A short guide to sustainable & futureproof furniture design
You get what you pay for when buying cheap and quick furniture solutions from big box stores. The harsh reality is that the typical furniture bought to furnish apartments and homes will not last very long. Many of us are going green with our cleaning products, electricity usage and even our clothing, but we often forget about the detrimental effects that conventional furniture manufacturing has on the environment.
Sustainable and futureproof furniture design is the way to go if you want beautiful and unique pieces of furniture that is built to last to complement your home or office. A well crafted piece of furniture will reuse materials and use materials from a sustainable source. Always look at the materials that furniture is made from because some materials have larger carbon footprints than others. For example, choose reused or reclaimed metal, since metal refining is very energy intensive.
When choosing wood pieces, look for wood that is sourced from eco-friendly forests. Do not buy furniture that uses wood harvested from tropical rain forests. The trees in eco-friendly forests are continually replanted and can mature rapidly. Locally sourced wood is also an excellent choice because it reduces the carbon footprint of transporting the materials. Some popular sustainable wood options include mango, maple, bamboo and cane.
Reclaiming and upcycling may be the most sustainable choice when it comes to furniture because these methods keep materials out of our landfills and make them beautiful again. A reclaimed or upcycled piece is a great find. A furniture builder may craft an exquisite dining room table, end table, chair or even a couch out of pallets left in danger of going to the dumpster, driftwood or even from unloved or damaged furniture pieces.
Rather than spending your money on products that are designed for a short product lifespan, opt for pieces that will last you through many homes. Futureproof furniture design enables you to even create family heirlooms that many generations ahead of you can enjoy. It is almost a guarantee that a lot of the cheaply made furniture available at the big box stores today will not even last ten years, yet alone until your next move. Invest in high quality pieces, and you may end up saving yourself money and frustration in the future. Finely crafted, well made and high quality furniture is designed to last, and it even adds value as it ages. The initial cost of buying well made furniture may be much more than buying cheap, but these pieces are a far better investment in the long term.
About the author: Claire writes for UK furniture suppliers Iconic Interiors