Used furniture is a great way to lower your environmental footprint. When purchasing pre-loved furniture for your house, this brief guide will introduce you to some of the more ethical alternatives.
We purchase a lot of furniture. According to research done by the European Environment Bureau in 2017, EU individuals purchase around 10.5 million tonnes each year. But, unfortunately, only a tiny portion of this is obtained ethically.
The majority of the furniture we purchase is made of wood, ranging from solid oak to chipboard. The furniture sector is responsible for 30% of illicit wood trafficked globally, making it a key driver of unsustainable forestry. Conflict, the extinction of animals and plants, and climate change are all outcomes of this illegal trade.
The issues, however, do not cease after the furniture leaves the manufacturer. Toxic chemicals contained in furniture paint, for example, are released into the air over time. Off-gassing is a process that has a detrimental influence on both human health and the environment.
When furniture is discarded, it may be harmful to the environment due to the toxicity of certain paints that leak when they come into touch with water in landfills, posing a risk to the ecosystem. (For further information, check the Ethical Consumer’s Guide to Painting).
This is undoubtedly a significant problem since the European Environment Bureau research found that 90% of all furniture is burnt or disposed of in landfills. This does not have to be the case. You may acquire used furniture and dispose of your old furniture in a more environmentally friendly manner.
In this guide, we will list the reason why you should buy second-hand furniture, as well as some tips on what to consider before purchasing second-hand furniture.
You may be tempted to purchase old furniture for various reasons, but the cost is generally the most appealing one. As a result, the majority of individuals buy second-hand products to save money. In addition, given the high price of new furniture, purchasing excellent secondary pieces might save you a lot of money. Items like bookshelves and display cabinets, for example, can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making them an excellent option for second-hand furniture.
Today’s furniture market is swamped with low-cost goods whose construction quality and materials may not be up to par. So it’s a good idea to seek excellent second-hand products if you’re looking for furniture with high-quality workmanship and materials.
Using pre-owned furniture benefits the environment a little bit at a time. Disposing of wood or steel furniture is not exceptionally environmentally friendly. You increase your chances of owning a product with high intrinsic value while also lowering waste/recycling expenses by reusing products.
In today’s design, repurposing furniture and other décor items is a prominent trend. Many great ideas on the internet may be utilised to renovate used or antique furniture. This offers instructions for repainting, repairing, and even redesigning any piece of furniture. Once you’ve purchased a second-hand piece of furniture, you may customise it and paint it whatever colour you desire. It will go unnoticed that it is a reconditioned item.
Most of us desire to stand out, particularly when it comes to the furniture we choose for our homes. However, no one wants their house to look like their neighbour’s or friend’s, so looking for second-hand furniture is an exciting way to uncover a unique item.
Depreciation Rates are Low
The resale value of brand-new furniture depreciates to a fraction of their initial cost. Regardless, buying good second-hand furniture gives you the chance to resell it for a better price, often even more than the original, depending on various conditions. So, unlike buying new furniture, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Tips when buying second-hand furniture
Try before you buy
Suppose you’re buying used furniture on Craigslist or at a garage or estate sale, then sample it before buying. Open drawers, try sitting on the chairs or leaning on the table to confirm that it is still safe to use at home. Even if it’s damaged, be sure you or someone else is confident in your capacity to fix it and that you’re paying a reasonable price for it.
Trust your senses
The scents of previous owners may be present in furniture that has been in someone else’s house. Consider this while making a furniture purchase. Some aromas, such as pet and cooking odours, may air out, while others, such as smoking odours, may not. Don’t get too caught up in the beautiful offer that you forget will be a long-term part of your house and family.
Reupholstering has a chance to save you money.
Second-hand and antique Furniture may have been built with suitable structural components and just need a ‘facelift.’ Furniture has constructed with more excellent craftsmanship and quality components years ago, similar to restoring an older house. Consider the possibilities and cost benefits of purchasing a new copy furniture item instead of passing up an old-looking Queen Ann chair from an antique shop.
Hardwood furniture will last longer if taken care of
Hardwoods like oak and maple form furniture that is both sturdy and powerful. Avoid softwoods like pine lumber when purchasing used wood furniture, particularly couches. Pine is a better choice for items that won’t be subjected to much weight or pressure for an extended length of time. When considering a used item for durability, look at the kinds of wood used.
Second-hand furniture from hotels can be hidden gems
Hotels often refurbish and then sell the old furniture to the public, making it more challenging to locate. Check the newspaper, internet ads, and word of mouth to see if any nearby hotels are selling furniture following renovations.
Make sure you have a big enough vehicle.
One of the most common mistakes is not planning on how to get your furniture home. Many businesses may keep your items for a few days, while others will need you to pick up your furnishings on the same day. If you know you’ll be buying a sofa, make a list of shops and yard sales to visit and have a vehicle ready to transport your furniture. You don’t want to find something “ideal” but not get it to your house right away.
Here at Office Furniture in London, we have a huge range of both New and Used furniture including desks, chairs and beds. If you would like to learn more about us or discuss a piece contact our great team today.