Furnishing your home sustainably is rarely simple — it can be tricky to find the perfect item that matches your style and vision, while also ensuring that this new addition to your home is green-minded — and eco-friendly bookcases are no exception.
But, we’re here to help! Below, we’ve compiled a list of brands that design sustainable shelves and beautiful, eco-friendly bookcases.
What Makes a Bookshelf Sustainable?
When looking for sustainable shelves or bookcases, a great sign is if it’s handcrafted- or made to order. They should also be durable, and built to last a lifetime. Some sustainable furniture brands may even have warranties or lifetime guarantees!
These items will be made from sustainably sourced solid, reclaimed, or salvaged wood. If the piece is made with engineered wood (common in more affordably priced furniture), ensure it’s free from formaldehyde, which is a probable human carcinogen.
If the company sources and manufactures in the US, look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification. Sustainable shelving and bookcases may also feature additional natural, recycled or upcycled materials.
The furniture should be free of VOCs, volatile organic compounds and have natural — or at least non-toxic, low-VOC — finishes. [Learn more about non-toxic furniture.]
Additionally, any company that produces sustainable shelves or bookcases should be using fair labor. Whether they partner with artisans and craftspeople, produce their furniture in-house, or use global manufacturers, look for transparency that they’re paying fair wages and ensuring healthy working conditions.
Where to Find Sustainable Bookcases and Shelving
A great place to start looking is at second-hand or thrift stores! Alternatively you can find gently used pieces on online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, AptDeco, or Kaiyo. Reusing or repurposing furniture that would otherwise go to waste is always a sustainable option!
If you can’t find something you love second-hand, then the next best choice is to shop from one of the sustainable brands below. Not only do these brands design eco-friendly bookcases and shelves, but they also have a wide selection of home goods to meet all your furnishing needs.
Note that this guide includes affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links which helps us continue to run this website and create resources like these. As always all brands meet strict sustainability criteria and are brands we love — and that we think you’ll love too!
Inspired by their eco-minded parents, Medley was founded by two brothers based in California. Their all-natural, bio-based beeswax finish is even named after their dad. Medley creates sustainable bookcases and other storage furniture from locally sourced, 100% solid wood from FSC-certified forests.
Materials: Solid Hard White Maple, American Walnut Wood
Conscious Highlights: Custom Made, Locally Made, FSC-Certified, Family Run
Based out of Washington, Greenington is a furniture company with pieces crafted from sustainably hand-harvested Moso bamboo. Greenington sources mature bamboo for maximum strength and durability. The brand makes sustainable bookshelves and bookcases, as well as a full collection of bamboo furniture.
Materials: Moso Bamboo
Conscious Highlights: Zero-waste Production, ISO certified factories, Handcrafted, BIPOC owned
Check out Greenington @ Lumens Light + Living | @ Modern Digs
Emeco handcrafts their durable, sustainable furniture locally, in Pennsylvania. They use recycled aluminum and responsibly-harvested wood for their sustainable shelves and bookcases and their furniture is free of VOCs and toxic chemicals.
Materials: Recycled Aluminum, Sustainably Harvested Walnut, Ash, or Acoya
Conscious Highlights: FSC Certified, Cradle to Gold Certified, Vegan
4. Masaya & Co
Masaya & Co has a stunning collection of sustainable shelves and bookcases handcrafted by artisans in Nicaragua. Their shelves are made to order from responsibly-harvested wood and feature a low-VOC finish. Masaya & Co originated as a reforestation project in Nicaragua, and continues to embody that ethos by planting 100 trees for each item they sell.
Materials: Royal Mahogany, Teak, Rosita Walnut
Conscious Highlights: Handcrafted, Plants Trese, Vegan
5. West Elm Sustainably Sourced Collection
West Elm’s sustainably sourced collection is a great place to find an eco-friendly bookshelf or bookcase. Among this collection, you’ll find furniture that is made from FSC-Certified wood, pieces made in Fair Trade Certified factories, and items with the Greenguard Gold seal.
Price: $90- $2,399
Materials: Solid Wood, Reclaimed Wood
Conscious Highlights: Fair Trade, FSC Certified, Greenguard Gold Certified
Based in California, VivaTerra partners with artisans across the globe to sell handcrafted eco-friendly bookshelves and shelves. Each piece is inspired by the different cultures and local elements of where it’s made. VivaTerra primarily works with natural, recycled and reclaimed materials.
Materials: Reclaimed Wood, Teak, Salvaged Metal
Conscious Highlights: Artisan Made, Locally Made and Fair Trade Options
7. Vermont Woods Studios
Vermont Woods Studios has gorgeous solid wood bookcases sourced from sustainably-managed forests in Vermont. They offer a lifetime guarantee and even allow you to order samples of their wood to ensure you’ll love the final product. They also partner with 1% for the planet to support reforestation of the Amazon Rainforest.
Materials: Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Oak
Conscious Highlights: Custom Made, Local Sourcing, Gives Back, Woman-Owned
8. Green Cradle
Green Candle is a family-run company that specializes in solid wood furniture, including wood bookcases and shelves. They craft each eco-friendly bookshelf from trees harvested sustainably and locally and use an all natural flaxseed oil finish free of toxins.
Materials: 100% Solid Wood
Conscious Highlights: Locally Sourced, Locally Made
9. ABC Home
At ABC Home you can choose between solid Goodwood (wood that was sourced from responsibly managed forests or reclaimed wood), glass, or recycled steel, or aluminum bookcases and shelves. ABC Home has a large selection of furniture offerings with different icons to indicate how they are made. Everything is handcrafted locally or globally by different artisans.
Materials: Solid Oak, Glass, Recycled Steel, Aluminum
Conscious Highlights: Artisan-Made, Durable Materials
More Guides to Browse:
Sustainable Tables and Coffee Tables to Gather Around
12 Non-Toxic Furniture Brands for a Healthy Home
Sustainable Storage Furniture: Dressers, Media Consoles, and More
About The Author:
Alicia Briggs is a writer & editor specializing in slow travel & sustainable living. She’s worked in journalism since 2016 and currently writes for a variety of publications such as Sustainably Chic and Hidden Lemur. She has been a full-time traveler since 2018 and runs her own blog, Learning the Local Way, where she covers responsible travel & living tips.