Style your home sustainably with fair trade and eco-friendly curtains that are not only designed beautifully, but are light on the planet and good for people, too.
Why Sustainable Curtains?
Most curtains are made from synthetic fabrics like polyester (which is made using petroleum) or other unsustainably sourced fibers like viscose and rayon (which are made from tree pulp and have been linked to the deforestation of endangered and old-growth forests).
Not only are synthetic fabrics and dyes harmful to the environment, but they’re harmful to human health as well (after all, we are part of the environment).
Vinyl curtains are among the worst culprits as they’re typically made from PVC. Research has shown that these PVC curtains contain toxic chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) phthalates, and organotins.
As with literally every industry, home goods like curtains are often made in a global supply chain with little transparency and traceability. Sweatshops, child labor, and forced labor are a reality in textile factories (and farms, mills etc.) and unless a company can prove otherwise, they may not know if this is taking place in their supply chain.
How Can I Identify What Sustainable Curtains Are?
Look for organic and low-impact natural fibers such as organic cotton, linen, and hemp! I like to look for the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification for organic cotton from larger brands.
But, for smaller brands with traceable supply chains, they don’t necessarily need to pay for an expensive certification to verify that the cotton was grown in a sustainable way. In fact, traditional cotton growing practices are organic! Some farmers have never used synthetic pesticides or genetically modified seeds and have stuck to their traditional and indigneous practices.
Dyes and Chemicals:
Look for plant-based dyes, non-toxic mordants (what sets the dyes onto the fabric), and avoid toxic finishes. You can identify if a product was made with finishes if the product description says something like “wrinkle free” or “stain resistant”. Water or stain-repellent products may contain PFAS (also called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment or in your body).
See if the brand offers transparency into their production. Do they ensure fair wages and benefits, safe conditions, and reasonable working hours? Do they have certifications, photos, audits, or records of previous visits to facilities to back this up? Or even better, does the brand have direct partnerships with the artisans, weavers, sewers, and dyers?
As always, there is more that you can look for. You may want to support BIPOC-owned and/or woman-owned brands, and maybe you like to buy from brands with strong donation initiatives. But the above list is something to get started with!
Note that this guide includes affiliates and partners. As always, all brands featured meet rigorous sustainability criteria and are brands we love — and that we think you’ll love too!
1. Made Trade
Made Trade is the ultimate destination for finding sustainable home goods — including curtains! Not only are the curtains on Made Trade made with natural fabrics and dyes but they’re made fairly, too, by skilled artisans using heritage practices such as block-printing and hand weaving.
Conscious Qualities: Eco-Friendly Fabrics, Fair Trade, Cultural Preservation, Carbon Neutral Certified
Using only the healthiest, most eco-minded fabrics they can source, like organic hemp and organic linen, Rawganique is a reliable resource for finding non-toxic curtains. Their curtains are VOC-free and free of chemical treatments and Rawganiuqe also offers undyed and unbleached options.
Conscious Qualities: Organic Eco-Friendly Fabrics, Non-Toxic, Manufactures In-House
Dedicated to all things linen, Linoto has 100% linen curtains in a vast variety of colors. The curtains are great for any room that you want filtered light and a natural, airy feel. Linoto’s sustainable curtains are available in lengths form 20-200 inches and widths from 25-200 inches!
Conscious Qualities: 100% Linen, Custom-Made, Made Locally in New York, Black-Owned
There are a number of fantastic Etsy shops selling linen curtains and Prolinen is one of them! This shop offers 100% organic European linen curtains that are Oeko-Tex Certified and pre-washed. You can order custom sizes from this Etsy shop.
Conscious Qualities: 100% Organic Linen, Made-to-Order Options
Another Etsy shop worth checking out is Kingdom of Comfort! They use 100% organic stonewashed linen that is free of harmful chemicals. Their curtains are available in a wide variety of sizes and are all made-to-order.
Conscious Qualities: 100% Organic Linen, Made-to-Order
Artisan handmade in Ethiopia, the fair trade curtains from Bolé Road Textiles bring in a touch of vibrancy and artistry. The ethical curtains are completely handwoven and made to order, minimizing waste and maximizing quality. Learn more about the process here.
Conscious Qualities: Ethically Made in Ethiopia, Cultural Preservation, Black-Owned, Woman-Owned
The Best Linen’s curtains are available in a variety of cozy and dreamy colors and are all Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. You can also get custom-made curtains if you need special dimensions for your windows.
Conscious Qualities: Oeko-Tex Certified Linen, Made-to-Order Options
9. So Linen
Add a touch of ease to your living spaces with the effortless curtains from So Linen. The brand’s 100% European linen curtains soften sunlight while still letting in some brightness — the perfect balance for making a space feel airy and homey!
Conscious Qualities: Made from 100% European Linen
Lifestyle brand Parachute is dedicated to creating quality homewares from premium materials at affordable prices through their direct-to-consumer model. Parachute’s linen curtains are made in a family-owned factory in India and are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified.
Conscious Qualities: Natural Fabrics (Linen), Woman-Owned
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