Best of Green awards seal in animated graphic
Illustration by Hugo Lin.

Best of Green Awards 2021: Eco Decor

Furnish your home without harming the planet with these winners from Treehugger and MyDomaine's Best of Green Awards for Eco Decor.

It used to be that the things one furnished their home with were hand-crafted and precious, the kind of items that might be passed down from generation to generation. And then the 20th century happened. Technological progress in both cheap materials and mass manufacturing gave rise to where we are now, a culture in which trends change seasonally and furnishings are virtually disposable.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 12.1 million tons (19,360,000,000 pounds!) of furniture and furnishings were thrown away in 2018. Around 20% of that was incinerated for energy recovery; most of it (80.1%) was landfilled. Gone are the days when homes were filled with items built to last a lifetime.

There are also unsustainable materials and supply chains. There is the exploitation of resources, pollution during manufacture, and packaging and shipping plights to consider, to name just a few of the issues.

Thankfully, fighting the flood of fast furniture is a host of companies making beautiful, responsible, eco-friendly items. From products made by international manufacturers to small indie labels, consumers have an increasing array of ways to furnish and decorate in a manner that doesn't harm the planet. And these are the makers and products we are honoring in Treehugger's Best of Green Awards for Eco Decor.

How We Chose Our Winners

To help us in this endeavor, we teamed up with home decor site MyDomaine. With Treehugger's authority in sustainability and MyDomaine's deep expertise in all things decor, we set out to collect nominations from readers, contributors, staff, and outside experts. We then carefully vetted each nominee looking for products that stand out based on the following criteria.

  • They are well-made and durable.
  • They are made with eco-friendly, non-toxic materials.
  • They are made in a way that parts can be separated for recycling; can be upcycled; can be returned to the manufacturer at the end of their useful life.
  • They are made using fair labor.
  • Their manufacture is non-polluting and resource-efficient.
  • They are packaged and shipped conscientiously.
  • They are from a company that has stated climate and/or sustainability goals.
  • To help us spotlight the winners, we assembled a panel of experts to test and/or comment on the products.

Meet the Panel

BoG Eco Decor awards panel
Illustration by Hugo Lin

Grace Jeffers: Design historian, author
Grace Jeffers is a design historian and author who is an expert in materials and their true environmental impact. She made international headlines with her restoration of The Ralph Sr & Sonny Wilson House in Temple, Texas, and its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Jeffers is also the creative force behind the award-winning Wilsonart Student Chair Competition.

Bridget Mallon: Associate editorial director, MyDomaine
Bridget Mallon is the associate editorial director at MyDomaine. Before joining MyDomaine, she was the design editor at Apartment Therapy and also worked for HGTV Magazine, Elle Decor, and Veranda. Mallon’s writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Glitter Guide, and House Beautiful.

Kimberley Mok: Sustainable design expert, author
Kimberley Mok is a designer and author with training in architecture, sustainable design, and ecology. She is the author of the book, “The Modern House Bus: Mobile Tiny House Inspirations” (The Countryman Press, 2018). Her work has also appeared on The New Stack, Protocol, HuffPost, AlterNet, Planet Green, Parentables, and Yahoo! Green.

Lloyd Alter: Design editor, Treehugger
Lloyd Alter is a former architect who is now Treehugger’s design editor. He teaches sustainable design at Ryerson School of Interior Design and has been a regular speaker and moderator at Passive House conferences around the world. Alter is the author of “Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle: Why Individual Climate Action Matters More than Ever" (New Society Publishers, 2021). 

Best Flooring

BoG awards flooring
Illustration by Hugo Lin

Fireclay: Recycled Tile

What to Know: Fireclay is a San Francisco-based company that makes gorgeous tiles. But there's more to these tiles than meets the eye. The company incorporates recycled granite fines—the waste from cutting granite rocks—into their tile bodies. In fact, over 4,000 pounds of fines are used daily by Fireclay. Furthermore, the company incorporates glaze waste into its clay, which offsets the disposal of 200,000 pounds of glaze waste in just six months and recirculates water to ensure none goes to waste. All tiles are made in the U.S., and Fireclay is a certified B corporation, donating a portion of proceeds to environmental protection projects.

