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Tips & How-to's7 min read

Sustainable Outdoor Furniture: The Complete Buying Guide

Sustainable Outdoor Furniture: The Complete Buying Guide

Sustainability has become an important part of many companies’ missions in the face of climate change. But there’s a lot more to sustainable living than eco-friendly products. At Outer, we’re here to help you find truly sustainable outdoor furniture for living responsibly.

Features Of Sustainable Outdoor Furniture

Sustainable Materials

Something sustainable successfully preserves a specific resource. This resource is sustainable if it can be renewed without reducing its availability for future generations.

A good example of this is using trees from a forest to make wood products. This practice and the product are both sustainable if new trees are grown at a rate that matches or exceeds the number of trees that are cut down for resources.

It’s important to note, though, that just because a resource is naturally produced does not mean it’s sustainable.

One of the biggest negative effects of fast furniture production is the depletion of natural resources. Companies take more than what can be renewed, harming the environment as a result.

At Outer, from eco-friendly olefin thread to fully recyclable aluminum and recycled polyethylene, we carefully consider every material for its longevity and environmental impact.

We always recommend checking before you buy to find out whether a company uses sustainable materials to ensure a better future.

Responsible Design

sustainable outdoor furniture
Outer Wicker Outdoor Sectional

Environmental preservation is a common approach to sustainable living, but sustainability encompasses economic and social aspects, too.

Treating the outdoors with respect is just the beginning. Choosing a sustainable product also means making sure that the people at all levels of the company are paid a fair wage, given ideal working conditions, and treated with respect.

A trend within fast furniture production is that profit is the highest priority. This creates toxic and sometimes harmful working environments — all so that the furniture can be made at the lowest possible cost.

The people who craft a product help create meaningful and durable outdoor living solutions, and we believe that quality craftsmanship is present in a responsibly made product.

From the master weavers behind our All-Weather Wicker chairs to the factory workers cutting our steel frames by hand, our employees are all paid fair wages, offered health insurance, and given a safe and supportive working environment.

Recyclable Options

The life of a product shouldn’t end once it’s purchased and well-used. Going beyond renewable resources, check for recyclable materials to ensure that the life of your outdoor furniture can continue long after you’re done with it.

Our Aluminum collection is both weather-resistant and 100% recyclable at the end of its lifetime. At the same time, we’re also doing our part to utilize recycled materials whenever we can.

For example, our 1188 Eco-Friendly Rugs are each made with 1,188 recycled plastic bottles, and each chair in our Wicker sofa is composed of more than 99 plastic bottles diverted from oceans and landfills.

Local Support

Woman taking care of her sustainable outdoor furniture
Outer Cover for Aluminum Armless Chair

When considering sustainability, it’s also important to think about a company’s carbon footprint.

Large factory production paired with hundreds to thousands of retail fronts is a major factor in carbon emissions. If we truly want to reach zero-net carbon emissions by 2050, it’s going to take some reconsiderations in the way many businesses operate today.

At Outer, we keep things small yet efficient. Our neighborhood showrooms decrease excess resource needs such as fuel, minimizing our carbon footprint while still allowing us to showcase our furniture both in person and through virtual tours.

Instead of expanding across a world that is already over-occupied by factories and warehouses, we make it easy and convenient to shop in your neighbor’s backyard.

Carbon Neutrality

Achieving carbon neutrality is a significant feat in the face of fast furniture and climate change. Planning for this goal helps future-proof the way we manufacture sustainably designed products so the generations to come can enjoy our beautiful planet.

As a proud Climate-Neutral Certified company, we aim to be at the forefront of sustainable design and practices that are opposite to fast furniture. Rather than utilize materials and a supply chain that prioritizes profit, we strive to put our people and our planet first.

Along with our successful mission for climate neutrality, we are also a proud member of 1% For The Planet and are committed to donating 1% of all revenue to environmental causes.

Other Features To Look For In Sustainable Outdoor Furniture

We know how important it is to find a product that is good for the environment and the people behind its creation. But we have to make sure that sustainable outdoor furniture is perfect for you, too!

