I like to do my bit for the environment here and there, even if it's bringing my own bags to the supermarket, buying my gothic clothes second hand from depop or my plant based diet. I am not an expert but just an enthusiast, so here is my guide on how to shop for furniture sustainable.
When people think about sustainability it is usually around the topic of fast fashion, but a lot of people don’t realise that fast furniture is also a thing. Yes, you may not be aware that your flatpack furniture may not last forever (especially if you have a screw loose). Cheap furniture is often built with chip board and budget foam which can get deformed very quickly. We’ve all seen the back panels of a wardrobe which are practically cardboard! Handmade furniture on the other hand, may seem expensive but it will last you much much longer, and actually end up saving you money as you won’t need to keep replacing it on a quad-yearly basis. Yes, well made furniture can actually last for 10-15 years, depending on how much you use it and even then the fabric and foam can be reupholstered and the solid wood frame can last 100 years or more.
Hand-carved solid mahogany
RECYCLE, RESTORE, RE-GOTH,
Second-hand furniture is a great way to reuse resources and lower your impact on the environment. An antique frame is often more sturdy than its flat-pack counterpart as they are usually made from solid wood. You’ll be surprised on how large furniture companies cut corners to increase their profit margins. This can include using cheap supplies, like using cardboard instead of webbing (thick woven fabric) and webbing instead of springs.
Not everyone is a master of carpentry and fabric manipulation magic (AKA Upholstery) but don’t fret, we have furniture experts for that. Devils Dwelling offers reupholstery services so if you find your own antique frames they can restore it for you and turn it into your style with a wide range of fabrics. They can also repair your current furniture so you don’t need to go out and buy a whole new settee, think about all the resources it takes to make an entire new piece of furniture.
Second-hand furniture also has its own history, which makes it more interesting in my opinion. Devil’s Dwelling has sourced some furniture that is 200 years old and restored it to a modern style to be used in the home. The frame is still more sturdy than your *insert large furniture company name here* sofas can ever be. I am sure there are antiques collectors crying at the fact that this furniture has been french polished and reupholstered into the gothic style. However, I am certain it is better off in a dreamy gothic home than a landfill site, which is unfortunately where decaying antiques are laid to rest.
Devil's Dwelling Upholstery Transformation
The North London Waste Authority found that 22 million pieces of furniture ends up at landfill sites every year! And fewer than one in 10 people attempt to repair their broken or damaged furniture..
Overall, there is no downside to shopping sustainably for furniture, yes there can be an upfront monetary cost but I think looking after our planet is worth it, and you’ll save money in the long-run. So look into antiques and small businesses instead of large companies that churn out poorly made furniture. Fast furniture is not good for our planet.