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  • Writer's pictureCassy West

Beyond Trends: The Hidden Dangers of Fast Furniture and Fashion in Your Home

By, Cassy West


Whether you’re seeking to infuse your home with tranquility, promote sustainable living, or simply make mindful choices about your surroundings, understanding the impact of fast furniture and fast fashion is crucial. Fast furniture and fast fashion are similar concepts that refer to the rapid production and consumption of goods in their respective industries.

fast furniture or throw away furniture

What is Fast Furniture?

Fast furniture refers to the quick and inexpensive production of furniture items, often designed to be trendy and disposable. Companies churn out furniture at a rapid pace, using materials that may not be sustainable and often sacrificing durability for affordability. Much like fast fashion, fast furniture encourages consumers to frequently update their home decor to keep up with changing trends.


What is Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion describes the rapid production of clothing items by mass-market retailers in response to the latest fashion trends. These garments are typically made using cheap materials and labor, enabling them to be sold at low prices. However, fast fashion items often lack quality and durability, contributing to a “throwaway culture” where clothing is worn only a few times before being discarded.


Both fast furniture and fast fashion industries have significant negative impacts on the environment:




Resource Depletion:

The rapid production of goods requires substantial amounts of natural resources, including water, energy, and raw materials. This leads to overexploitation of resources and environmental degradation.


Pollution:

Fast furniture and fast fashion production processes generate significant pollution, including air and water pollution from manufacturing plants and chemical runoff from dyeing processes. Additionally, the transportation of goods across the globe contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.


Waste Generation:

The disposable nature of fast furniture and fast fashion contributes to immense waste generation. Many items end up in landfills, where they may take decades or even centuries to decompose fully. This waste disposal problem further exacerbates environmental pollution and contributes to habitat destruction.


Social Impacts:

Both industries often rely on cheap labor in developing countries, leading to exploitative working conditions

and low wages for workers. This perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequality in these regions.


To mitigate the environmental and social impacts of

fast furniture and fast fashion, consumers can opt for sustainable and ethically produced alternatives, support brands with transparent supply chains and environmentally friendly practices, and adopt habits such as repairing and upcycling items to extend their lifespan. Additionally, advocating for stricter regulations on the industries and promoting awareness about the true cost of fast consumerism are essential steps toward creating a more sustainable future.


Several furniture companies prioritize sustainability by using eco-friendly materials, ethical sourcing, and responsible manufacturing practices. Also, there are great websites that are capitalizing on the sale of repurposing unique, vintage furniture. Here are some examples of where you can feel good about your purchase.


Sustainable Furniture You Can Trust

1. CHECK OUT YOUR LOCAL FURNITURE CONSIGNMENT STORE!

There are a ton of local consignment and antique stores worth investigating for unique, second-hand furniture. For a variety of sizes and low prices, repurposing quality solid wood desks, bureaus, side tables, coffee tables, consoles, etc., is becoming a popular hobby for some people. Need inspiration? You can find videos on Social Media of entrepreneurs discovering this creative new way of making old furniture new again.


If you don’t have a consignment store near you, then consider opening up a new business that will likely be successful and well-received by people of all ages.


2. CHAIRISH IS AN ONLINE MARKETPLACE WITH WONDERFUL, VINTAGE UNIQUE FURNITURE AND ART.

This website has given old custom, quality furniture a new life.


3. MEDLEY IS MY NEW FAVORITE FURNITURE COMPANY!

Started by two brothers in Sacramento, CA, Ryan and Travis offer a selection of sustainably sourced and Fair Trade Certified furniture and accent items. They prioritize ethically made products and only use eco-friendly and healthy materials. They pride themselves on healthier furniture for the home by offering plant-based foam, wool, and latex options. Their blog is worth reading, too!


4. IKEA:

IKEA has made significant commitments to sustainability, including using renewable and recycled materials in its products, reducing waste, and promoting energy efficiency. They have initiatives like the “IKEA Better Cotton Initiative” and “People & Planet Positive” strategy aimed at becoming climate-positive and circular.


5. ECOBALANZA:

This company specializes in handmade, eco-friendly furniture crafted from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, and FSC-certified wood. They prioritize non-toxic materials and ethical labor practices.


6. CISCO HOME:

Cisco Brothers focuses on sustainable furniture made with natural and organic materials, including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood, organic cotton, and natural latex foam. They prioritize renewable resources and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes.


Picture Credit: Cisco Brothers

7. EMECO:

Emeco produces high-quality, durable furniture using recycled aluminum and other eco-friendly materials. Their products are designed to last a lifetime, reducing the need for frequent replacements.


8. CRATE & BARREL:

Crate & Barrel’s eco-friendly line CB2 offers a range of sustainable furniture

options, including pieces made from responsibly sourced wood, recycled materials, and eco-friendly fabrics. They also have initiatives to reduce waste and promote recycling. Also, check out their partner, Hudson-Grace, for sustainable items for the home.


These are just a few examples of furniture companies that prioritize sustainability. It’s always a good idea to research individual brands and products to understand their specific commitments to environmental and social responsibility. Finding that special piece should last a lifetime and will be passed down from generation to generation like it used to be. Enriching the home and preserving the legacy of responsible living.



By, Cassy West

Design Well to Live Well

Eco Friendly Interior Designer &Wellness Real Estate Agent in Massachusetts and Florida


Cassy West from www.wellnessbydezign.com is a contributing writer for WellnessRE™ and has given us permission to share her blog posts with our readers. Visit her site to read more of her design tips on how to create a healthier home.







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