Sustainability is on everyone's mind at the moment, and with good reason. However, shopping for your home has now become a confusing landscape to navigate. With big brands 'greenwashing' their product lines and some small independent sustainable brands being lost in the noise, I've put together a list of Irish interior and lifestyle brands that tick all the sustainability boxes so you can shop for your home - guilt-free.

1. Hey, Bulldog (heybulldogdesign.com)

Who are they?

We are Amanda and Joe and we come from a Fine Art and Engineering background. For us, happiness is the process of making! We play with materials and colour and from this process create beautiful homewares.

We believe in creating innovative products that really make you look at them and that simply make you happy having them in your home. Life's too short to surround yourself with dull, drab homewares!

How are they sustainable?

Our love of transforming and our strong desire to be as sustainable and future-friendly as possible, has led us to working with materials like concrete, Jesmonite, metal and wood.

There are certain products we always have in our range but because of our playful making process our designs are constantly evolving. Each of our handmade products is unique with its own distinct patterns and natural imperfections.

We produce our designs in limited numbers so we can keep our colour palette and textures fresh and exciting.

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2. Mira Mira (miramira.ie)

Who are they?

We've got an eye for the eclectic and a passion for funky, original gifts. Our shop is an Aladdin's cave of hand-made and organic treasures; from soft toys, baby clothes and jewellery to household goods, aromatics and our huge range of organic skin and body care products.

How are they sustainable?

At Mira Mira, we believe in ethical trading and we only deal with companies who share this policy. So our products are not only original, they're fairly traded too! We've selected the very best of these unique gifts to showcase here on the website. Take a look at our most popular sellers on the Products & Gifts page, or see what makes us tick under About Us. Or you can always drop in and visit us in Sandymount and see the full range of unique gifts we have from around the world!

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3. STABLE of Ireland (stableofireland.com)

Who are they?

STABLE of Ireland is an independent Irish company producing beautiful Irish scarves, accessories and textiles.

Founded by Francie Duff and Sonia Reynolds, our wish is to present the best of Irish style and traditions to people the world over who value uniqueness, quality and exclusivity along with the time it takes to make something truly special.

How are they sustainable?

We love our tiny island and are inspired daily by its rich culture, beauty, creativity and traditions. We work with the very best of weavers and knitters from all over Ireland, both North and South, both young and old. They are cherished, respected friends and a vital part of our STABLE team, whom we champion every day.

With STABLE, we want to celebrate and share what we as a nation have to offer by designing and making scarves, clothing and home accessories with the purest Irish Linen, Wool, handwoven Wool, Cashmere and Alpaca.

We nurture and support the extraordinary skills across the country of Ireland, promoting the quality and unique style, to put Ireland on the world stage of luxury textiles where it belongs.

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4. Bunny and Clyde (bunnyandclyde.ie)

Who are they?

Bunny & Clyde create timeless design-led products for family homes. Our range of modern heirloom nursery and children's furniture and lifestyle products are versatile, safe, extremely well made, and importantly,  they are for moms and dads too! Because they are able to transcend the boundaries of the nursery, they can be re-purposed in other areas of the home. Including adult spaces! 

How are they sustainable?

We believe that innovative design and sustainability go hand in hand. Not only do our beautiful and special pieces grow with children, they are also enduring features that make the family home; They are family treasures and family stories to hand down to future generations. 

We are a cradle to cradle brand – this means we only use materials that have come from nature; thus, our products are recyclable, renewable, or biodegradable

  • The timbers we use are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified. This ensures that our wood has come from forests that are sustainable and responsibly harvested.
  • All glues used are water and plant-based, non-toxic, solvent free.
  • We use only solid hardwoods in the construction of our products and in some instances we use formaldehyde-free FSC certified birch plywood with veneer.
  • We use 100% non-toxic plant and water based lacquers and oils to finish our wood
  • We use paints that are non-toxic, solvent-free, lead-free, HAPS-free (hazardous air pollutants)

Every day and every year, we produce so much waste that the planet cannot sustain. Because we want to ensure a future for our children, Bunny & Clyde makes every effort to eliminate wasteful practices in terms of resources, labour, and materials, by only producing according to demand. This does mean that you need to wait a little longer for your products but with the knowledge that a piece has been made especially for you.

