The Problem with Fast Furniture
Over 12 million tons of furnishings, carpeting and rugs were landfilled in 2018 alone, and this number continues to increase each year. The effects of ever-changing trends in the fabric and furnishings industry, or “fast furniture,” take a toll on the environment that is overlooked by many trying to keep up with the latest interior style. If we don’t stop buying new furnishings every time trends change, it could be detrimental to our planet.
Organic materials such as wood and natural fibers in furniture break down in landfills and release methane gas, which is harmful to the environment. High methane levels decrease the amount of oxygen in the air, which can ultimately impact human health. Non-organic furnishing waste can take up to thousands of years to decompose in a landfill, depending on the type of material. Fortunately, there are ways you can help tame the fast-furniture crisis and the negative impact it is causing.
How can you help?
Consider Quality and Durability When Purchasing New Funishings
It is inevitable that people will need to buy new furnishings at some point. However, the type of furnishings you buy could make a huge difference in the long run. Pay close attention to the quality of the product as well as the durability. Before purchasing, ask yourself, is this something that will last me throughout the years? If it is something that looks cheaply made and doesn’t look like it will hold up well with daily use, consider different options for long-term use.
Choose Fabrics That Are Made to Last
Let’s face it— some fabrics are made sustainably to handle the wear and tear of daily use, and others were made specifically to look pretty. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have beautiful fabrics in your home, just make sure they will be able to handle whatever they’re being used for. Microfiber, wool, and mohair are some examples of fabrics that typically hold up very well. If you have any questions about a specific type of fabric and would like to know more about the useful life, you can fill out this form.
Reupholster, Reuse, Recycle
We see why it’s so easy to hop on the fast furniture trend. When furnishings break or don’t serve a purpose for you anymore, it may seem easiest to just throw them in the trash. When you are ready to get rid of a furnishing, contemplate these alternatives to tossing it in a landfill.
Reupholstering your furnishings is an excellent solution for torn, ripped or worn fabrics. If you enjoy the furnishing itself but the fabric no longer matches your style, this could also be a good time to consider reupholstering. You can either try your hand at DIY as there are a ton of “how-to” videos and articles available, or you can consult a reupholstering expert.
Reuse and Recycle
Just because you don’t like a particular furnishing in a certain room doesn’t mean that it needs to get thrown out. Think, could this furnishing serve a purpose in a different room in my home, outdoors, or even at the office? Do you have any friends or family members that could use it in their space?
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, which is a reason to give your furniture a second chance! Just because you’re through with it doesn’t mean someone else won’t use it in their home. You can try selling furnishings on online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. If that doesn’t work out, there are plenty of donation centers and shelters that accept used furnishings. Just do a quick Google search for “where to donate furniture near me.” Most places will be thrilled to receive new donations!
Fiber-Seal Can Help
Fiber-Seal fabric protection services increase the longevity of your furnishings, keeping them looking fresh and new for longer. Spots and spills clean up much easier on interiors protected with our eco-responsible products. We specialize in cleaning and maintaining soft surfaces as well. A complimentary spot cleaning service is provided with protected items, so you won’t have to worry about ruining your furnishings from spots and soils. Contact us before throwing out furnishings due to soiling; in most cases, we’ll be able to help!