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A How-To Guide for Sustainable Living Room Curtains

Jun 16, 2021
by Sarah Mac

Living room curtains are important things. They have the power to totally transform a room, to make it look finished, homely and inviting. In terms of interior design, they are a decoration in themselves. They also have a practical use, keeping out sunlight and maintaining cool on hot days, whilst providing privacy and insulation from the cold.

If you’re thinking about replacing your living room window curtains sometime soon, but you want to style your home sustainably, then there are various considerations to factor in as you make your selection. Read on as we explore the merits of choosing sustainable living room drapes, and how to select curtains that are good for the planet, for other people and for you.


Why choose sustainable living room curtains?


It really is possible to style your home beautifully with fair trade and eco-friendly living room curtains. Curtains that are still appealing and complement your taste and décor, but at the same time are kind to the planet.

When you choose sustainable living room drapes, you are saying no to curtains that are made from synthetic fibres such as polyester, which is made from petroleum, as well as other unsustainably sourced fibres such as rayon and viscose, both of which are created using tree pulp and have connections with deforestation of endangered and old-growth forests.

What’s more, by opting for sustainable living room window curtains, you are outlawing the toxic chemicals associated with synthetic fabrics and dyes that are harmful to the environment, and to human health. Vinyl curtains, such as those used for outdoor living spaces, are some of the worst offenders. Made from PVC, these curtains contain toxic chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates and organotin.

Finally, there are labour considerations coming into play. As in any other industry, home furnishings such as living room curtains more often than not form part of a global supply chain, bearing very low transparency and traceability. The sad fact is that textile factories, farms and mills across the world are subject to child and forced labour and, unless a manufacturer has strict processes in place to track the production journey, they may not even know that such practices exist within their supply chain.


How to identify sustainable living room curtains?


There are various ways in which you can identify sustainable living room drapes.


Firstly, think carefully about the material that the curtains are made from. Seek out organic and low-impact natural fibres, such as organic cotton, hemp and linen.

For more prominent brands, look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), developed by leading standard setters to define worldwide recognised requirements for organic textiles. From the harvesting of raw materials, to socially responsible and environmentally friendly manufacturing and labelling, GOTS certified textiles give you the peace of mind of credible assurance.

For smaller brands with traceable supply chains, you won’t necessarily need to look for such certifications, as they can prove that their raw materials were grown sustainably.

Dyes and chemicals

Modern curtains for a living room need not contain toxic dyes and chemicals. Look for plant-based dyes and natural mordants (the bond between the fabric and the dye), and avoid toxic finishes.

If you are wondering how to identify whether a product has been finished with a toxin, the giveaway will usually be a label that states ‘stain resistant’ or ‘non-iron’. Water or stain-repellent products can contain PFAs, also known as ‘forever chemicals’ as they never break down in the environment.

Ethical production

Take some time to look into whether the curtain brand is clear about their production processes. Do they treat their staff fairly, with reasonable working hours, pay and benefits together with safe conditions? Can they prove all of this with fact-based evidence?

If you can, choose a brand that holds direct partnerships and actively invests in their production chain, such as their dyers, sewers and weavers.


Where to find sustainable living room curtains?


Looking for inspirational living room curtain ideas that tick all the sustainability boxes? Take a look at the sustainable curtain range offered by Kola Project.

One of the key curtain brands we offer as part of our range is MagicLinen. This is a family-run business based in Lithuania. Made from 100 per cent European flax, the brand’s linen products are OEKO-TEX certified, which means they don’t contain harmful substances.

For MagicLinen, transparency is essential, which is why they work with third party agencies to make certain that every step of their production process is ethical. They also use eco-friendly packaging which is truly biodegradable. What’s more, because flax stands the test of time, it is perfect for living room curtains that don’t need to be replaced on a regular basis.

Kola Project was founded in response to the global waste problem. Our business model forms the first fully circular shopping experience in the world and is based on an exclusive return and reuse program. So, when you purchase living room window curtains from us, not only are you getting a sustainable, socially responsible and environmentally friendly product, you will also enjoy complete reassurance that your curtains can be returned for repair, recycling, refurbishment, recycling or composting, at any point, regardless of how long you’ve had them.

Why not start your circular shopping experience now, and find your perfect sustainable living room curtains today?

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