The good news is that sustainable production tends to go hand in hand with a range of other benefits, from quality craftsmanship to increased durability.

Continue reading for other features to look for in your sustainable furniture options.

Weather-Resistance

sustainable outdoor furniture with covers
Outer Cover for Aluminum Sofa

While this seems like an obvious must-have, not every piece of outdoor furniture is ready to withstand the elements in the way you’d expect. Leaving cheaper, low-quality options out in heavy rain or severe heat can quickly result in damaged furniture.

Look for specifically weather-resistant materials. Our lightweight aluminum won't rust, chip, crack, warp, or overheat. The natural oils found in teakwood repel moisture and pests to prevent rot and decay. And a name like All-Weather Wicker truly speaks for itself.

We have you covered, no matter which material you choose. For extra protection, our All-Weather Covers are designed with fully waterproof and mold-proof fabric to keep your sofas and chairs in pristine condition all year round.

Durability

Going through new outdoor furniture every few years is a hassle. You deserve better than low-quality chairs and sofas deteriorating from everyday use.

Responsible design and quality craftsmanship come together to achieve a durable, long-lasting product ready to bring joy to your outdoor oasis for years — or even decades — to come.

Our Aluminum Collection, for example, is durable for the outdoors and low maintenance for easy cleaning. Our modern design is also present through the innovation and durability offered by our integrated OuterShell® cover to protect furniture from dirt, dew, and debris.

It’s why we offer our best-in-class limited warranty and 14-day no-risk trial. We’ve been very thoughtful in every detail of the design and construction of our products to ensure that you’re totally satisfied with your purchase.

If you aren’t completely happy, we’ll take it back.

Modular Pieces

Mom and child enjoying their sustainable outdoor furniture
Outer Aluminum Outdoor Ottoman

Once you’ve determined that your outdoor furniture is ready to withstand the test of time, then you’re faced with a new question: What happens when you want to add new furniture or rearrange your existing collection?

Opting for modular furniture solves every step in your redesign process. Modular furniture is designed in pieces (modules) that can be arranged into multiple configurations depending on your preferences or the space that needs to be filled.

At Outer, the ways you can reconfigure your furniture are nearly limitless. Plus, you can choose from a range of additional pieces, like an Aluminum Outdoor Corner Chair, that will be sure to fill those outdoor gaps.

Comfort

You can’t have the perfect outdoor chair without the perfect outdoor cushion. Padding that doesn’t have support and outdoor furniture with no cushions are all too common today.

The best way to enjoy your time outside is to get the best comfort possible. Our cushions don’t hold back on comfort. With three layers of memory foam found in luxury mattresses, you’ll find the perfect seat that gently tailors to the unique level of support your body needs.

Along with an incredibly soft cotton feel, our cushions are eco-friendly and durable enough to fight against the toughest of stains.

Pizza night? No problem. Coffee spill? Easy! Our spill test shows just how ready for anything our cushions really are.

Style

Now that you’ve checked all of these features off your list, make sure you don’t sacrifice style. After all, your outdoor furniture is something you’ll look at for a long time.

But how do you ensure that your furniture’s look won’t go out of style in a couple of years? Choose something timeless.

Whether it’s the sleek and elegant design of our new White Aluminum or the stand-out sophistication of our Black Wicker, some designs are made to fit in with every look to create a luxurious feel all on its own.

Choose Outer For Sustainable Outdoor Furniture

sustainable outdoor furniture poolside
Outer Aluminum Outdoor Sofa

Choosing the right sustainable outdoor furniture helps create a better future for the planet and its people. At Outer, every element from design to production encompasses each aspect of sustainability.

Take the wood we use to craft the frames for our teak furniture from sofas to coffee tables. Our teak is Forest Stewardship Council-certified, meaning it comes from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Your interest in buying sustainable products is a critical step to creating a better tomorrow. From new innovations like our Fire Pit Table to our classic Teak Ottoman, each purchase goes toward making sure you and our future generations can live better, outside.