100 Billion Reasons Why Our Choice in Furniture Matters

100 Billion Reasons Why Our Choice in Furniture Matters

"If it's cheap enough, I'll throw it away and buy new"

People will often say to me that they're not concerned that the low-cost furniture they buy will only last two to five years. The logic is that since there was little investment, it can be tossed and then purchased again in a few years.

However, this sort of thinking has a drastic effect on our environment. There isn't enough room in the landfills to dump this cheap furniture. Because the quality is so inferior, it becomes trash instead of an item for the thrift shop. They're missing the point that classic design paired with quality construction will last for generations.

 

Poorly manufactured, low-cost furniture is lightweight, as cardboard is used instead of wood, inferior metals, particleboard, and toxic foam and glues. They can rarely survive a move without breaking a leg. The fabrics and foams are significantly flawed, and now warnings are often used because of lead and other toxic ingredients. These mass-produced manufacturers add a latex layer to the fabric because very little thread is involved. This process is different from a material backing professional upholsterer's use for added stability on delicate designer fabrics.

 

Below is an all too familiar sight in every neighborhood. Too shabby for the thrift shops, sofas, chairs, bookshelves, and tables that have come from afar only to land at our local dump in a few short years. 

 

Throw Away Furniture

 

Americans spent an estimated $121.7 billion to refurbish their homes and offices with new furniture and 12 million  tons of furniture goes to our dump every year. TV shows and online shops increasingly persuade us to remodel our homes and replace old furniture in a snap. The "snap" is possible because of the low-quality furnishings, often made from the hands of slave labor, lasting only a few years and then being added to our landfills in record numbers. Scrolling through the online furniture shops will consume many hours of your time sorting through hundreds of inferior products.


I love the idea of receiving a product overnight, and seeing the UPS, FEDX, or Amazon truck pull up is always a delight. However, if you desire something special, personal, well-made, unique, and not seen all over the internet, perhaps investing in custom-made is for you!
Here is a great blog post from Laurel Home that explains the story behind Restoration Hardware.  Below a warning of lead on items that are high touch!
Warnings on furniture