Is Sustainable Dinnerware Just a Mythical Green-Washing Yeti or a Realistic Goal for the Modern Human?

Sustainable dinnerware is an excellent choice for eco-conscious consumers. But with so many brands claiming to be sustainable, it can be hard to know which ones are truly eco-friendly and which are just "green washing." To find the best sustainable dinnerware options, it's important to do your research and look beyond the marketing claims.

One way to ensure that you're getting truly sustainable dinnerware is to choose products that are handmade. Handmade tableware has a number of beautiful characteristics that make it a great choice for sustainable dining. For one, it is often made using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations, which means that it is crafted with care and attention to detail. Additionally, handmade tableware is often made using natural materials, such as clay, which is a renewable resource.


Another sustainable option to consider is Ironstone dinnerware. While it may not be as well-known as other types of dinnerware, ironstone is actually one of the most durable options on the market. It is made from a mixture of ceramics, clay, other minerals, which gives it a strong and sturdy quality that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. In addition to its durability, ironstone is also a sustainable choice because it is often made using recycled materials.


So, how can you look past the green washing and find truly sustainable dinnerware options? Here are a few tips:

1. Check to see if the Brand/Company is the maker: It is essential to verify that the dinnerware you are purchasing is actually produced by the brand or company you are buying from, rather than being manufactured by a third party and simply purchased by the brand. This is because third party manufacturers may not adhere to the same sustainability and ethical standards as the brand, and you want to ensure that your purchase aligns with your values. By choosing dinnerware that is truly made by the brand, you can trust that it has been produced with their standards and values in mind.

2. Look for quantifiable actions taken by the company: One way to ensure that a brand is truly sustainable is to look for tangible results and actions taken by the company. Examples include trees planted, carbon emissions reduced or sequestered, Zero-Waste processes implemented, using recycled materials, sustainable sourcing of raw materials, and ethical employment practices.

3. Check for transparency: A brand that is truly committed to sustainability should be transparent about their practices and materials. Look for brands that clearly disclose their sourcing and manufacturing processes, as well as any certifications they may have.

4. Look for implementation of closed-loop or circular economy processes: Closed-loop or circular economy practices are a key aspect of sustainability and choosing a dinnerware brand that incorporates these practices is an important consideration. Closed-loop systems are designed to minimize waste and resource use by reusing materials and resources as much as possible. This helps to reduce the environmental impact of production and consumption, as well as promote economic efficiency. By choosing a dinnerware brand that uses closed loop or circular economy practices, you can support a more sustainable and responsible manufacturing model.

5. Research the materials: Avoid plastics and synthetic materials like melamine, as they are not biodegradable, will contribute to pollution and cause severe harm to you and yours. Using recycled materials is an important aspect of sustainability and choosing a dinnerware brand that uses recycled materials like ironstone is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Not only does using recycled materials reduce the demand for new raw materials, it also reduces waste and pollution associated with the production of new materials. By choosing a dinnerware brand that uses recycled materials like ironstone, you can enjoy beautiful, durable dinnerware while also making a positive impact on the environment.

6. Choose the small guy: When it comes to dinnerware, it's often better to choose smaller makers over large manufacturers. Large scale manufacturing often leads to large scale waste production, the use of raw materials from distant sources, continuous kilns that generate greenhouse gas emissions, and employment in soulless mega-factories.


In addition to being sustainable, handmade and ironstone dinnerware also have several beautiful characteristics that make them a great choice for your table. Handmade tableware has a unique, rustic charm that is hard to replicate with mass-produced products and is often made using intricate patterns and designs. Ironstone dinnerware, on the other hand, has a classic, timeless look that is perfect for both formal and casual occasions. Its durability also makes it a great choice for everyday use.


To sum up, when shopping for sustainable stoneware dinnerware, it's important to look for handmade and ironstone options, and to do your research to ensure that the brand is transparent and taking tangible actions towards sustainability. By making the right choices, you can enjoy beautiful, durable dinnerware that is good for the environment and for your home."


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