The Stewardship of Furniture
The qoute above by Anna Lappe, a sustainable food advocate, has been on my fridge for years. I took this photo at the Design Museum in Copenhagen..... the exhibit was about consumerism.
" Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want "
We all know about the 100 mile diet, responsible farming practices, and not wasting food..... but what about our other consumer choices? The Netflix documentary " The True Cost " attempts to educate the masses on the true cost of all that cheap clothing we buy....... and where it ends up... landfill. But, lets look around the house.... what about your furniture? How long do you think your furniture will last, and where will it go when its life is over?
Sadly, this is where a great deal of furniture ends up.... if not on the curb, in the dump.
I will admit this sofa is ugly, and was probably cheaply made. However, furniture does not look like this unless it has been pretty much abused. Purchasing a cheap piece of furniture, does not mean treating it as disposable.... but we do. Far too often in my store I hear the words..."Im not getting new furniture till the kids grow up, they will just trash it"...... or " the dog has ruined the sofa." Furniture has become disposable.
As a child growing up I watched my mom purchase everything for the home with great care. There was not a lot of money, and raising 4 kids was expensive even back then. She always purchased the best quality she could afford, and she taught all of us to respect our home environment, simly put, she could not afford to have us kids " trash" the sofa.... she could not replace it. Today, something breaks, you dont like it... toss to the curb.
Sustainabiltity, is about every purchase you make. I love antiques, always have, they are sustainable. A piece of furniture that lasts for centuries.... how much more sustainable can you get? But, there is a catch.... you have to take care of it...... become a temporary custodian.... so it can last another 100 years.
What is the life span of the furniture in your house? How many pieces of furniture will be here in another 100 years, or 200? I just looked around my house..... obviously, I own a few antiques... every piece will outlive me by 100 years or more, except one, the sofa!! What is it about Sofas?!!!
The Sofa above is 100 years old. This is a classic British Chesterfield, circa 1910, coil sprung, hand dyed leather. The secret to its long life, the inside of the sofa is horsehair and cotton... No Foam. There is nothing on the inside of the sofa that is going to biodegrade... foam lasts about 15 years. The sofas long life is also due to its clasic style.... this sofa is ALWAYS in style... and has been for over 100 years. Buy a trendy sofa, you are getting rid of it in 5 years. In fact, buy trendy anything.... you are replacing it in 5 years..... ahhh and the consumerism of it all.
My customers buy antiques for their quality, originality, and sustainability. They are casting their vote for the world they want to live in.
Love where you live.