What is Fast Furniture?

By: Morgan Young

Fast Furniture in landfill

You’ve heard of fast fashion, but have you heard of fast furniture? Fast furniture is just like it sounds, furniture that is built quickly and cheaply. With the cycle of trends moving faster and faster each year, consumers are pushing retailers to not only release more products but to get them delivered as quickly as possible. This leads to cheap, poorly made items, only meant to last a few years.

Why is fast furniture a problem?

Although sustainability is at the top of mind for many, the desire to follow the latest interior design trends while being enticed by low prices leads to a tremendous amount of waste. Additionally, fast furniture is not made to last because of the low-quality (and often irresponsibly sourced) materials and poor construction. This leads to many items simply falling apart. According to the EPA, Americans throw away 12 million tons of furniture each year, sending 9 million tons to landfills due to a lack of recyclability.

Fast furniture in landfill

What can we do about this?

1. Focus on Quality

When bringing new furniture into your home or a client’s space, focus on quality-made items meant to become an heirloom pieces for their owner. For example, focusing on hardwood items from Creators like Half HaltAlabama Sawyer, and Elko Hardwoods are great options for large furniture items like tables, chairs, and benches that can truly withstand the test of time.

Alabama Sawyer modern side table
Beach Avenue Table by Alabama Sawyer
Elko Hardwoods
Cherry Dining Table by Elko Hardwoods
Float Credenza by Half Halt
Float Credenza by Half Halt

2. Shop Local

Supporting our local Makers and Creators is a great way to find unique and authentically designed items and keep money in our local economies. By working with local Creators, items also have a much shorter shipping journey, drastically reducing the item’s carbon footprint compared to items from abroad.

Many independent Creators also focus on sourcing their materials responsibly and locally. For example, Creators like Hazel Oak Farms and Michael O’Connell both source salvaged woods from their local communities to create beautifully crafted furniture.

When shopping on Wescover, you can filter search results by location to find Creators local to you or your projects!

3. Focus on Materials

Materials are directly related to the longevity of furniture. When you are sourcing items for your projects, it is important to dig deeper into the pieces you plan to bring into your space. For example, instead of a synthetic rug, lean towards natural fibers like wool, cotton, and hemp. 

With wood furniture, focus on Creators who are making items from domestic woods or salvaged trees instead of engineered or manufactured woods often found in fast furniture items.

Be sure to also keep an eye out for innovative materials from creators like Danielle Trofe working with mushroom mycelium to create lampshades.

Atelier Tapis Rouge
100% Wool Rug by Atelier Tapis Rouge
Mahogany Entry Console by JOHI
African Mahogany Entry Console by JOHI
Mushlume light by Danielle Trofe
Mushlume Light by Danielle Trofe

4. Customize with a Independent Creator

Many people have specific needs when it comes to furniture and decor. Whether it’s an aesthetic change like the wood stain or a functional change, working directly with a Creator or Maker is the best way to achieve the piece of your dreams. When shopping on Wescover, simply click “Inquire to Commission” to speak directly with the Creator about a unique, customized design made for you.

Brutalist Style Coffee Table by Vandenheede
Published on Feb 6, 2023

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