Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by VivaTerra #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by VivaTerra
Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Fable NY #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Fable NY
Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Our Place #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Our Place

7 Eco Friendly Dinnerware Sets For Conscious Cuisine


We’d like to invite sustainability to the dinner table. 

We’ll set the reclaimed wooden table and you can dish us up a healthy serving of planet friendly pie, please!

As much as the environmental documentary Cowspiracy educated us about the ethics of our food choices, here we’re looking beyond the menu.

Tonight’s chef-special is about something else that makes a healthy meal possible.

Eating is the most direct connection we have to our planet. Not only should we consider the environmental impact of what we eat, but what we’re eating it on.

Sustainable dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate. 

While all these brands are helping keep a healthy planet, the following plate makers are the pièce de résistance. Think of the following summary as an amuse bouche of all the tasty treats to come.

VivaTerra brings unique and sustainable materials to the dinner party, while Fable New York dishes up some environmentally-friendly inexpensive dinnerware. Itemerie wows our dinner guests with their bamboo dinnerware and edible lacquers.

If you’d like a small taste of how these brands were chosen, head to the bottom of this article.

*This post contains affilate links 

1. OUR PLACE

Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Our Place #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Our Place
About Our Place

For ethical home decor that doubles as practical cookware, Our Place takes the cake for helping us curate a zero waste kitchen

There is a lot of power in a home-cooked meal, and they provide elegant kitchen essentials for any breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Our place (AKA this planet) is home to many cultures and the brand’s multi-ethnic kitchen products reflect just that. Produced sustainably and ethically, they are designed to invoke feelings of respect for one another and this home we share. 

Mix and match to your heart’s content with their à la carte style plates, side bowls, steamer baskets, and drinking glasses in a few different colors. Alternatively, if you’re looking for sustainable dinnerware sets, Our Place takes care of it with their Tabletop Set, Dinnerware Duo, or Basics Bundle. 

Don’t forget to start the meal off right by cooking up something sustainable with their best-selling non-toxic Always Pan.

Our Place’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Sustainably-sourced, recycled and virgin porcelain goes into the hand-painted bowls and plates. Porcelain is not only durable enough to be used for many a dinner but it’s also lightweight (reducing shipping emissions). 

Their glasses are just as eco friendly, and are made with recycled glass and natural sand—making them fully recyclable, too. The glasses are colored with elements from the earth and are free of artificial dyes. 

The Always Pan is made from non-toxic, non-stick ceramic, and comes along with a beechwood spatula and a sturdy aluminum bottom. It’s free of toxic materials like nanoparticles, toxic materials, cadmium, lead, PTFEs, PFOAs, and PFAs. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Our Place wants us to welcome ethically-produced products into our homes, which is why they only partner with factories that are certified by SA8000, BSCI, ISO, and Sedex. 

Their plates and bowls are produced in a Chinese factory that ensures above living wages, as well as additional benefits like paid time off.

They also partner with a glass blowing factory in Thailand to create their drinking glasses.

In addition to using third-party certification, Our Place regularly visits factories to ensure the employees are happy and doing the quality work they’re proud of.

Green business practices:

You may not like leftovers, but Our Place wants us to be eating off the same dinnerware for years to come. To make this happen they not only choose responsible materials, but they also use lasting design practices.

You’ll receive your eco friendly dinnerware in biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials free of plastic and bubble wrap. 

Community & charitable giving:

Our Place wouldn’t be one of the most ethical eco friendly porcelain dinnerware companies without giving back, now would they? 

They share their love of food with their local Los Angeles community by partnering with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council to establish a locally-owned mini market stocked with fresh and healthy food.

They also regularly donate to organizations like Feeding America. 

Available: Our Place

2. ITEMERIE

Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Itemerie #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Itemerie
About Itemerie

Itemerie started because people shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for sustainability or vice versa. 

With them, you get the best of all worlds thanks to the rigorous standards each of the brand’s artisan partners must meet. Their sustainable home products are 100% non-toxic and 100% ethically made.

Beyond the baseline, shoppers can search for products with different badges (i.e. handmade, reclaimed materials, vegan, no waste, etc.).

Their eco friendly dinnerware pieces earn most (if not all) of these badges. Their wide selection of cups, bowls, glasses, tumblers, trays, and plates will have you looking forward to saying “Dinner is served!”

Itemerie’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Let’s start with a drink shall we? For this, we’ll go with a set of mouth-blown glass tumblers made with 100% recycled glass by skilled artisans in Poland. The recycled glass gives each one a unique greenish tint and they feature an award-winning design inspired by a sustainable development project. 