Why We Chose It: This is the most sustainable tile we have come across yet. The company’s signature ceramic recycled tile is handmade in California using domestically sourced materials and we love the use of scraps to make these a recycled product. “Not only is Fireclay crossing all the ‘t’s and dotting all the ‘i’s in terms of sustainability,” says Melissa Breyer, Treehugger’s editorial director, “but the tile comes in a variety of shapes and colors to please everyone.” Bonus points for the recycled clay body that has an impressive breaking strength of 393 pounds per foot. Also, check out the hand-painted options and prepare to swoon.

Forbo: Marmoleum

What to Know: What's not to love about linoleum? It is among the greenest of floorings, made from natural and recycled materials, a mix of linseed oil, pine rosin, wood flour, limestone, and cork dust, with a jute backing. Marmoleum is made by Forbo and is the most popular brand of linoleum. It lasts for decades and is easy to clean, standing up to hard use while maintaining a great appearance.

Why We Chose It: Lloyd Alter, Treehugger's design editor, has personal experience with linoleum. "I have had Marmoleum in my kitchen and bathroom for 30 years, and it still looks good. I was told not to put it in the bathroom because the backing might separate if it got too wet, but that hasn't happened yet." Alter goes on to say, "It's so natural, it's almost edible. When we talk about building out of sunshine—using materials that we grow—this is top of the list for flooring. About the only knock against it is the energy-intensive baking of it."

Earth Weave: OrganoSoftColors Carpet

What to Know: For the healthiest and safest carpet, we like Earth Weave's 100% natural wool floor coverings. OrganoSoftColors is a new line by the company that uses only organic dyes. As with all its products, the backing is a natural rubber adhesive (no synthetics whatsoever), and the carpet is free from the questionable mothproofing and chemical stain protection treatments that most other manufacturers (even other wool carpet makers) use.

Why We Chose It: The non-toxic production process matters a lot to us. It means no off-gassing and, therefore, better indoor air quality. Earth Weave only uses wool from British sheep, which meets high standards for animal welfare. Its carpets last 20-25 years, compared to conventional synthetic carpets' lifespan of approximately seven years. And when the time comes to throw them out, they'll biodegrade instead of lingering in a landfill for centuries.

FLOR: Carpet Tiles

What to Know: Carpet tiles make so much sense that it's hard to believe they haven't become more popular in private homes. When a carpet becomes damaged, you can simply remove the single tile, wash it or send it back to FLOR for recycling. All FLOR tiles are free from toxic chemicals, hypoallergenic, and meet or exceed standards for low VOCs (volatile organic compounds). They're made with recycled nylon in partnership with Aquafil, maker of Econyl.

Why We Chose It: The easier it is to clean a carpet, the longer it will look good and you'll be able to keep it in circulation. That reduces demand for new products and their associated emissions. Alter notes that FLOR's model is smart. "Carpet tiles are used commercially because they are easy to replace damaged tiles. Now the concept comes into our homes." And because you’re the one assembling tiles into a finished carpet, you can decide what pattern or look you want, ensuring your space is entirely unique.

Jelinek: Cork Mosaic Flooring

What to Know: This unusual flooring is made from recycled wine corks, sliced into quarter-inch circular disks, and glued onto special paper to make interesting mosaic patterns. The resulting product is installed similarly to regular ceramic tiles and can be stained in any color. Exceptionally dense and impervious to surface moisture, these cork tiles are low maintenance and easy to clean.

Why We Chose It: "Not only does cork have a wonderfully earthy feel, it’s also durable and naturally pest-resistant," says sustainable design expert Kimberley Mok. "With Jelinek's cork mosaic tiles, one can get that natural yet unique look for kitchens, and even high-traffic hallways. In addition, these cork mosaic tiles can even be used in wet areas like bathrooms, showers, or for kitchen backsplashes, making them a versatile choice for eco-conscious homeowners."

