There is lot to be said for purchasing pre owned antique furniture, not just because of its quality, its uniqueness and beauty, but also because it’s another way of doing your bit for the environment. Although in recent times eco awareness in peoples day to day lives has been significantly raised, there is little doubt that globally, the human race still operates in somewhat of a throwaway culture with retail dominated by fast fashion, cheap homeware and mass-produced furniture which more often than not doesn’t last for any time at all before requiring replacement.
When it comes to long-lasting, quality products that are kind to the environment and made with care, antiques are without any shadow of doubt the original and best. Below is just a few quick examples of why.
Reducing Waste because of course, much like a motor vehicle, when you purchase a brand new piece of furniture it doesn’t retain its value, in fact it will often be worth less than 50% of what you paid for it before you even get it home and start trying to put it together. Antiques are generally constructed from seasoned, quality timber, proven to stand the test of time and will have been hand made by an expert, quality craftsman resulting in a total write off due to damage being an exceptionally rare occurrence, compared to a maximum 10-15 year cycle of recently constructed, modern items of furniture which more often than not end up in landfill at the end of that cycle. Of course antiques can be restored, passed through the generations, sold to another good home to be loved and cherished by somebody else and will very rarely end up being disposed of as waste.
Carbon Emissions of antique furniture has been categorically proved to be lower than those of its modern counterparts and although modern 21st century furniture makers and retailers are working harder than ever to make their products as green as possible both now and in the future, the majority still produce their products in enormous factories based outside of the UK, with naturally large CO2 outputs. Around 10 years ago The British Antiques Dealers Association, LAPADA and other relevant antiques industry bodies commissioned Carbon Clear Ltd to produce a study designed to establish any differences in the level of carbon emissions which could be attributed to modern furniture and then compared to antique furniture. The study took into account a wide range of factors including raw materials, manufacturing, transportation and disposal. What came out in the results at the end were quite remarkable, at that time a new chest of drawers purchased from a reputable high street retailer was likely to have a carbon impact of up to sixteen times higher than an antique chest of drawers purchased for a similar price locally.
Antiques Don’t Require New Resources quite simply because they already exist, they have already been constructed! In the modern world our demand for “new’ items across all categories means that large manufacturers are of course obliged to provide and to do this of course they mine for the resources required to build what customers are telling them they want. Each and every purchase of an antique item, instead of a new item, results in a tiny bit less demand for those resources required to construct those alternative modern pieces.
Antique Furniture Is Safer For Your Home as well as the environment due to a significantly reduced risk of flashover should your home catch fire. “Flashover” is the split seconds before fire catches hold of a room and begins burning anything and everything around it. These days the number of home goods made from exceptionally flammable chemicals and materials, mean that modern day house fires can take between just two and three minutes to reach this point. Fires were of course devastating hundreds of years ago as well, but it was much rarer that they got out of control in the way they do now and thats because most antique furniture is made out of wood, which of course burns significantly slower than synthetic materials which may just be the extra time difference between a home being saved from a fire, or burnt to the ground.