We’ll follow that up with dinner on a set of handmade porcelain dinner plates that are made in the USA from high-quality ivory porcelain that will stand the test of time.

No dinner is complete without dessert, for which we’re dreaming of ice cream in the multicolored bamboo bowls made with 100% sustainable and biodegradable bamboo. They’re dyed using an edible(!) lacquer and varnish made from water, marble powder, and cashew tree resin.

Supply chain & labor practices:

In every single product description, you can see where the product is made as well as the factory conditions.

For example, their bamboo bowls are made by Vietnamese artisans with bamboo that’s grown in Vietnam. The fair trade company provides much-needed livelihood opportunities for Vietnamese craftsmen. Child labor is stricly prohibited and, as a job requirement, each artisan must ensure their kids go to school.

Green business practices:

In addition to selling products from brands that use ecologically sound practices and sustainable materials, Itemerie also makes efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

They send all products and recycled packaging made from recycled boxes or recycled t-shirts. Even their tape is compostable and made from recycled materials. 

Community & charitable giving:

At checkout, customers may choose to offset the shipping footprint by planting a tree. This tree planting/carbon offset package is automatically included (on Itemerie) with purchases that qualify for free shipping. 

Available: Itemerie

3. VIVATERRA

Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by VivaTerra #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by VivaTerra
About VivaTerra

For those who need to brush up on their Spanish or Portuguese, VivaTerra means “living earth”.

Blending eco-conscious design with global inspiration, the retailer marries globally-based artisans with customers searching for ethical and sustainable pieces.

And plenty of pieces they provide.

Scroll through their website to see their sustainable furniture, along with smaller vintage home decor pieces that would make perfect ethical gifts (or for spoiling oneself).

We’re happy to welcome them to the dinner table with their drool-worthy eco friendly dinnerware sets. They also have individual eco friendly stoneware dinnerware pieces, drinkware, and serveware. 

VivaTerra’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

VivaTerra has enough dinnerware to feed a large army. In other words, they have a lot to offer in the non toxic eco friendly dinnerware category. Here’s a sample platter:

Some, like the pictured collection, are made out of recycled sea glass for added depth and texture to the table. 

For heavy duty eco friendly dinnerware, this dinnerware collection is made in an eco conscious factory using all-natural clay and a non-toxic glaze. 

Other dinnerware sets use organic ceramic, all-natural clay with reclaimed water and recycled scrap materials, and high-resistant stoneware. 

Even their serving sets are serving up some unique materials, like a combo of eggshells and sustainable bamboo or sustainably harvested mango wood. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

VivaTerra partners with several different small artisans and fair trade companies from 20 different countries around the world. Every product description includes where the product was made, along with what materials and processes were used.

To make it easy for customers, you can search for specific values like all-natural, artisan-made, recycled, etc.

Green business practices:

When we’re ready to check out, VivaTerra gives the option to choose from some of the best carbon offset programs for only a dollar.

They also offset their own emissions through a partnership with TerraPass, with funds that go towards renewable energy projects.

Available: VivaTerra

4. LYON LIPS CERAMICS

Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Lyon Lips Ceramics #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Lyon Lips Ceramics
About Lyon Lips Ceramics

Lyon Lips is a Portland, Oregon-based brand that is queer + womxn-owned. 

It began as an experimental creative outlet and still keeps things small with intentionally crafted, small-batch designs. Their sustainable dinnerware pieces are made by hand and inspired by unexpected beauty and organic textures.

Combining minimalist aesthetic with modern design, customers can choose from eco friendly ceramic dinnerware like plates, bowls, mugs, and cups for your next dinner party (or take-out and Netflix & chill… there are some great environmental films on Netflix after all).

Lyon Lips Ceramics’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Every piece is made with tan stoneware clay, which gives them a unique, organic look. 

They’re finished via double kiln-firing with lead-free and food safe glazes. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Owner and sole maker Bri Alberts makes everything herself in small batches in Portland, Oregon, either by hand sculpting or on a pottery wheel.

The clay is locally-sourced from the Pacific Northwest. 

Green business practices:

Bri recycles almost all of her leftover clay. Whether shipping to Made Trade or directly from her site, she ships in all recyclable materials.

When ordering through Made Trade, every order is shipped with 100% carbon offset shipping through Carbon Credit Capital—this goes for returns, too. Offsets support projects working to preserve the Amazon rainforest. 

