Updated: Aug 14
A quick search on Google will reveal that recent studies have shown pre-loved furniture to have a carbon footprint up to 16 times lower than modern furniture.
That is a significant figure.
Well, here are a few reasons:
No trees are being felled in production, reducing rainforest deforestation worldwide. Helping to preserve natural habitats and fragile ecosystems.
Depending on its age, your piece of vintage furniture would have been made using natural daylight, with handheld tools, reducing the power taken to manufacture it, which in turn reduces greenhouse gases and other carbon emissions.
It is unlikely to have been transported universally. Most people find the ideal piece of vintage furniture in their local area. So, no long-haul journeys across oceans, again reducing fuel and carbon emissions.
Your lovely piece of pre-loved furniture is not being thrown away and, therefore, will not add to a landfill. Up to 1.5m tonnes of furniture are thrown away annually in the UK.
Modern furniture has a lifespan, not just from a manufacturing viewpoint but from a fashion stance. Therefore, replacing it is an ongoing and ever-increasing cost. Vintage furniture, by comparison, tends to be handed down through generations and become heirlooms, often increasing in value.
A well-built and carefully looked after piece of Vintage furniture will last and last. It will probably outlive us all, thereby reducing the need for further "new buys" by our family, friends, and those who follow in our footsteps. So, for the eco-conscious amongst us, investing in heritage furniture is a "no-brainer".
But there are other reasons to invest in heritage furniture. Did you know overall, it is a safer choice? It is unlikely to have been plied with the modern chemicals and flammable materials that make modern furniture something of a fire hazard.
In the unfortunate incident of a house fire, vintage furniture will burn far slower.
To expand on that, one of the reasons modern house fires can be so devastating so quickly is the chemicals used in current furniture production.
And, if you're looking to support your local business and economy, buying vintage, second-hand, antique, heritage, pre-loved ("a rose by any other name….") is one way of doing that.
Buying vintage furniture from your local refinished furniture artisan supports the community and helps to keep money circulating within the local economy.
But moving away from the sustainability side of things,
Vintage furniture is incredibly adaptable. For example, a high-backed dining chair makes an unusual and stylish bedside table.
A lovely antique blanket box becomes a charming coffee table. Wooden ladders make excellent and unusual display units.
Sideboards, console tables and the like can be transformed into TV and media stands with minimum effort.
Family budgets are never far from our thoughts at the moment. Everyone has to tighten their belt somewhat. Buying vintage not only helps save the planet but also means you'll save money overall.
So next time you're looking for a piece of furniture, don't head to IKEA.
Instead, look on your local high street, pop along to your local antique fair, or look online at Etsy, Vinterior or one of the many online retailers.
And bear in mind, you're not just buying a beautiful piece of furniture art for your home—you're also doing your part to protect the planet, and that is priceless.