Sustainable interior design is in growing demand and designers now have more luxury products than ever to work with. While there are many ways interior designs can prioritize sustainability in their design schemes, some clients are asking for projects that are as eco-conscious as current technology and production will allow.
Finding products that meet a client’s sustainability standards while serving your creative vision can be challenging when you don’t know where to find these super specialized vendors.
Here, we’ll feature some of the best luxury products that meet the highest certifiable sustainability standards in 2023 along with the sources for many of these selections, so you can find enough variety to blow away your most eco-conscious clients with the interiors of their dreams.
Featured Luxury Eco-Conscious materials:
(Image: Carnegie’s “Switch Embroider” upholstery and wall covering made with Xorel)
- Carnegie Textiles: Carnegie makes textiles that can be used across a wide range of applications, including upholstery, wallcoverings, and window treatments. They are the only B-Corp certified textile manufacturer in the U.S., which means they meet the highest standard by metrics that evaluate the overall social and environmental impact of its manufacturing process. They are also committed to producing only PVC-free textiles. Many of their textiles are made with an innovative proprietary material called Xorel, which is a woven polyethylene textile made primarily from sugarcane. It’s the first plant-based high performance interior textile material.
- Mylo Unleather: Mylo™ Unleather is a striking realistic copy of leather made from bio-based material created from mycelium, which is essentially a fungus. It sounds unappealing, but mycelium has actually been used by Lululemon, Stella McCartney, and Adidas in a different product they together invented called Mylo (better suited to apparel applications). One downside to Unleather is that it’s finished with polyurethane to make it weatherproof. However, its durability expands its life cycle.
- Pfister: For our international readers, Pfister is a green textile maker based in Germany that is Cradle to Cradle Certified® at the Gold level. Their interior design textiles are dyed with Cradle to Cradle Certified chemicals and materials are produced from infinito polymer, making them safe for biological cycles.
- Ecos by Imperial Paint: Ecos Paint products are water-based and free of polyurethane and VOCs, which are among the most environmentally and human health damaging agents in production. They are produced in the US, reducing their carbon footprint for US based interior design projects. They are available in an impressive array of colors and a variety of finishes, giving you the flexibility needed to meet your design standards. It has the Healthy Product Declaration and can be found in the Parsons at The New School’s Healthy Material Lab.
- Sherwin Williams ProMar© 200 line: These interior latex paints are also free of VOCs and have a GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low chemical emissions. They are available in every Sherwin Williams color and six finished. Its Environment Product Declaration (EPD) report certifies it as having low embodied carbon.
- House of Hackney: For our UK based readers, House of Hackney is the perfect choice for high end eco-friendly paint, with over 40 color selections. It is a B Corp (see above) brand with low VOC levels, an FSC wood certified stirrer, and is packaged in recyclable materials. See Country and Town House's 2023 list for more Europe based eco-friendly paint brands.
Slabs and Tile:
(Image: Ceramica Vogue’s indoor/outdoor tile from the Graph series)
- Caesarstone Premium Quartz: experienced interior designers are no doubt familiar with Caesarstone's premium quartz. Quartz is a durable, low-maintenance surface for kitchens and bathrooms, giving it a longer life cycle. It is also Greenguard Gold Certified.
- DalTile’s Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces: Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces are made from silica, quartz, mullite, and are durable like Caesarstone Premium Quartz. These highly realistic copies of natural stone slabs and concrete can be used for floors, walls, and countertops. The raw materials used are from quarries with environmental recovery plans plus the finished products don’t require sealants which often contain toxic materials with VOCs.
- Ceramica Vogue: Ceramica Vogue brings luxury and style to wall and floor tile and are well known in the world of high end interior design. They are also Greenguard Gold certified for their low emissions of harmful chemicals.
While these featured products are some of our favorite luxury sustainable interior design materials, there is a surprisingly vast world of eco-friendly products to explore. Some of the top resources for discovering new products include the above mentioned Parsons at The New School’s Healthy Material Lab. The Mindful Materials and Cradle to Cradle databases are also places where you will find new products on the cutting edge of sustainable design. The field is expanding rapidly. Staying informed as you go along will ensure you’re ready to design projects that meet the growing expectation for sustainability that your clients will increasingly demand.