Mass-Produced Furniture’s Environmental Impact
You’ve probably heard people lament that “they just don’t make things the way they used to.” Whoever first said this may have been speaking specifically about the furniture industry. Mass-producing is the norm today, manufacturing products that are cheaply made and won’t last. This creates a continual cycle of waste: People buy cheap furniture, throw it away once it no longer works or looks good, and then buy more cheap furniture to replace it.
As this cycle repeats itself, it perpetuates deforestation, climate change, and landfill waste.
In the past ten years, we’ve cleared over 380.5 million acres of tropical forests, or three times the land area of France. This is a completely unsustainable practice that destroys the habitat of many plants and animals, causes water runoff that leads to flooding and landslides, and increases greenhouse gas emissions.
Although paper production is the biggest driver of deforestation, furniture production is another major cause.
Greenhouse gas emissions don’t end with logging: As furniture manufacturers transport trees to sawmills, turn them into furniture, package the furniture, and transport the furniture to warehouses and, eventually, clients, they produce more and more carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change.
When people throw out old furniture they no longer want, it ends up in landfills. As it decomposes, this furniture produces a number of harmful glasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, that further contribute to the greenhouse effect and, consequently, global warming.
Sustainable Furniture Choices
Instead of buying mass-produced, low-quality furniture, try to reupholster or invest in durable furniture that will last.
If the furniture you’re looking to upgrade qualifies — for example, if it’s sturdy enough and isn’t damaged beyond repair — reupholstering is the most sustainable choice you can make. Reupholstering requires using fewer natural resources, since you’re not creating anything from scratch, and also contributes less to landfill waste.
Because the process of reupholstering requires much less production and transportation, it produces significantly less emissions. In fact, one organization found that refinishing the furniture in 100 hotel rooms produced just 1.245 tons of carbon dioxide, compared to 125.33 tons when replacing all the furniture. These numbers will vary depending on the type and quantity of furniture your business is renovating, but reupholstering will prove incredibly more environmentally friendly regardless of your industry.
When Buying New, Consider Durability
If reupholstering isn’t an option, purchase higher-quality, durable furniture that will last to avoid contributing to the cycle of waste.
As the saying implies, furniture manufacturers really did have higher standards in the past. While this can make it hard to find quality new furniture, it makes buying vintage pieces a viable option. Even if it is significantly older, vintage and preowned furniture may last much longer than new mass-produced options, making for less landfill waste. These older options also require no additional resources to manufacture, so you’re not contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, vintage items can add unique character to your business’ space.
In your search for the right furniture, you may find vintage pieces that need some work to be suitable for your commercial space. Don’t pass these by — they may just require reupholstery or refinishing to make them look brand new.
Buy High-Quality New Furniture
When you have to buy new furniture, make the sustainable choice of choosing a durable option — even if it means paying more. Buying well-made furniture could easily save you money in the long run and, like buying vintage furniture, lessens the waste that will end up in landfills.
If you’re not sure what makes a piece of furniture durable, work with someone who does. We have a large variety of new products for sale for your business, and we’re also happy to answer any questions you have about furniture quality.
Create Custom Pieces
If you can’t find vintage or new options that meet your needs, you can still be environmentally conscious by ordering custom furniture. This allows you to ensure that your furniture is as durable as possible, choose ecofriendly materials, buy local (thus reducing carbon emissions due to transportation), and customize the style to your commercial space.
If you are in Singapore and is in need of an update for your couch, then contact us. The usual cost for reupholster/upholstery will start from SGD $800 and above for a 2 seater or SGD $380 and above for an armchair. If you custom made a sofa in Singapore, the price starts from $2300 onwards. Ask for over fabrics and you may even get a better price.
Whatapps photos of your sofa and size to (+65 90305057 , Vince ) you can speak directly to us or email: info(at)centrepiece.com.sg to discuss your order. We don’t have call centres or customer service departments, you speak directly to the people making your sofa.
Restoring beauty and beyond – Reupholstery SG
Shop @: Centrepiece Lazada
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