Community & charitable giving:

Made Trade is also a member of 1% for the Planet. A proportion of their profits goes to Fibershed, a nonprofit organization that supports regenerative fiber systems and carbon farming.

Available: Made Trade | Lyon Lips Ceramics

5. GIBSON

Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Gibson #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Gibson
About Gibson

Gibson products are found across the globe in some of the world’s largest retailers of dinnerware. As America’s leading producer of tabletop products, they’ve been invited to dinner by happy customers all around the globe. 

Their dinnerware is made with quality craftsmanship and comes in a large range to suit any dining room and budget. In fact, they’re committed to providing the highest quality products at the best prices—meaning some of the most inexpensive eco friendly dinnerware on the market. 

Who says elegant dinner parties are reserved for the social elite?

Gibson’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Across their massive range of eco friendly reusable dinnerware sets, Gibson uses three main materials: porcelain (bone china/fine china made of fine clay and sand), stoneware (clay, sand, and stone), and earthenware (mostly clay, with no outer glaze). 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Gibson shares the details of their production (materials, machines, glazing, decoration, etc.). 

They have more than one million square feet of warehouses across Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Canada, but also partner with overseas factories in China, India, Vietnam, and Thailand.

They regularly audit their overseas suppliers to ensure they’re meeting federal and international standards.  

Green business practices:

Both the stoneware and earthenware (and their hybrid mix of the two Stonelite) are especially eco friendly materials because they’re incredibly durable. Whereas porcelain may break, these other two are dense and long-lasting.

Community & charitable giving:

The family-owned company is proud to have a diverse workforce and every year, they assist charities and local organizations like the Los Angeles Fire Department, Feeding America, and the Organization for Autism Research. 

Available: Amazon

6. ETSY UPCYCLED DINNERWARE

Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Good Service Co #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Good Service Co
About Etsy Upcycled Dinnerware

Oh, Etsy… not only one of the best alternatives to Amazon but a delectable place to support small and mostly-sustainable sellers from around the globe. 

Spend a few minutes (hours?) scrolling through their selection and you’re sure to see some of the most ethical, sustainable, and unique items.

In terms of a low-impact feed, what’s better than upcycled dinnerware? With Etsy, you have not just one, but several shops using repurposed materials to set the table. 

We’ll leave you to do most of the scrolling, but here are two of our favorite picks: Good Service Co and Colorado Collection US. While the latter has more than 3,000 sales and rave reviews, Good Service Co is just getting started—so give them some love.

Etsy Upcycled Dinnerware’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Colorado Collection US is a one-stop-shop for all things vintage! Find some of the biggest names in dinnerware (Corelle, Pfaltzgraff) along with lesser-known and truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Vintage ceramic is the go-to material for this shop. 

As for Good Service Co., you’ll find a lot of vintage porcelain (bone china) in their dinnerware sets. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Good Service Co unfortunately began out of a tragedy. When shop owner Jessica’s grandmother died, she wanted to pass on her 128-piece china set to people who would appreciate it. Turns out, a lot of fine china could use a second life. 

Colorado Collection US was started by a vintage lover who desperately needed to downsize her own collection. She sources most of her dinnerware pieces and sets from estate sales in Colorado and Nebraska. 

By shopping on Etsy, you’re supporting small artisans who care about the products they’re selling. You’re also getting something in return: unique, one-of-a-kind pieces and a guilt-free conscience by not purchasing mass-produced dinnerware.

Green business practices:  

Etsy offsets 100% of the carbon emissions associated with shipping products bought on their site. 

Available: Etsy

7. FABLE NEW YORK

Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Fable NY #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle
Image by Fable NY
About Fable New York

Fable NY is on a mission to provide more homes with beautiful and environmentally positive products. 

They make this happen with one material—bamboo—but they’re also on a never-ending search for better materials to shrink their footprint even further.

The family-owned-and-operated brand is based in Upstate New York and draws inspiration from the wildlife with which they share their home. 

Speaking of animals, by 2050 the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh the number of fish. And this is the reason behind Fable’s plastic-free and affordable eco friendly dinnerware. 

Choose from durable plates, bowls, and cups that won’t break themselves and won’t break the bank. 

For some cuteness and culture, be sure to check out their line of illustrated dinnerware, featuring the works of a New York artist. 

Fable New York’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Fable sets the table with natural, organic bamboo fiber, non-GMO cornstarch, and a food-grade BPA-free binding resin.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing, carbon-munching plants in the world. All ingredients combined, every cup, bowl, and plate from Fable is infinitely reusable, durable, and mostly biodegradable (just not in your home compost bin). 

