So, your grandma gave you an amazing sofa. The sofa was stylish, with a strong frame. You had it for at least 5 years, before you noticed that the fabric was fraying and it looked a bit old and run down. At that point, you tried to donate it but without any luck. You then decided to put it out on to the street at the next council clean-up. Grandma’s sofa most likely ended up in a landfill and you replaced it with a new sofa from Ikea. The new sofa purchased, was not an antique, not valuable, not made to last and was basically inferior in quality.
As we are becoming more environmentally conscious, it’s time to ask, what really is happening to our planet every time someone discards a piece of furniture? The mountains of furniture seen on the street and in landfills is a growing waste problem for us in Australia. On average, each Sydney household disposes of around 24kg of wooden furniture per year, comprising about one-third upholstered and two-thirds wooden furniture. This is the equivalent of 800,000 three-seater sofas, 1.65 million dining tables, 3.4 million coffee tables or 6.85 million chairs, all being thrown away by Sydney households every year (Source: Handkrafted ). On ABC’s War on Waste, it was reported that up to 85% of kerbside furniture won’t be recycled, with the vast majority heading straight to landfill.
Let’s think again about grandma’s sofa. The advantages with vintage and antique furniture are they are made with materials that are durable, well-designed and built to last. We need to think sustainably about how our furniture can be reused and restored. So, instead of tossing out worn furniture, you could alternatively reupholster it and give it a new lease of life. This will help cut down on waste and further resource use. When a piece of furniture is reupholstered, the frame and springs are reused. This means less waste for the landfills. In addition, fewer trees will need to be cut down and therefore fewer natural resources are being consumed and less pollution is being produced. Re-upholstery is a way of recycling furniture into a new piece. So, less transportation used, which cuts down on emissions, fuel used and unnecessary traffic and this all helps to slow global warming.
Do we have a throwaway culture? Rather than keeping and restoring something we already have, we automatically think we should buy something new but what are we really buying? There is a tendency in our society to purchase cheap products with short lifespans, throw them away and then purchase new items when they wear out. The poorly made furniture typical of today’s manufacturing, contributes significantly to this cycle. Restoration of good quality furniture, on the other hand, can extend the life of existing furniture by up to 30 years or longer, keeping it out of landfills and eliminating the need to purchase new furniture.
Our mindset needs to change before we can make a real difference to save and preserve our planet. This is relevant to both residential and commercial furniture. So which furniture piece would you like to restore? Contact Daylom & Vovo Upholstery today and make a difference.