Best Bath & Bedding

BoG eco decor awards bedding
Illustration by Hugo Lin

Bolé Road Textiles: Turkana Bath Mat

What to Know: Made in Ethiopia using 100% Ethiopian cotton, this striking bath mat will add a happy splash of color to your bathroom while creating a soft surface for when you get out of the tub or shower. Bolé Road Textiles was founded by a female interior designer who, after graduating from Cornell and working for a major New York architecture firm, wanted to pay homage to her cultural heritage. Bolé Road strives to preserve Ethiopian hand-weaving techniques while offering vibrant home decor. 

Why We Chose It: “Sure, you could opt for a shag bath mat that matches the toilet cover,” says Breyer. “But you could also go with something that was beautifully handwoven in Ethiopia and boasts happy-making stripes of hot pink, blush, tangerine, tan, and orchid. You decide.” We are smitten with all the offerings from Bolé Road, but we think the Turkana bath mat is just the thing to start the day with after a morning shower.

Coyuchi: 300 Thread Count Organic Sateen Minimalist Set

What to Know: As the weather gets cooler, who doesn't want to cozy up in some buttery soft sheets? This gorgeous set from Coyuchi, which includes a duvet cover, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases (one if you're buying the twin set), offers a hint of luster on one side and a matte finish on the other. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to ethics and sustainability. The organic cotton is certified by Fairtrade, GOTS, and MADE SAFE, ensuring that no toxic chemicals were used in production. Coyuchi, a woman-owned company, is a member of 1% For the Planet, which donates to environmental organizations, and it has a takeback program that renews old linens for resale or upcycles them into blankets. 

Why We Chose It: Bridget Mallon, associate editorial director at MyDomaine, is a fan of Coyuchi’s bedding. She says, “There's something inherently luxurious about sateen sheets: they're sleek, a little shiny (but never over the top), and simply lovely to sleep in. Coyuchi's sateen bedding takes it up another notch, thanks to its organic materials. This is one great way to sleep a little easier.”

Zuahaza: Jardín Pillow

What to Know: Handmade by women artisans in Colombia, this alluring throw pillow is made from 100% organic cotton, using natural dyes extracted from vegetables and other plants. The weave is soft yet boldly colored, with playful tassels on the corners. Zuahaza, which means "sister" in the Muisca language, works with a collective of 40+ craftswomen across Colombia to bring traditional woven home goods to a global market. It pays a living wage, minimizes waste by using leftover materials to create smaller items, and recycles scraps as fertilizer for cotton farms.

Why We Chose It: Writer Dana Covit included Zuahaza in MyDomaine’s "20 Eco-Friendly Décor Brands That Are Actually Chic," and we concur! The brand is making gorgeous textiles in the best ways possible, and the products are just lovely. The tasseled Jardín throw pillow sums up the brand nicely—beautifully made, chic, and super fun all at once. 

Under the Canopy: Luxe Organic Cotton Towels

What to Know: These fluffy, luxurious towels will make you look forward to stepping out of the shower. Made from organic cotton that meets other high global standards for production, they boast a premium weight of 700 grams per square meter and longer loops for extra softness. Under the Canopy is an eco-textile pioneer that has been making sustainable items accessible and affordable for years, long before "organic" and "zero waste" were trendy buzzwords. The towels are made ethically and responsibly in Pakistan.

Why We Chose It: We love this super sustainable company that was founded by Marci Zaroff, the woman who coined the term “eco-fashion.” And as much as we love the ethos behind the company, we love their products just as much! When selecting these towels for Treehugger’s round-up of Best Eco-Friendly Bath Towels, writer Steph Dyson summed it up just right: “Luxury and affordability might not seem like natural companions—or at least you might not think so until you encounter these sumptuously economical bath towels.”

Woolroom: Luxury Organic Comforter

What to Know: This cozy comforter is made by Woolroom, a United Kingdom-based company that turns top-notch British wool into luxurious bedding. All of its wool comes from farms that adhere to the Five Freedoms in the Animal Welfare Act (2007), which means you can rest assured it comes from "happy" sheep. The Luxury line of comforters is made with 100% organic cotton and fully traceable wool; the Deluxe line is machine-washable, also with an organic cotton cover. Neither contains any synthetic materials or fibers.

