Veganism is on the rise and, while this began as a change in diet, more people are looking for ways to introduce veganism into other aspects of their life. Here, Matt Deighton, Managing Director at British handmade furniture company Sofas by Saxon, shares five ways you can ensure your décor matches your vegan lifestyle.
The interest in veganism has increased seven-fold over the past five years, with it now getting searched almost four times the amount that the phrase ‘vegetarian’ does (Vegan Society). And, while this began as a move away from animal food products and byproducts, it’s now much more of a lifestyle, with vegans seeking out everything from animal-friendly clothing and shoes, to cosmetics.
One area where veganism is growing is that of interiors. In fact, the value of the global synthetic leather market is expected to reach $45.41bn by 2025 (Grand View Research), meaning it’s now easier than ever for you to have stylish interiors that fit with your beliefs. Here, I will be sharing my top five tips for adapting your décor to match your vegan lifestyle.
We should all be concerned with looking after our planet, and choosing British-made furniture and decorative elements or your home can help. This is not just great for strengthening the British economy, but it can also reduce your carbon footprint.
Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas, accounting for 81% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy). And, with almost all (95%) of the world’s transportation energy coming from carbon-emitting, petroleum-based fuels (EPA), it’s clear that we need to be reducing the amount of unnecessary transport.
This means that, when you’re picking anything for your home, it’s important that you choose pieces that don’t have to be transported too far. For example, picking a sofa that’s been made in the UK, rather than overseas, can cut down on the emissions you indirectly produce.
Use faux and vegan materials
Faux and vegan leather are rising in popularity, especially when it comes to furniture like sofas, armchairs, and footstools. As well as being cruelty-free options, they can also be made in some qualities and colours that real leather can’t be. These environmentally friendly fabrics can be produced using a number of materials, including polyester, which is finished with wax, dye, and PVC to give it the texture of real leather.
There are also many other vegan options that are made from things like cork, waxed cotton, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polyurethane, with the latter two being the most common. You can find out more information about choosing these sustainable alternatives in our guide to faux leather.
Choose natural textiles and finishes
You can introduce natural fibres and materials into almost every element of your interior design. There are plenty of great natural fibres, including jute, cotton, and bamboo, which can be used for your throws, cushions, and lampshades.
You can even make smarter choices about the fillings inside your pillows, cushions, and bedding. So, consider getting soy-based fillings or alternatives to down, such as kapok, buckwheat, or cotton.
Upcycle your old furniture
UK waste rates have become alarmingly high in recent years, with a survey from the British Heart Foundation revealing just under a third (30%) of people asked had thrown away furniture that was in good enough condition to be re-used, sold, or donated.
So, rather than sending your old furniture to landfill, why not get creative with it? Old drawers make excellent planters, while old tables and chairs can be given a new lease of life with some DIY.
Select cruelty-free paints
It may come as a surprise to you, but not all paints are cruelty-free as some of these contain milk-derived ingredients or beeswax. But, luckily, there are many companies that produce paints that are cruelty-free, with low or zero emissions associated with them.
Some of these paints even have health benefits, such as being asthma- and allergy-friendly, so you can protect your family when you choose these over typical paints.
Making your home more animal- and eco-friendly is easier and cheaper than it might sound. Follow my top five tips and you’ll soon have a home that perfectly matches your vegan lifestyle.
Images courtesy of Sofas by Saxon