12 Apr 5 Fair Trade Furniture Pieces for the Modern Home
This article was updated on May 18th, 2018 and first published on April 12th, 2018
When it comes to home decor, furniture was my first passion. I was inspired by my brother’s furniture designs when he was studying to be a designer at university. In fact, we ended up producing and selling this modern coffee table that he created.
We made the square legs in the UK using FSC oak, and the hammock that held the magazines from Fairtrade organic cotton. It sold pretty well, but was expensive and a hassle to build and deliver. And when we sold out of our small run we decided not to continue with it.
Our table was only partly fair trade, but as more companies use fair trade certified facilities to make their products, we will hopefully see a greater range of fair trade furniture – products that have a contemporary design and are made from sustainable materials by workers receiving a decent wage working in good conditions.
Here are 5 pieces of furniture with a contemporary design that are made according to fair trade standards and would suit a modern, minimalist or bohemian style room.
Industrial Storage Coffee Table (India)
The Industrial Storage Coffee Table has a practical design mechanism that allows you to access the contents of the table while items are still on top.
I tend to prefer a modern coffee table design like this one and then add colour and design to the room with accessories like a patterned rug or cushions, wall hanging, or even a chair or sofa.
Mid Century Sari Chair (Bangladesh)
This colourful chair would work very well to break up a more minimalist room, or to mismatch chairs and sofas (which I really love to do).
It’s made from hand crafted in Bangladesh from recycled saris, so each chair is unique.
Hyve Coffee Table (India)
Contemporary may not be a style that immediately comes to mind with fair trade furniture. But I think artisans in developing countries are well-placed to make products that combine a modern design with local skills to make something unique, like the Hyve Coffee Table.
It would work well in a modern living room, on a solid, neutral rug, with splashes of colour and pattern on cushions and wall hangings.
By the way, if you use this voucher code – KAAFF01 – by 01 June 2018 you can receive free UK delivery on orders above £300.
Acapulco Chair (Mexico)
I couldn’t decide which one to feature here, but I like yellow – it always give off a warm, optimistic feeling, so I went with this one.
Though it’s often used outdoors, I would place this in the corner of the living room, bedroom or conservatory. The bright colour would make sure that it wouldn’t get lost in any clutter.
Buy at Fair Furniture (based in the Netherlands but ships to the USA and Europe)
Reclaimed Teakwood Side Table (Indonesia)
When you’re sitting on the sofa or armchair, you can just sit back and place your coffee or book (ok, or TV remote) next to you without even having to lean forward to the coffee table.
The rustic look is popular. I probably wouldn’t want to overdo it, but one or two carefully selected and placed rustic pieces here and there add a rough texture to an otherwise ordered room, making it slightly more fun and relaxed.
I like this piece from Indonesia as it brings in a touch of low-key vintage colour.
It’s made using reclaimed teak wood by an artisan in Bali, Indonesia, and certified by Novica staff.
Buy at Novica (delivers internationally from Indonesia)