Why We Chose It: Wool is perfect for sleep. "I use Woolroom's bedding and can vouch for it," says Katherine Martinko, senior editor at Treehugger. "It's amazing all year round." Wool has a remarkable ability to regulate temperature, meaning it almost always feels like the right amount of insulation. It's highly breathable and can resolve many of the complaints people have about overheating, worsening allergies, and lack of restorative sleep, as these problems often stem from sleeping on and under synthetic fibers.

Best for the Table

BoG Eco Decor awards tabletop2
Illustration by Hugo Lin

Itemerie: Recycled Glasses

What to Know: You and your guests will be delighted to sip from these elegant glass tumblers hand-blown by artisans in Poland. The recycled glass content gives them a unique greenish tint; and their curious domed bottoms are inspired by the huge biomes at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, which won a prestigious design award in 2019. These 350-milliliter recycled glasses come as a set of four and are dishwasher-safe, though handwashing is recommended.

Why We Chose It: These little drinking glasses are beautiful and practical and environmentally friendly, and you can't beat that! They're made by a family-owned company in Poland that has been handcrafting glasswares since the 1960s. We love itemerie's business philosophy of striving to change the culture of disposability when it comes to home furnishings and encouraging people to buy high-quality, ethically-made items that will last for years.

Mud Australia: Medium Carafe

What to Know: Simple yet versatile, this elegant porcelain carafe from Mud Australia is handmade by artisans in Sydney. It comes in a range of subtle colors, is food-safe, and can be put in the dishwasher. Mud itself is an impressively sustainable company, offsetting all carbon emissions and investing in reforestation and renewable energy projects. It has a strict water filtration system in its clay studio, and all of its protective packaging is 100% recyclable and compostable. In 2020 the company switched to sea freight over air, as maritime shipping is the most efficient form of long-distance transport.

Why We Chose It: Breyer describes Mud as a "super sustainable company making beautiful modern porcelain. Bonus points for working with certified agency South Pole to become carbon neutral and do all their shipping by sea." Breyer uses the medium carafe in her home and loves it, saying it's one of her favorite everyday pieces: "It's gorgeous, goes with everything, and triples as a vase, teapot, and cold carafe."

MINNA: Sunrise Stripe Napkins

What to Know: Spruce up your dinner table with these snazzy striped cotton napkins, handmade by skilled pedal loom weavers in Guatemala. Sold as singles or a set of four, these napkins get softer with every wash—and should last for years. They are made in a family-run cooperative an hour from Lake Atitlán, and are sold by MINNA, a company based in New York that works with South and Central American craftspeople to preserve their art and sell to a global market. Designs are "informed and inspired by Feminist art, the Bauhaus, traditional craft, and vintage textiles."

Why We Chose It: By upgrading to reusable, washable cotton napkins, you'll reduce the waste generated by single-use, disposable paper napkins or (shudder!) paper towels. It's one of those eco-friendly swaps that's so easy and logical, you'll wonder why you didn't do it years before. These are the kind of cloth napkins you'll be eager to pull out, night after night.

Chairish: Vintage Flatware

What to Know: Chairish is an online dealer of secondhand furniture and home goods, and it offers rare, unique finds that are guaranteed to have less impact on the planet, just by virtue of being pre-loved. Their vintage flatware options are extensive and varied, from old English sterling silver to reclaimed airline silverware to mid-century sets to gold Moroccan-style cutlery. There's something for everyone to dine in high style.

Why We Chose It: Mallon points out that “buying secondhand, vintage, or antique flatware is not only a great way to find high-quality pieces that feel elevated and intentional, but a sustainable option as well. After all, the greenest silverware is the silverware that's already made.” 

Costa Nova: Eco Gres Recycled Stoneware

What to Know: Costa Nova is a Portuguese maker of fine stonewares. Its unusual Eco Gres collection uses recycled clay and glazes for reduced impact. Clay waste is collected from the Costa Nova factory and combined with other materials to create a stable final composition. All production takes place within the same factory and uses a single-fire process. The Lagoa Eco Gres collection has everything you need for a properly set table—from plates and saucers to bowls, mugs, and butter dishes—and comes in black or white.

Why We Chose It: Beautiful dinnerware just begs to be used. It makes you want to sit down and dine in style, and this set is one of our favorites we've found so far. We love that it's made with clay waste and fired using a lower energy, single-fire process. Some of the residual kiln heat is even reused by other equipment in the factory. A simple, minimalist set of dishes like these can be mixed and matched with other items you already have in your kitchen.

