Did you know that 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded in the UK every year? That’s 60,273 items a day or 2,511 items an hour!!!! Whilst it’s impossible to save every item from landfill, that’s a staggering amount of furniture to throw away.
One of the main reasons our clients come to us is because they want to get more value from something they already own. It could be a treasured piece that has been in the family for many years and they would like it preserved for a future generation. They also come to us because the item they have, given a little TLC, will last another 5 / 10 / 20 years and that’s better than throwing something away to buy something new.
So what could you do? Before you get rid of that old sofa or those dining chairs, here are our top five tips:
1. Replace the cushion inners – the colour and fabric is perfect but the cushions are saggy and lumpy, why not replace the inners. This is a cost-effective way of prolonging the life of your furniture without the price tag of buying new.
2. Replace the covers – whether it’s a set of new cushion covers in a similar or contrasting fabric or replacing the peeling faux leather on your dining chairs, this is another cost-effective way of rejuvenating your furniture.
3. Buy second-hand furniture – Try a local charity furniture shop or an online selling site such as Gumtree or Freecycle. You could either buy to use as it is or look to have it upholstered.
4. Full reupholster – Go for it! Have that bespoke piece of furniture you crave for your home.
5. Donate to charity – If it really is time to say goodbye to that piece of furniture, then why not pass it on, either buy selling online or donating to a charity, such as the British Heart Foundation. They will often collect for a small fee, as long as the item is in good condition and has the appropriate fire labels.
We are always looking at ways we can be more sustainable in what we do too. I posted recently about donating old cushion inners so they could be used for pet bedding. I also joined a Facebook group this week called ‘Sustainable Upholstery’ and the group description reads: ”A Place to share solutions and ideas to move towards more sustainable upholstery.” Many of the posts this week have featured conversations about using alternatives to foam, applauding the use of brown paper to package rolls of fabric and supporting a small business who create textiles from recycled plastic.
Increasingly, suppliers are also producing more fabrics made from sustainable or recycled sources. We look forward to being more sustainable in our approach to upholstery, sharing good practice with other upholsterers and these will be the topic of future blogs.
Big changes start from small steps. What will you save from landfill today?
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