We've heard of Fast Food and probably Fast Fashion, but have you heard of Fast Furniture?
The principle is roughly the same in that we see it, we want it and we want it quickly and cheaply.
It's cheap poor quality furniture just made for a season - we seem to be a generation intent on instant results. For example, we desire a new Sideboard, so we simply discard the one we are bored with and buy a new Sideboard without any consideration for the impact that may have on the enrirvonment.
It may seem a cheap purchase to start with, but how many times will you need to replace that item, when it either falls apart of becomes 'so last year.'
Research by Heels found that here in the UK we throw away 300,000 tonnes of re-usable furniture every year, that's 22 million pieces of furniture!
If you look at furniture built in 'yesteryear', it was built to last generations. Vintage items today are most probably as structurally sound today as the day they were built. And look at how well hand crafted they are; those beautiful dove tails joints are just beautiful.
Today though, mass produced items often require several hours with a screwdriver and an instruction manual to assemble along, and they are nowhere near the same quality. We are a generation of 'easy come and easy go'. Items are built to be disposable rather than cared for like our past generations did.
We are living in the fast lane and fast furniture is a feature of the modern life. If we decide we want something else next week, we will just dispose and simply move on.
What's so bad about Fast Furniture?
It doesn't last...
It's usually made from particle board covered in laminate or veneer. It probably won't last more than a few years as the laminate is prone to splitting at the seams and peeling away. It's also weak in its structure.
It's over produced...
So Ikea produced more than 60 million 'Billy' bookcases, the odds are many of these are now in landfill. Do you really want the same furniture millions of other people have in their home?
It uses so much timber...
Did you know that 1% of the commercially harvested wood in the world is used by IKEA? This number may sound small, but that is a LOT of trees which we are cutting down simply to replace perfectly good furniture we already have.
It's really toxic...
A lot of Fast Furniture is made from particle board, which not only doesn't last but it contains toxic chemicals like formaldehyde. It is not recyclable or biodegradable due to the plastic laminate coating and the chemical resim binding the wood particles. The carbon footprint of that seemingly cheap coffee table is extortionate once you consider the energy required to produce it and then transport it across the world to you.
Why are we discarding these perfectly good vintage items so easily and doing so much damage to our planet when they can be restyled into beautiful modern day pieces?
Instead we can have unique pieces of furniture that will last for still decades to come, and you will have saved it from the landfill. Look at the shape of a vintage piece of furniture and the quality of the materials used. The finish can be changed to suit your current colour scheme and it become a real eye catcher of a piece for your beautiful modern country home.
I feel so strongly about my work contributing in some way to the sustainability of the planet, that I donate a percentage of each sale to the World Land Trust who will plant a tree with my donation and go a tiny way to replenishing the planet's trees.