I might strive to limit the number of objects in the home to the strictly beautiful and useful, but when it comes to things like dish cloths, it’s not so easy. So when I come across household essentials that ‘spark joy’ it’s a win-win. Good quality, beautifully designed, eco-friendly kitchen products not only bring a little extra joy into our everyday routines, they also change our attitude towards their disposability. Ultimately, it’s the products we love that will stand the test of time, even if it’s a feather duster.
It’s easy to regard the things that get used every day, as purely functional, practical and utilitarian. But first thing in the morning, we instinctively reach for our favourite mug, because there is something about its shape and texture that makes a tea drinking ritual all the more comforting.
Perhaps we should give the same consideration to all the household items we come into contact with daily when we’re cleaning, cooking or storing food. Scourers that ‘warm the soul’ probably haven’t been invented yet, but here’s hoping.
Take inspiration from our top 20 stylish eco friendly kitchen products you’ll use everyday – you’ll never look at your dish cloth in the same way again.
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LINEN TEA TOWELS
Linen is a great choice for kitchen textiles, not only because it give a beautiful French farmhouse feel to the home. It’s considered an eco-friendly material because of its durability and because it requires less pesticides and water to grow than cotton. This Italian stripe linen tea-towel* by The Linen Works comes in four colours. Their linens are grown and manufactured in Europe and are largely made from French and Belgian flax.
As a material we associate with the earth and ancient craft, there must be something deep-rooted and instinctive that draws us to porcelain, stoneware and earthenware objects. Vintage ceramics make beautiful additions to the kitchen but you do need to check what’s contained in the glaze before eating and drinking from them.
This terracotta mug from the Edge collection is by Danish company Skagerak. Skagerak is a registered B Corp which means a third party ensures they ‘meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.’
This collection is inspired by the pots of Egypt and Greece – the perfect mix of ‘earthiness’ and sleek Scandi design. All of Skagerak’s terracotta is hand thrown in Portugal. Available at Amara*.
The mason jar has almost become an emblem of the zero waste lifestyle advocated by Bea Johnson, who managed to cram all her family’s waste for a year into one jar. Unsurprisingly, they’re also perfect for storing bulk bought muesli, sugar and loose tea.
Eliminate plastic packaging by searching for places in your neighbourhood that sell foods in bulk using Bea Johnson’s BULK app. Kate Arnell has written a great guide to buying bulk food in London. You can get hold of reusable produce bags from Ethical Superstore*.
The Le Parfait canning jar pictured comes in 5 sizes. You’ll find these at Shoreditch store Labour and Wait.
STAINLESS STEEL FOOD CONTAINERS
Switch from plastic tupperware to stainless steel to store leftovers. I really like these designs by A Slice of Green*.
For liquid foods, I found this leakproof airtight canister with food grade silicon seal, by another UK brand, Elephant Box. US readers can try Ecolunchbox* who make a wide selection of stainless steel containers.
RECYCLED GLASS CAKE DOME
LSA International’s Mia collection is made from recycled glass and includes carafes, storage jars and this cake dome which has a base made from FSC approved oak. The full collection is available at Amara*.
UPCYCLED GLASS TUMBLERS
Based in Barcelona, Lucia Bruni has been making lighting and homeware from upcycled wine bottles since 2006, when she founded her company Lucirmás. Her latest collection is Frozen – a set of six glass tumblers handmade from sand blasted wine bottles.
For eco-friendly kitchen products and more, The Future Kept is a home decor and lifestyle store by the very talented Jeska Hearne of Lobster and Swan. With a ‘buy less, buy better philosophy’ in mind, she has built a beautiful collection of carefully curated products by independent designers and makers. This ‘Waves’ collection of tableware are all hand thrown in Northern England.