Best Furniture

BoG Eco Decor Awards furniture
Illustration by Hugo Lin

Only Good Things: Hurdle Barstool

What to Know: The Hurdle Stool boasts a high-quality modern aesthetic that's built to last, both in terms of utility and style. It uses sustainably harvested wood from American forests paired with U.S.-sourced steel and is manufactured in the United States by a company called Only Good Things. Each piece is finished with a topcoat that can withstand even the toughest stains. Only Good Things tests its furniture to commercial performance standards and provides a three-year structural warranty. Quality means longevity, and that's good for the environment.

Why We Chose It: Alter explains that Only Good Things is a newer branch of a Michigan-based contract furniture company that used to sell exclusively to commercial buyers, but recently expanded into the residential market. "Furniture designed for restaurants is built to last; this company brings it into your home. It will last a lifetime," he says. Even better is that it's made to order. “Forget waiting four months for your furniture,” the company writes on its website; this stuff will ship in two to four weeks.

Yardbird: Luna Collection

What to Know: When shopping for outdoor patio furniture, you can't go wrong with a rust-free aluminum frame and tough Sunbrella fabric that's going to last for years. The Luna Collection by Yardbird is strong and durable, highly water- and stain-resistant, and stackable for convenient storage. The company partners with Carbon Fund to offset all of its footprint and upcycles reclaimed ocean plastic in its wicker furniture sets.

Why We Chose It: Outdoor furniture is a worthwhile investment if it means you'll spend more time outside, enjoying the fresh air and changing seasons. We are impressed by Yardbird's commitment to sustainability, its highly reviewed and well-made products, and its willingness to take back any old pieces for repurposing. It says that all of its furniture is 100% recyclable, which means the company has done some serious thinking about design and materials used.

Model No.: Pothos Storage Stool

What to Know: The stunningly versatile Pothos Storage Stool is manufactured by Model No., at its micro-factory in Oakland, California. It is made from 3D-printed plant resin, which the company makes from reclaimed plant and timber waste in an effort to reduce demand for petroleum-based material. With its hollow center and removable lid, this stool is built to last and is guaranteed to add a splash of stylish practicality to your household.  

Why We Chose It: Kid-friendly multifunctional storage is a must for any home with children in it. Mok describes it as "a perfect example of one storage piece that not only works well but also looks good." It comes in two sizes, and the plant-based resin means that less waste was created during the production process. Mok adds, "The lid is made with sustainably sourced hardwood, meaning that it is durable and will hold up to years of heavy use."

Burrow: Range 3-Piece Sofa

What to Know: The Range 3-Piece Sofa made by Burrow could be the smartest, most versatile purchase you make for your home. This modern modular sofa has nearly limitless arrangements that can grow and adapt to your needs, meaning you can buy parts rather than replace it when you want more seating space. The couch frame is made from sustainably sourced hardwoods and the comfy foam cushions have minimal VOCs; they are free from heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates. The fabric is made from upcycled olefin and has no perfluorochemicals in it; its tight weave makes it pretty much stain-resistant.

Why We Chose It: Featured in Treehugger’s "8 Best Eco-Friendly Couches of 2021," writer Starre Vartan selected the Range sofa as the most comfortable of the bunch. “Available in a few configurations, Burrow’s Range line is designed to be extra-comfy, with overstuffed plush cushions,” she notes. We believe that a solidly made, extra comfortable sofa is a keeper—and much less likely to end up in the landfill.

Solutions Furniture Company: Mezzo 5-in-1

What to Know: The Mezzo is a transforming wonder made by Solutions Furniture Company, a manufacturer of high-end space optimization furniture. This piece is a great example of “transformer furniture” in that it can be used as a dresser, buffet, or TV stand and can also convert into a five-person dining table and/or work desk.

Why We Chose It: There is a lot to admire about this good-looking multipurpose piece, which also boasts low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and has a lifetime warranty on drawer boxes and glides. “We love transformer furniture; it lets you live comfortably in smaller spaces,” says Alter. “This dresser pulls out into a dining room table when you have guests.”

