There are a lot of good reasons to keep sustainability in mind when you are buying furniture. The first is to avoid waste. Fast fashion even applies to your home furnishings, and we’ve all got a little too comfortable throwing out perfectly good furniture because we want a change. Another is, of course, the slow death of our home planet and the materials that are being used to kill her also making chairs and sideboards.
And finally, there’s the price. We’re living in a shaky economy, caused by a pandemic, rising prices and cost of living. So, when you’re looking to furnish your new home, you’ll be happy to find a sofa that costs a fraction of its retail price, surely?
But how do you go about it? Is there any way to be more sustainable when you’re furnishing your home? Turns out there is. Read our guide for all the details.
Look in charity shops
You’d be surprised what you can find in charity shops and there are lots of them! There are lots of charity furniture stores dotted in cities across the country, and they’re full of bargains.
The best thing about these items is that because no one wants to throw them away, they are often solid wood and in decent condition. Plus, wood furniture never really goes out of style, so a chest of drawers or sideboard can slot nicely into just about any style of home, whether you’re looking to go art deco or bohemian chic.
As for soft furnishings, they can vary wildly in style. You might be looking at something that you bought a year ago or a decade ago. But the older they are, the sturdier they were once built, meaning that you’ll have something that will last a while. And if you’re not satisfied you can buy some foam and plump up the cushions a bit.
Oh, and the best part: they’re sold for pennies. You can leave with a bedside table that cost a tenner, a sofa that cost £200 or anything else in between. Plus, if you buy something with potential you can always rejuvenate it…
Rejuvenate what you have
There is a massive trend of rejuvenating furniture taking over the internet right now, so take a look at your own furniture and see if there is something you can do to jazz it up instead.
For a simple rejuvenation, you can buff out scratches and revarnish your wood furnishings, and even change up the colour of the varnish for a different effect. Or you can replace the handles on your furniture for a quick style change to suit your room.
If you want a bold change, you can even repaint your furniture. Furniture hadn’t changed much until a few years ago. It was wood or white, and it was rare to see a variation on that. Right now, furniture comes in the full spectrum of the rainbow. You can go forest green, navy blue, stone grey and everything in between.
You can take it a step further and upholster your soft furnishings. If you have a sofa that you think is the comfiest thing to sit on, but you need a change, you can grab some fabric from the fabric store and upgrade your cushions. You can stuff some more foam in them while you’re at it.
Store it till you need it
If it turns out you have a few options you’d like, you can put away your old furniture for the meantime. Renting out a Safestore unit will allow you to put away a bunch of furniture pieces. Maybe from there you will sell them, maybe you’ll pull them out when you get a bigger place, or maybe you can upcycle and flip them. Anything is better than simply tossing them out if they’re in good nick.