-nine percent of respondents are willing to pay up to 10 percent more.
When it comes to wood, 96 percent of respondents are interested or very interested in choosing certified as legal wood coming from a responsibly managed forest, with 89 percent willing to pay more for this certification.
In disposing of furnishings, respondents are likely to choose environmentally friendly options, like donating to charity (82 percent), giving them to family or friends (79 percent) and dropping them at a thrift store (70 percent). Only 19 percent would put them out for garbage pickup.
Beyond just furnishings, a majority of respondents (59 percent) have never heard of an environmentally safe interior designer, while 35 percent have heard of one but have never worked with one. Sixty-three percent said they were interested or very interested in working with a certified environmentally safe interior designer.
Overall, consumers are increasingly interested in environmentally safe options in their home furnishings and design, opening up a host of opportunities for designers, retailers and manufacturers. See the full report at bit.ly/3z79AHc.