Fast furniture by definition is furniture that is made quickly and meant to last for a short period of time (between 1 – 5 years). Fast furniture is meant to be on trend and break quickly so that you can toss it and purchase the next trendy piece of furniture. Hopefully at the same great price that you purchased the first one. Sadly as a result, much of this furniture will be sent to landfill sites within a few years.
Good quality furniture on the other hand is built to last for decades. Often looking as good as you bought it in 10 years. When it comes to purchasing furniture you get what you pay for. Ideally a dresser or table should last for decades without falling apart. Historically furniture was built to last a lifetime.
This furniture is still built today. Good quality furniture is often made from natural solid materials. Once you tire of it you can refinish it without damaging it. This allows you to use it longer rather than replacing it with a low quality product.
While fast furniture allows your home to be well styled based on up to the minute trends, it does come at a heavy price. And the price we pay affects the safety of our children and our environment.
Over the last few years there have been news stories about cheap big box store furniture toppling onto small children. This is caused by the products light weight – which makes it cheaper to transport. Historically furniture was built to last a life time. It was hand made in factories from sturdy, dense wood. Making it far too heavy /difficult for a toddler to tip it over.
The good news is that you can still purchase well made product. These handsome dressers and night stands were made right here in Mississauga with kiln dried Canadian hardwood and painted with low VOC paint.
POLLUTION / POISON
Fast furniture is often made from poor quality materials such as particle board. Particle board is a highly toxic formaldehyde which is a human carcinogen.
Fabrics that are dyed are treated with chemicals that are harmful to the environment, releasing toxins into rivers and streams. These chemicals are also harmful to the people that make the fabric and to those that purchase them.
Equally disturbing is that the large box stores that sell this toxic furniture, call themselves “green” or “sustainably compliant” by building these products offshore, the reality is that they shifting their environmental footprint to another country.
The good news is that there are really great companies out there selling quality products with low VOC’s. VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compound’s are the toxic gases that are emitted from solids and liquids. VOC’s affect your indoor air quality.
Purchasing from local suppliers not only helps reduce the carbon footprint of your product but many companies are doing their part to make sustainable products. Many manufacturers have a Sustainability or Environmental Responsibility mandate on their website where you can see what they are doing to create an eco-friendly product. A number of companies we use have a Green policy where they plant more trees than they use every year or they donate to environmental charities that provide education, technical expertise, and resources to plant trees.
When purchasing products from big box stores, the items/materials are typically made in different parts of the world and shipped to your local store. This causes the carbon footprint on those items to be larger than if they were made locally. In addition, many of these companies do not have Sustainability mandates which means that not only is the product being shipped around the world but it is not even being made in an eco-friendly manner.
The Bottom Line
At Design Excellence we endeavour to buy from Canadian manufacturers who make a conscience effort to produce eco friendly products. Meaning they make well made, timeless pieces that will not end up in land fills anytime soon. Most of our companies use Canadian hardwood and for every tree that is used, new trees are planted.
If you’re looking for a professional interior design company to help you with new furniture purchases trust the experts at Design Excellence! We’ve helped many families create their dream homes and they tell us that they love working with us! Let’s connect to see how we can help co-create your beautiful home!
About Design Excellence
Design Excellence is a full service interior design company providing a one-stop shopping experience for all your home and office renovation projects.
Designer Jo-Anne Kupiec brings decades of interior design experience and has many exceptionally happy clients. Check out our project portfolio to see some of the projects we’ve worked on, then get in touch and tell us about your dream renovation or redesign project!