Best Lighting & Gadgets

BoG Eco Decor Awards lighting and gadgets
Illustration by Hugo Lin

Hangout Lighting: LED Edison Bulb

What to Know: There's no need to compromise aesthetics for environmental standards when it comes to your home lighting, thanks to these beautiful Edison bulbs. We're big fans of this whole line of vintage-style LED bulbs with 15,000 life hours. Hangout Lighting is a female-owned workshop based in Chicago that got established on Etsy; it handmakes lighting fixtures to order with fast turnaround times.

Why We Chose It: This mash-up of a Victorian-era wound filament bulb and a long-life LED has our hipster hearts all aflutter. “LED light bulbs have come a long way since the early expensive options that came in a very limited range of color temperature options,” says Breyer. “I am guessing Thomas Edison would be impressed!”

Minnow: Twist Bamboo Shade

What to Know: This showstopper of a light shade is made from wood sustainably harvested in New Zealand, where the shade is produced. The company, Minnow, is run by a married couple that designs and produces lighting fixtures using materials and components that have been carefully selected to be as sustainable as possible, such as plantation-grown New Zealand pine and bamboo. Minnow strives to reduce waste, reuse items (such as copper wire), recycle, and compost. For every product sold, it pays for a native tree to be planted. 

Why We Chose It: There's lots to love about these shades; a great example of sustainability in a super chic package. Mod and organic, we love that the husband and wife duo use renewable, quality materials and that the shades are adaptable, allowing a user to switch up the shape of the light that the shades emit. “While these wonderfully crafted shades give a nod to the bent plywood of mid-century modern, they are also inherently 21st-century modern in their attention to sustainability and detail,” says Breyer. “Plus, who doesn’t want a light shade that doubles as a sculpture?”

Edn: SmallGarden

What to Know: This clever countertop SmallGarden is a great way to grow fresh food, herbs, and flowers in your home all year round. It makes gardening easy—perfect for urban dwellers who can rely on Edn's smartphone app and automated, dimmable LED lighting system to ensure happy, productive crops. (The app will even tell you when your plants need water!) You can buy soilless SeedPods with time-released nutrients to maximize growth and minimize mess.

Why We Chose It: Anything that shortens the field-to-fork journey is a plus in our eyes—and as Mok says, "Nothing is more locally grown than on your own kitchen counter." She likes the look of it, too. "Sporting a sleek and slim design with a walnut wood base and an anodized aluminum handle, the Edn SmallGarden is perfect for urban dwellers who want to have some fresh herbs on hand." It's a good choice "for those of us who aren't blessed with a greener thumb."

Gantri: Kero Table Light

What to Know: Modeled after old portable kerosene lanterns, this modern-day update features a soft-white LED bulb surrounded by a translucent diffuser with a sturdy handle and base. The material is Gantri Plant Polymer, derived from sugar crops and described as "the world's first plant-derived polylactic acid (PLA) blends engineered specifically for premium lighting products." It is 3D-printed, which minimizes waste. You can move this dimmable light around the house, making it perfect for outdoor dinners, additional desk illumination, or soft night light.

Why We Chose It: Mallon describes Gantri's approach to lighting as “one of the most innovative (not to mention stylish!) uses of 3D printing we've seen yet.” She goes on to say, “The lights themselves are beautiful, energy-efficient, and statement-making, and the 3D printing process is a way to craft new items with minimal waste.”

Bitti Gitti: Wooden Sound System

What to Know: A speaker with no batteries or power source? It seems impossible, but German engineering has achieved it. Bitti Gitti's award-winning passive smartphone speaker relies on seven layers of birch wood and an inner channel system to amplify sound from a phone, naturally. It increases volume by 25dB without needing external power. The beautiful wood construction has a warm minimalist aesthetic that is sure to pique curiosity wherever you go—because this speaker can go anywhere!

Why We Chose It: The fact that this attractive little speaker doesn't require any power to operate is just so cool and unusual! It stands out in a world of plastic-swathed speakers with their lengthy cords or endless parade of disposable batteries—a testament to clever design, ingenuity, and thinking outside (or is it inside?) the box.

