Fast-furniture is becoming sustainability’s upcoming issue. The concept of fast-furniture is derived from this contemporary buzz word used amongst retailers and academics: fast-fashion. Fast-fashion refers to affordable, trendy clothing that sample ideas from catwalks to turn them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.

 

In other words, consumers are spending less but buying more. To quantify this, on average, each person in the UK will produce 70 kg of textile waste per year, placing the fashion industry as the second largest polluter of clean water globally, the first being agriculture. Like fast-fashion, fast-furniture refers to cheap, fashionable furniture that is produced in masses to allow consumers and home stagers to stay on-trend.

 

What is the Environmental Cost of Fast-furniture?

The fundamental cost of fast-furniture is the cheap labour in third world countries and the rate at which new furniture is produced, used for a short time span, and disposed of. The materials, chemicals and dyes used to produce affordable furniture consumed by millennials can also contribute to the environment.

 

Moreover, cheap textiles like Polyester, which is derived from fossil fuels is also contributing to global warming. The company’s reliance on production in poor countries with cheap labour means that transportation significantly contributes to the environmental issue. Research by Mintel reported that in 2018, furniture sales hit a whopping £17.2 billion of which £13.3 billion were homewares.

 

This puts into context the amount of dumped homewares like wall art, accessories, lamps, etc. Fast-furniture needs to slow down, people/home stagers need to consume less and retailers need to be more environmentally conscious.

 

The Solution?

In recent years, furniture rental has become more and more common and used in the UK. Furniture rental can save the environment and your money tremendously. Many home stagers in the UK offer furniture rentals because it creates less waste and recycles available materials, preventing it from ending in landfill.

 

Moreover, in the fast-paced society of today, consumers value convenience the most and furniture rental is a modern convenience that saves the planet. Home stagers, buying timeless, sturdy furniture and renting it out to consumers to maximize their sale prices, transform their homes into ones potential buyers can envision themselves in, and save planet Earth.

 

Similarly, an innovative home stager based in Oxfordshire and an HSA member, Danielle Sinclair uses cardboard sheets to stage homes. With sustainability and eco-friendly fashion being at the forefront of the client’s minds, cardboard staging is an alternative, green solution to reduce fast-furniture. This type of staging is low-budget and reusable. The cardboard is flat packed and is built to be fixed into several pieces, making it even more trendy and eco-friendly.

 

Alternatively, many charities in the UK offer a free furniture collection service, to name a few:

 

Emmaus – recycles and reuses furniture to change people’s lives and save the environment; “by donating the items you no longer need from your home to Emmaus, you’re helping to provide a home to someone who needs it”.

T: 0300 303 7555
E: contact@emmaus.org.uk

YMCA – largest and oldest youth charity in the world, which supports young people in local areas through donations. They offer a wide range of donation services.

 

Visit their website: https://www.ymca.org.uk/

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