Reclaimed, Recycled and Reused
Posted on 09 November 2016
These days, we’re all trying to ensure that the things we buy are green, eco-friendly, recycled or sustainably manufactured. This also goes for your furniture and interior décor.
But what is sustainable furniture and how can you tell?
Sustainable furniture refers mainly to the materials that the piece is made from, where it came from, and how it will age and last through re-use long after you bought it.
Materials of this kind of eco-friendly furniture are usually recycled, repurposed or ‘reclaimed’ if you follow the trends. Anything that is made of materials that had a former life, previously used for another function can fill the requisites of sustainable furniture. We have a large range of reclaimed timber dining tables and industrial tables that are made from recycled railway sleepers for example!
Sustainable furniture can also be made from materials that are easily renewable. Sustainably felled teak and plantation timber is an obvious initiative, though many metals, soft materials like recycled tent canvases (like this one!). Furniture made from recycled metal and plastic is another option. Anything that can be melted down and remanufactured can be labelled as sustainable. recycling means you are using fewer resources, and not condemning something to the landfills. With constantly improving technology you can be assured of quality as well.
The piece of sustainable furniture should be made with high quality materials no matter what it is…. and should always be functional for its user, and its next user. That means it should be designed in a way that it provides maximum comfort, and ease of use. It should also be durable, so that it does not need to be replaced quickly, or can be used over and over again by different people.
Easing the pressure on our forests and decreasing demand for logging, reclaimed timber is a fantastic trend to ride. This timber is usually recovered from old furniture, buildings, and bridges. Though reclaimed timber comes from anything that used wood in its initial construction. It can also come from discarded factory scraps, or driftwood that has found its way into our rivers and the ocean.
These days, this timber isn’t only preferred because of it’s environmentally friendly reuse, but also because of the character, story, patina and texture. Mostly, these pieces bear the marks of their history and make unique focal and talking points for any space.
How renewable/reusable it is:
The more a piece of furniture increases efficiency such as multifunctional furniture, the more likely it is to be kept or passed on for more use. Efficient furniture also takes up less room. For example, a sofa bed that is made to operate easily is a 2-in-1 piece of furniture.
The resilience of the item is important because well-made furniture will have a longer lifespan. That contributes to environmentally sustainable purchasing by not adding to the landfills. Even if it’s exceeded your use for it, the quality is still there so that someone else can get the same efficiency and resilience in their home second-hand.
Shop our collection of sustainable, reclaimed and recycled furniture here.