Consumers today are paying increased attention to sustainability in their homes, both from a health and wellness perspective and to mitigate environmental impacts. As environmental awareness continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly crucial for interior designers to be knowledgeable about sustainable interior design. Understanding green products, how they are made and how they contribute to well-being is important for designers to assimilate and explain to customers. The more customers understand that sustainability and beauty go hand in hand in the home, the better off they will be and the planet will be better off. Read on for key insights into how sustainable products contribute to a beautiful, healthy and happy home.
What is a “green” product in the interior design industry?
What defines a “green” product? They are generally energy efficient, free of ozone depleting chemicals and made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials. It is important to understand that green products are not of lower quality. In fact, the opposite is often true. In home design, commonly used recycled materials include steel, glass, and plastic that can be refined to a luxurious, like-new quality.
While durable products may get a bad rap about their quality, these misconceptions are easy to dispel once you understand the refinement and manufacturing process. For example, steel is one of the oldest recycled materials, and for good reason. As a 100% recyclable material, it can be produced with the same quality as new steel.
New steel is produced using the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) method, which blows oxygen into a converter containing hot, liquid, high-carbon pig iron. This process produces high levels of CO2 emissions. In comparison, recycled steel is produced using an electric furnace which produces on average 85% less CO2 per ton of steel, a much cleaner manufacturing process.
Glass is another commonly recycled material used for furniture. With the fastest turnaround time of any recycled material, it can go from a recycling plant to a store shelf in just 30 days. The process is simple: once the recyclables are collected, the glass is separated and sent to a glass processing center, where it is then separated from contaminants and sorted by color. It is then broken down into cullet, a sand-like substance that is ready to be re-blown into new glass products.
The benefits of glass recycling are hard to ignore: for every ton of recycled glass, more than a ton of natural resources are saved. The good news for home furnishings manufacturers and buyers is that most glass can be recycled to 100% purity and quality standards.
What are the psychological benefits of buying green?
Buying green can have positive mental impacts for design clients, as it is considered a moral behavior, which is directly correlated with a positive self-image.
According to a study published in the scientific journal Environment, Development, and
Sustainability, people who voluntarily did more environmentally friendly acts had higher positive self-image scores than those who did less.
These statistics from a survey by Tiller LLC confirm the positive link between buying green and feeling good:
- 62% of women believe in the need for change when it comes to global climate change
- 87% of women are looking to do more to “go green”
- 53% of women express their guilt for not adopting a more environmentally friendly lifestyle
When it comes to people’s homes, designers have a great opportunity to help customers feel good about themselves and their choices. For clients, hiring a designer to transform and personalize their space is a form of self-care, stress reduction, and improved health and well-being. Eco-friendly interior design can ultimately boost your client’s self-image and confidence by both creating a beautiful, functional space and reinforcing the positive morality of selecting eco-friendly home decor products. .
What are the Positive Psychology Similarities Between Buying Green Items and Buying Luxury Items?
Similar to buying green, buying luxury gives people a boost of self-esteem. Often, luxury items are purchased as rewards, and they are considered higher quality and more durable. A 2018 Deloitte survey found that 83% of the US market said buying luxury goods leads to feelings of happiness and confidence. When it comes to sustainable luxury goods, the feel-good benefits for shoppers are even greater. When a luxury brand can make an environmental statement, it helps it retain its stature in the mind of the shopper while creating a more positive experience around the product.
In the coming years, the luxury industry will expand to encompass more sustainable products, with luxury buyers increasingly seeking green products. For interior designers looking to create beautiful, sustainable spaces, telling the story of a luxurious, eco-friendly lifestyle to your clients will become a necessary part of the design process. The more you can share about an eco-friendly brand’s story and mission, and how homewares are made, the more confident and satisfied your customers will be with your services.
For designers interested in eco-friendly lighting products handcrafted with recycled materials, visit www.varaluz.com.