(Impact) -1.597,12 KG CO2
(Author) Shaima Moon
(Illustration) Shaima Moon
The furniture industry is one of the most polluting industries on our planet. Not only are fast phase trends causing waste and the chemicals used during manufacturing are taking their toll on our planet, but did you also consider the hard labor and exploitation needed for your couch?
Furniture is partly made of natural raw materials, coming from limited resources and synthetic materials, of which the overproduction is making a huge impact on our fragile planet. There’s also a big social aspect to fast furniture. The industry is guilty of forced labour and exploiting children and workers as much as the textile industry is.
We’re becoming more thoughtful of food waste and thrifting clothes, but furniture is still a blind spot for most of us. Every year, the Netherlands collects about 500,000,000 kg of bulky household waste. A large part of this is discarded furniture. In Europe, this is even 11 billion kilos of furniture waste. Ninety percent of this is burned or ends up in a landfill. Only 10% is recycled. Bulky household waste is the only waste stream that has not diminished but actually increased in recent years. This is a major burden on the environment, but also a waste of valuable raw materials that are lost along this way.
With our small core team that works from the studio, we want it to feel like a home away from home. Interior plays a big part in the atmosphere of our studio and this reflects in our company culture. But we don’t want to have a nice homey studio at the cost of our planet and other people. The solution is simple. Buying reused items can reduce its emissions by 82%. Therefore when we moved into our studio on the Brouwersgracht, we decided to get our furniture secondhand.
The new tenants of our old studio took over the furniture we didn’t take with us. Our tables are up-cycled from the 80s, chairs from Marktplaats and sideboards at DasGaaf. Even the plant pots are second hand. Most of our plants are ‘Kneusjes’, plants that weren’t fit for shops and would have been tossed out if not saved by this initiative. Our studio manager has even picked up this beautiful chair from the street and fixed all the broken parts. Not only is thrifting furniture like treasure hunting, but the items also have more history and soul, right?
#rerere is our action program to rethink, repurpose and redesign our social and ecological footprint for the better. you can find all our #rereres here. We hope that it inspires you to take action. Because the only way to create a future that includes you plus new generations to come is when we all take action. #timeisup