Another brand making linen kitchen textiles is Linen Tales. Made in Lithuania, their collection includes napkins, tablecloths, table runners, bedlinen in a range of colours from linen that is Oeko-Tex certified. Available from Bombinate.*
WASHABLE KITCHEN CLOTHS
Who’d have thought that a dish cloth could be sexy? The Organic Company is a Danish design company founded in 2007 and manufactures beautiful home textiles which are certified with the GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standard) label. This kitchen and wash cloth comes in two shades of grey – a massive improvement on the J-cloth!
RECYCLED TEXTILE APRON
Nkuku are an ethical and eco friendly brand with products made using traditional techniques by artisans around the world. Feel free to get messy in the kitchen with their Artisan aprons* which are handmade from recycled canvas tents with leather ties. Each one is dipped and boiler dyed in a light indigo blue which fades and ages over time. Two styles are available.
BEESWAX FOOD WRAP
A great alternative to single-use cling film and foil for keeping food fresh is reusable beeswax wrap. Abeego makes theirs from sustainable hemp and certified organic cotton with a tree resin, jojoba oil and beeswax coating.
The breathable material is designed to let gases out of the food so that condensation doesn’t form and make the food soggy. Heat from your hands moulds it into shape. It just needs to be kept away from high heat. Washing it in cold water will make it last at least a year.
Swap your plastic brushes for wooden ones and you might actually start to enjoy doing the washing up. These are wooden pot and grill brushes from Willow and Stone and will come in handy for cleaning the barbecue this summer.
German company Redecker have been around since 1935 and make a huge array of wooden brushes from bottle brushes to pot brushes. Pictured are soft horse hair dish brushes with removable heads that can be composted. Available from Amazon.*
Castile soap is one of those magic products that basically does everything. It can be used for washing your hands, body, hair, dishes, floor, pets and more. Dr Bronner’s products are made from natural, pure and certified organic ingredients and come in a range of scents including rose, eucalyptus, peppermint, citrus and almond. Available from The Ethical Superstore*.
RECYCLED METAL DISH RACK
Materials used in Nkuku’s products include hemp, jute and cotton from discarded t-shirts, as well as recycled glass and saris. Their Tilmo dish rack* is made from a mix of recycled light metals, giving it a unique industrial feel.
Dualit’s Classic Toasters are hand built in the UK and are fully repairable. You’ll even find the assembler’s name on the base plate. First designed in 1946, their classic toasters have kept their iconic retro style that come in a wide range of colours. Available at Robert Dyas*.
MANGO WOOD CHOPPING BOARD
Useful for chopping and serving, these sustainable Lengi mango wood boards* by Nkuku come in 3 sizes. The mango trees are initially grown for their fruit but when they stop producing, farmers cut them down to grown new ones. The wood can then be used to make products.
WORKTOP COMPOST BIN
What could be more satisfying than seeing all that food waste turn into nutritious compost?
If outdoor space is non-existent and composting indoors is your only option, you might wish to keep your compost bin small, so that the contents can be removed every few days. Choose a sleek and simple design like this one by Eddingtons*. It contains carbon filters for odour control and is also dishwasher safe.
ORGANIC COTTON OVEN GLOVES
Jazz up your oven door with another stylish Scandi piece from The Organic Company*. Their oven gloves made from textured 100% certified GOTS organic cotton and come in two shades of grey.
REFILLABLE GLASS SOAP DISPENSER
Switching out your single use plastic hand wash for a refillable soap dispenser is not only a step towards reducing waste, they look nicer too. Etsy seller KuishiHome* offers a huge range of glass bottles which can also be used for homemade natural cleaning products.
CIRCULAR KITCHEN PRODUCTS
According to Brabantia’s sustainability goals, they aim for 100% circularity in all their products by 2035. Currently, NewIcon pedal bins carry the bronze level Cradle-to-Cradle® certification. The Cradle to Cradle Institute assesses products on material quality, material recycling, the use of renewable energy and carbon management, water management and social justice. NewIcon is made from 46% recycled material and 96% recyclable after use. It also has a 10 year guarantee. Available from Robert Dyas.*
If you liked this post on eco friendly kitchen products, you can also read a similar post on plastic reducing essentials for zero waste living.