What is cruelty-free interior design?

They also call it vegan design, and it’s all about making sure that the materials we use in designing and decorating the interior of our homes do not come from animals, are not animal by-products, or were not tested on animals. 

As a philosophy, veganism may be extended to other aspects of our lives like clothing or fashion, home life, travel behavior, work habits, and so on.

It might be a little too much or too difficult for some, but advocates argue that awareness and change are necessary because the planet is in the midst of a climate emergency. 

Before you dismiss it, consider this fact presented by VeganDesign.org: to produce a wool blanket, seven sheep are required; to create the interior of a certain luxury car, nine cows are necessary. In some cases, the production of the materials we use for our homes is not sustainable.

Wood is great because it is recyclable. Other materials that are also recyclable are good options. Aside from wool and leather, the use of animal hides, silk, feathers, foam, certain glues, wax, fur, down, and paint pigments that use dyes like cochineal or casein (animal product) is discouraged. Instead, products made from cotton, bamboo, hemp, linen, cork, kapok, jute, sisal, buckwheat, and fabrics printed using natural dyes are preferred. There are faux leather, faux silk, and faux fur that are well-made and durable.

And while it’s true that being 100 percent sustainable is not possible, making an effort is a significant step. It also goes without saying that the ethical treatment of workers should always be the primary consideration. 

Ultimately, the decision on what goes inside a home is the homeowners’ personal choice based on their awareness and beliefs. But as Tennille Wood, principal designer and owner of Beautiful Habitat Design & Decoration, says, “You can have a beautifully designed home with luxury finishes and you can feel good about knowing no animals were harmed (in the design process).”