Sunday, 8 December 2013

The eco-friendly couch hunt

Our living room needs a serious makeover. Our existing IKEA furniture came in very handy when we moved in together.  It worked well when we merged our stuff and saved us a lot of money in the beginning. However, after almost three years, it's time to revisit our living room and start making some healthier furniture choices.

Starting with the couch, we are on the hunt for an eco-friendly couch. Our existing couch is made with polyurethane foam with toxic fire retardant, which we would like to replace. This means, we are looking for a couch with no polyurethane foam/fire retardant nor any stain/wrinkle resistant finishes on the fabric. We hadn't realized how big of an undertaking this is going to be.

We started out researching couches online and learning about what they are made of. We also visited retailers and asked many questions about their products. In the end, we came up with these three options:
  1. Buy a new eco-couch from Brentwood Classics. This place has an amazing show room, worth a visit if you live in/near Toronto. They use soya based poly-foam for the stuffing and they have a good selection of untreated upholstery fabrics to choose from. All sofas are made in Canada and the prices are reasonable, starting at around $1,600.
    Brentwood Classics sofa

  2. Buy an antique couch and have it re-upholstered based on our specific eco needs. This would involve  buying a used couch and finding an upholsterer who is willing to do the work for a reasonable price.

  3. Buy a futon with organic cotton batting. This is a great option other than futons are not everyone's cup of tea, especially as living room furniture.

After months of going back and forth, comparing prices, revisiting our budget, and questioning what is important to us we are narrowing down our choices. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Eco-friendly couch hunt and see how we decide.


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