Best for Walls & Windows

BoG Eco Decor Awards walls and windows
Illustration by Hugo Lin

MIO: Nomad System Room Dividers

What to Know: Made from recycled, double-walled corrugated cardboard, the Nomad System of room dividers features a modular set of interlocking cardboard pieces that can be easily configured (and reconfigured) to create partitions, displays, and curved walls. They’re ideal for creating elegant separation in lofts, living rooms, dorm rooms, or office spaces without needing any tools or having to hire contractors. Based in Philadelphia, MIO is a family-owned, certified B-corp design company that strives to make products with as few resources as possible and that can be disassembled at end of life.

Why We Chose It: "No tools are needed, and there’s also no need to damage walls with fasteners, making this a good choice for renters, or for people looking for a more flexible option," says Mok. "There are a variety of colors and finishes, all of which can be mixed and matched to create visually interesting installations." When you're done with them, the panels are curbside recyclable. 

Eskayel Wallpaper

What to Know: Eskayel makes striking wallpapers from responsibly sourced and recycled fibers. Its water-based inks are applied using a digital printing process that eliminates runoff from conventional solvent inks. (This, the company says, is "one of the most detrimental aspects of wallpaper production.") All of Eskayel's wallpaper is made to order in the northeastern U.S., which minimizes waste. A percentage of sales is donated to environmental organizations.

Why We Chose It: Mok points out how unusual this business model is. "Wallpaper doesn’t usually have a great eco-friendly reputation, as the traditional manufacturing process involves a lot of nasty chemicals and synthetic materials. But this gorgeous collection strikes a different path." If wallpaper isn't your thing, "the company also creates rugs, fabrics, and other accessories with a variety of unique patterns, ranging from watercolor-like compositions to bold geometric motifs." 

West Elm: Cotton Velvet Curtains

What to Know: Take your bedroom style to the next level with these long and lovely cotton velvet curtains from West Elm. The stonewashed cotton offers a matte finish and a more relaxed look than typical synthetic velvet and works well to block light and ensure privacy. Curtains can improve insulation, too, which is better for temperature control and energy savings. 

Why We Chose It: Most of our award winners have come from smaller, independent companies. But when international retailers like West Elm take a big step, it has a big impact. With that in mind, we love the brand’s deluxe velvet curtains for their insulating and light-blocking functionality, but also because West Elm is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, which trains cotton farmers in optimal agricultural techniques and encourages companies to source sustainably grown cotton.

Livden: PaperStone Tiles

What to Know: Nothing spruces up a blank wall more than colorful tiles, and Livden is one company that strives to make tiles that are both beautiful and eco-friendly. Its PaperStone line is made using recycled papers and natural pigments. Its Terrazzo tiles bind pieces of granite, glass, or quartz with cement or epoxy, using the same age-old process that makes terrazzo one of the world's oldest recycled building materials. All tiles are made in the United States.

Why We Chose It: Mok is impressed by Livden's commitment to sustainable production. "Their various tile collections are made with 65 to 100% post-consumer recycled materials. For instance, their PaperStone tiles are made with 90% recycled melamine and 100% recycled phenolic saturated papers, natural pigments, and non-petroleum-based resins, which gives these durable, waterproof tiles a unique texture and feel." The eye-catching graphic designs are sure to garner compliments in any room of the house.

Clare Wall Paint

What to Know: If it's time to refresh the color on your walls, then you should check out Clare. This company makes water-based paints that are free from the toxic solvents that make conventional paint so stinky and harmful. Instead, Clare's formulas have zero VOCs and are GREENGUARD Gold certified to ensure good indoor air quality, as well as comply with LEED regulations for green building standards. The paint comes in recycled resin cans. You can order handy paint swatches that stick onto the wall to compare colors, making the paint selection process simpler and more pleasurable.

Why We Chose It: “Paint has the power to instantly transform a room—or a wall, or a piece of furniture—so it's no surprise that it's a design industry darling,” says Mallon. “Nicole Gibbons [Clare’s founder] took the power of paint one step further, though, and crafted a line of eco-friendly options in a curated set of colors that makes transforming your space easier than ever.”

See some of our previous award winners here: