It’s now widely accepted that sustainability should be an important consideration in all aspects of our lives. But what does sustainability actually mean and how does it relate to children’s spaces and design? In a fast-paced world with an abundance of choices on offer, this starter guide will help you to make more educated choices about the products you bring into your home.
Broadly, sustainable practices take into consideration how humans can live in harmony with the natural world by finding ways to protect the earth from damage as we go about drawing on its resources. For Minty, we focussed on creating a children’s bedroom that incorporated products that embraced sustainable practices, as well as being stylish additions to your home. After all, it’s our children’s future that depends on our choices in the here and now…
Sustainable style- where do you start?
When furnishing a bedroom, the obvious place to start is with the super hero – the bed. Keep in mind the materials in the bed frame, mattress and manchester when making sustainable decisions. We fell in love with this bedhead from Family Love Tree. It’s made from Rattan – fast growing, easy to harvest, and incredibly durable.
When dressing your bed, always look for 100% natural fibre bed sheets. There are loads of great options out there. We decided to layer up some pretty linens. Linen is incredibly durable (it can last up to three decades). It is also biodegradable. There are useful by-products from the flax plant such as linseed oil. Impressively, linen uses less water to grow than its cousin, cotton. We layered linen from In Bed, a company that does its best to be transparent about where their goods are made. An important factor to weigh in to your purchase decisions.
Finding the perfect rug for a children’s room can be tricky. It’s often tempting to choose a synthetic material for ease of cleaning and enduring heavy traffic. However synthetic isn’t the only material that cleans easily and holds up against children’s intense use. We found this gem from Rug Culture that’s made of jute and recycled leather. Jute grows quickly, has a high carbon dioxide absorption and is biodegradable. And of course, recycled leather has obvious benefits including incredible durability.
Upcycle All The Way
Upcycling need not be left to the professionals. Why not source some second-hand pieces yourself to add some character to your children’s space? Op-shops can be a treasure trove of vintage wares that can be incorporated into contemporary design. We found some vintage cases and phones that make for a playful addition to the room. By upcycling pre-loved wares, we reduce landfill AND create unique spaces.
The Finishing Touches
The finishing touches to a space are as important as the heroes. When looking for artwork try to shop local. Look for handmade, one-off pieces. If buying Australian Aboriginal art, ensure the purchase is ethical by checking the guide provided by the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (http://ankaaa.org.au/publication/purchasing-aboriginal-art-ethical-buying-guide/). We loved the artwork by Charliesha Mung and handmade ceramics by Emma Gale. Why not support our incredibly talented local artisans – not only do you support local business, you reduce shipping miles and the carbon footprint.
It does take some additional time and research to make sustainable choices. But every effort helps to reduce our impact on our children’s world. Let’s ensure that sustainability and style go hand-in-hand – they really are a perfect match.