The Eco-Friendly Sofa Build

Happy Earth Day! We love building eco-friendly furniture. We have the materials to make any custom furniture full eco-friendly. I’m going to focus on a single sofa in this article, but you can imagine the materials can be applied to anything.

I think it is also an important part of being eco-friendly to build within the same country the furniture will be used in. Our shops are mostly in California so we’re already held to the highest standard of sustainability and environmental considerations. Plus with the added transparency of Buildlane’s production process you can really be confident you’re delivering your client a true eco-friendly piece of furniture.


This one is easy. Almost all of the wood used in domestic furniture manufacturing is FSC certified. On the Westcoast we primarily use Alder, while on the Eastcoast Maple is more popular. But you’d have quite a difficult time if you were trying to source non-FSC certified wood in the US.


Whether the frame suspension is 8-way hand tied or sinuous springs both are eco-friendly. Simply steel and jute yarn.

The sofa back and arms will likely have jute webbing (as opposed to elastic webbing) depending on the sofa style.


You may not think about it but sofas often have a fair bit of glue used in their construction. This could be the glue that holds multiple layers of foam together or the glue that keeps multiple pieces of solid wood together for the legs. For foam we use water-based glue and for wood we use 0-VOC glue.


This is where the majority of the cost increase comes from. Normally we use high resilience polyurethane foam. But for an eco-friendly build we use nothing but latex. Latex comes naturally from the rubber tree. You can always tell latex foam for the uniform swiss-cheese style holes throughout.


For a regular sofa the cushion fill would be either feathers, down, or Trillium. Trillium is made from recycled plastic. And while all of those seem like they could be fine for an eco-build we’d actually use wool (sometimes cotton upon request). For the ticking fabric there are endless, inexpensive, options. We just make sure the fabric is GOTS certified.


While most of the fabric we use is sourced by our designers I can tell you most large fabric houses have eco-friendly lines. These are often made using recycled material. You can usually search Google for “brand name + eco-friendly” to find lots of options.

Wood Finish

For a normal sofa we often use oils for the finish. For an eco-friendly build we would definitely use a 0-VOC, oil finish. Rubio is a good example of something we use a lot, but anything that is Tungseed Oil based is best.


As you can see an eco-friendly build only differs slightly from a normal build. However, the cost, especially because of the latex, usually makes the sofa 50% more expensive. I think it is always smart to present both options to your client. Maybe getting to 90% eco-friendly and fitting the budget is good enough.

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