Mapping Progress In Furniture Sustainability
Trends are fun. From fashion to furniture, it’s exciting to be on trend while still displaying individuality. But being trendy comes with a price. Increased waste, a higher carbon footprint, and unethical production practices are all the result of trying to maintain trends.
And while many consumers purchase trending furniture for the very practical reason that it often comes with a lower price tag, these immediate savings do not usually translate to a worthwhile long-term investment. Increasingly, therefore, companies and consumers alike are beginning to look into creating and buying more sustainable pieces.
Companies are becoming increasingly aware that consumers are looking for longer lasting furniture, expect them to be transparent about their supply chain and business practices, and like to support businesses that feed the local economy. This knowledge has fuelled many manufacturers’ current approach to furniture material sourcing, labour practices, design, and transport to market.
Similarly, for the average, budget-constrained furniture consumer, many are accepting that investing in sustainable items may mean a larger initial outlay, but it’s worth it in the long run. There are, thankfully, numerous options available, from locally produced and artisanal products to antiques and custom-made Italian furniture, that enable consumers to find sustainable furniture at any price range.
In order for consumers to ensure that they purchase more sustainable pieces, they should ask the following questions:
- Are the materials locally and ethically sourced?
- Are the materials recycled?
- Are the materials durable (e.g., solid wood vs plywood)?
- Is the manufacturer transparent about their sourcing and labour practices?
- What does the supply chain look like, and are there any areas of concern regarding transportation, processing, etc.?
- Will this design be fashionable 10 years from now?
There are always ways to remain on trend while still owning furniture that stands the test of time – the current tendency towards sustainability has just made this a whole lot easier.