It’s also basically break proof sustainable dinnerware.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Fable partners with a factory in China they claim is one of the best in terms of eco-production. The factory specializes in low-impact and environmentally-progressive products.

China is also where most of the world’s bamboo is grown, which allows the brand to keep its supply chain small.

Green business practices:

All Fable products are sent with minimal and reusable.

Available: Food52

HOW WE FOUND ECO FRIENDLY DINNERWARE

Beyond eating in an eco-friendly way, we can take our efforts a step further by using sustainable dinnerware. 

But how do we know something is truly worthy of a place at our table?

As we’ve done with other household essentials (linen curtains, eco friendly pillows, sustainable bedding), we refer to our sustainable and ethical criteria that helps us determine what ends up in our wardrobes. 

While dinnerware obviously isn’t something to be worn, it faces the same issues that typically accompany fashion, such as: 

Materials:

Just as with fashion, materials matter; but we’re talking very different stuff from sustainable fabrics.

Perfect dining companions include porcelain, ceramic, stoneware, bamboo, glass, and recycled materials.

Let’s break these down (without breaking the dishes).

Ceramic is 100% recyclable (although you may have to do a little searching to find someone to accept it). Because it contains only naturally-occurring raw materials (clay), it can be re-ground into a new material. 

Ceramic earthenware is made with clay fired at low temperatures to create a slightly porous material that must be glazed and fired again before it’s suitable for things like eco friendly outdoor dinnerware. 

However, even though it only contains natural materials, it will not decompose. Just think of all of the archaeologists who have found ceramic pieces from thousands of years ago! On the other hand, it does mean it’s robust.

Made like ceramics, but with a specific type of clay that’s fired at a much higher temperature, stoneware is more durable and generally doesn’t need to be glazed. 

Porcelain gets its sustainability from the fact that it’s durable, and can handle a lot of wear and tear (more than earthenware and stoneware, even though it isn’t as dense). This is all thanks to it being fired at a higher temperature.

It’s why we find porcelain in a lot of heavy wear-and-tear areas: tile, flooring, and bathtubs—to name just a few.  

Porcelain is made with silica, flint, and clay (i.e. natural materials that are readily available).

While some people may like to avoid it (or buy it upcycled) out of vegan principles, bone china—porcelain that has ground animal bone added into the clay—is even more durable and long lasting. 

While recycling unfortunately isn’t as readily available, it is happening.

Bamboo can make for sustainable compostable dinnerware, but it must be natural, with only plant-based finishes to ensure it is, in fact, biodegradable

Supply chain and labor practices:

As creating sustainable pottery dinnerware is an age-old tradition that has been practiced around the globe for millennia, it’s important to respect the craft as it’s practiced today. 

We’re happy to see that, in most cases, these brands are using fair trade practices by providing living wages and promoting a safe and respectful working condition for their artisans. 

In the case of the tiny brands, the supply chain is hardly an issue as they’re creating the eco friendly dinnerware themselves.

Green business practices:

We’re also happy to see many supply chains are locally based, with the dinnerware being created in the same location where the materials are sourced. 

Beyond that, the use of carbon offset shipping or sustainable packaging materials always makes us feel better (a little anyway) about doing the dishes. 

Community & charitable giving:

Although not necessary (or practical for some smaller brands), it’s great when companies can invite their local and global communities to the dinner table through charitable donations or partnerships.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUSTAINABLE DINNERWARE SETS

Dinner is (almost) served. 

Now that we’ve given you some ideas of what it should be served on, we’ll leave you to choose from the menu. 

We know, sustainable living is kind of a non-stop job, just like cooking, cleaning, and doing the dishes (with zero waste dish soap, of course). Who has the energy for it all?

Thankfully the task of buying ethically and sustainably created products for our home is getting easier every year. And brands like these make it affordable as much as it is accessible. 

But remember, eco friendly permanent dinnerware is always the most sustainable choice. So if you have functional flatware and perfectly palatable plates in your cupboards, stick with them until their natural end or visit an online thrift store to give a crockery set a second life.

Now, do you have any other eco friendly dinnerware brands to dish up?

Feel free to pop them in the comments below.


Sustainable and eco friendly dinnerware is quite literally the foundation of a planet friendly plate.  Image by Gibson #ecofriendlydinnerware #sustainabledinnerware #sustainablejungle

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