In the UK we have to acknowledge that our disposable culture does have a huge impact on furniture trends resulting in thousands of tonnes of cheap, mass-produced items ending up in landfill each year. We are all aware of the masses of wood furniture put out for local kerb side collection. A national survey carried out in 2010/11 across the UK found that approximately 670,000 tonnes of furniture is disposed of by householders annually. These figures do not include commercial furniture or illegal dumping and the problem is getting worse.
CONSIDER THE QUALITY
While fashion trend is undoubtedly an underlying cause of such huge amounts of discarded domestic furniture, the poor quality of modern high-street items has to be accepted as a major factor. Much mass-produced furniture is marketed with fragile veneers and engineered wood that cannot be sanded back or retreated and quickly distorts if exposed to atmospheric changes. It is not designed for long-term domestic traffic and modern fittings are less robust - being made of plastic and inferior materials with replacements difficult to obtain. The cheaper end of mass-market furniture is generally unserviceable after a very short time.
With prices so low, people choose to discard and re-furnish without respecting the fact that cheap, off-the-shelf furniture may appear to be an easy solution, but it is our planet that is paying the bill. It is not just an item that is being discarded; along with originally sourced materials, production energy and transportation costs are also being dumped.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
West Bridgford Joinery has strived to change consumer attitude by focusing on quality and long-term use. We encourage clients to be more conscious of how our furniture is made. We are mindful that people are not aware of the production chain – logging, transport, manufacturing and the impact that all this has on our planet. By advocating the production of local, bespoke furniture, crafted with responsibly sourced materials, we are attempting to influence a change in outlook.
Our homegrown artisans create unique, quality pieces that are made to each client’s requirements – made with sustainability in mind. Direct dialogue between maker and client adds the value of insight and understanding. We endeavor to ensure a greater appreciation of where materials are sourced and who crafted them. We support our clients on the journey to discovering that it is so much more meaningful to invest in household items that are cherished and whose design is unique and personal.
As a dedicated team, we create beautiful furniture instilled with meaning and character, hereditary items for future generations. A piece of our furniture is a considered purchase made by people who not only wish to enhance the ambiance of their homes, they are also people conscious of their consumer levels and the impact their lifestyles have on the sustainable path forward.
West Bridgford Joinery gives assurance that the bespoke furniture we craft is designed well and made to last with love for our planet. We advocate, “Buy wisely, buy less”.