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5. White & Green (whiteandgreen.ie)

Who are they?

Sari is an Interior Designer who was frustrated by this customer experience and by the poor quality of so many brands (think of sheets pilling after a couple of washes, not fitting properly, being incredibly difficult to iron, and so on).

So she set out to create the best bedding in the world. Together with her daughters (us), she spent a year researching the industry, coming up with the best designs and finding the right partners. 

How are they sustainable?

We work directly with our organic cotton farmers and our Fairtrade factory in India. We combine our classic designs with the finest handpicked cotton and master craftmanship to create quality bedding that is made to last. By cutting out the middle men, we keep our products much more affordable than other luxury bedding brands. All of our products are certified Organic (GOTS) and Fairtrade.

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6. Reuzi (reuzi.ie)

Who are they?

Reuzi was created by Pat Kane - born from a passion for sustainable living and how our actions affect our surroundings. We are a helpful, well-priced, one-stop minimal waste lifestyle shop and we want to inspire the regular folk to live a more sustainable life.

After becoming a mom for the first time, I started to notice the amount of rubbish we were going through every day rising at an alarming rate – from plastic wraps and bottles, to random boxes and let's not forget about the hundreds of nappies! 

I started to think: "If just 2 adults and a tiny little baby can generate so much waste, imagine an office or a school?", proper disaster, right? Right!

My initial reaction was to educate myself on recycling and composting – two powerful initiatives that seemed to be, in theory, quick wins.

After just a few months, I realised that recycling and composting were not the only answers – we needed to address the thoughtless consumption of plastic bottles, shampoo bottles and all single-use, disposable material that we were bringing into our home every weekend, after our weekly visit to the shops. 

How are they sustainable?

We want people to understand why we should all swap the 'dirty disposables' by eco-friendly, durable products. We want to address the real villain: the over-consumption of single-use items. We want to make sure that the waste we do produce is not making its way to a garbage bin, a landfill or the ocean, rather it is compostable, recyclable or reusable. We want to get to know people out there and to find out more about their own ways to create positive impact #sharingiscaring

We want people to understand the importance of choosing a more conscious lifestyle and how every product offered by reuzi can help them with before they decide to go for it #forgetimpulsebuys, and most importantly, we want people to remember: every single one of us can make a tangible difference, no matter how small you start

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7. The Conscious Christmas Store, 13 Fade Street, Dublin 2 (thekind.co and jiminy.ie)

Who are they?

Last and most definitely not least - TheKind.co have joined forces with the amazing eco toy company Jiminy.ie and launched The Conscious Christmas Store on 13 Fade Street Dublin 2. Shop with a clear conscience! Pop in and see what goodies they have in store.

Sheelin Conlon founder of The Kind - Ireland's newest Zero Waste Lifestyle store - sells eco-friendly products that are both kind to you and kind to the planet.

The idea came about while Sheelin was living in Singapore. As a keen kitesurfer she spent a lot of time by the ocean and saw first hand the devastation of plastic pollution on the beaches around Asia. 

"Plastic would literally be washed up all along the shorelines and dumped at the sides of the road. There is a huge problem with mismanagement of waste in Indonesia, it's the second largest contributor to plastic pollution after China. It made me think of my own impact on the environment, particularly when back home in Ireland."

Once she became more aware of this and realised that she could make a positive impact by making simple sustainable swaps, Sheelin wanted to help others reduce their plastic pollution and live more consciously too. On returning home to Dublin, she decided to create one simple platform where you can find everything you need to live a more sustainable lifestyle and The Kind was born.

Jiminy was started by Sharon and Suzanne, two proud Dublin mammies making it easier to get guilt-free, worry-free craft supplies for kids. They're now Ireland's biggest and best eco-specialist distributor of kids' art supplies, crafts, and toys. 

How are they sustainable?

The products are sourced from local and international independent retailers that share the same vision for a better future. The store carries all things plastic-free including stocking fillers, presents, green beauty brands, recyclable gift wrap, and reusable Christmas crackers.

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Jen Connell is an Irish designer and columnist. Follow her on Instagram at @jen_connell_ or get in touch at jen.connell@rte.ie