Even if you’ve found your dream house, it’s not really your home until you’ve added your own personal touches. If you’re an eco-minded person, decorating your living space with sustainable home décor may be a priority for you. Finding ethical pieces might not be as simple as walking into a big box store, but it’s well worth the extra effort! Taking the time to choose handmade, sustainable goods not only makes your home unique, but you can feel good about those pieces. That’s why at Eangee Home Design, we only source eco-friendly, fair-trade and handcrafted home goods. Read below to learn more about five of our favorite natural materials.
Leaves are a major component of most of our lighting. We use five types of leaves, and each one has properties unique to the species of tree that they come from. But don’t worry! All of the leaves are either collected from living trees or harvested as the trees naturally shed, so no trees are cut down to produce our lighting products.
Our most widely used type of leaf, the cocoa leaf, derives from the cacao tree. That’s right—the same plant from which chocolate is made. Beautiful leaves like those featured in the Cocoa Cylinder Lamp and chocolate—what’s not to love about the cacao tree??
The banyan leaf comes from a type of fig tree that thrives in the tropics. Once dyed, these leaves produce a pastel shade of color.
The alibangbang is also known as the butterfly tree due to the unique shape of its leaves. The beautiful, butterfly shape really shines through in the Outdoor Butterfly Table Lamp.
The guyabano, commonly referred to as soursop in English, grows large spiky fruits that are used for everything from Filipino ice cream to eastern medicine. The leaves begin as an evergreen color before being transformed by non-toxic dyes into the beautiful hues.
Finally, there’s the jackfruit tree, which grows fruit weighing as much as eighty pounds (yes, you read that correctly!). In addition to large fruit, it produces the thick and hardy leaves as seen in the Hourglass Series.
The Nito vine is a climbing fern native to the Philippines. As the vine grows, it wraps around the tree so tightly that it causes the tree to suffocate and die. By removing the vine, the tree is saved, and the vegetation is able to be repurposed. The vine is initially a green color, but changes to brown and eventually to black as its leaves are shed. It’s popular in the Philippines as a fiber used for weaving, used most notably to create the traditional salakot headwear. At Eangee, the vine is used to recreate its natural, spontaneous growth pattern by weaving it in and out of a wire frame to form the outside of the 6′ Nito Floor Lamp.
Handmade paper is blended with materials like residual plant fibers from bamboo, acacia leaves, lemongrass and even corn husks to make beautiful lamp shades. The fibers are added between very thin layers of paper before being pressed together. The Paper Cylinder Table Lamp showcases how the paper can be used to create unique designs and patterns.
Abaca twine is a natural fiber that’s harvested from a close relative of the banana plant. According to the International Natural Fiber Association, the Philippines produces approximately 86% of the world’s abaca fiber, so it plays a major role in many Filipino families’ livelihoods. The United Nations has also dubbed it as a “future fiber” meaning it’s a sustainable, natural substitute to synthetic options. At Eangee, the twine is dyed and used to hand-stitch the shade panels to the lamp frames in our lighting.
Windowpane oysters are a popular source of food in the Philippines and a byproduct is their shell. The shell, or capiz, is named for the Capiz region of the Philippines. Used in most of our accessories, the capiz is adorned onto the accessories’ metal backing before being painted and sealed. Products like the Flower Wall Décor and Butterflies on a Wire Wall Décor show off the natural beauty and reflective properties of the capiz shell.
Every piece in our homes, whether it’s lighting, wall décor, or a stylish end table, says something about who we are. So next time you’re shopping, be sure to choose items that reflect your eco-minded soul, and you’ll be on your way to crafting a stylish and ethical home.