The impact of fast fashion on the planet is always a topic heavily discussed, however, this isn’t the only industry harming the environment. ‘Fast’ homeware – or cheaply made home décor pieces that have been created to keep up with rapid trends – is just as harmful to the world around us. This article explores how the constant tweaking, updating, and redesigning of living spaces is impacting the planet, and the things that consumers can do to reverse these effects.
The truth behind ‘fast’ homeware
According to a survey carried out by fitted wardrobe specialist Hammonds, 25% of Brits admitted they try to keep up with the latest online trends by buying ‘trendy’ homeware pieces. What does this look like in age groups? The statistics show that younger generations are the ones that replace their homeware more often after seeing it online (44%). When it comes to those over 35 years old, the percentage drops to 36% and 12% for people over 55.
What are the effects of ‘fast’ homeware on the environment?
Constantly replacing homeware to keep up with trend cycles has damaging effects on the world around us. According to Hammonds, in the UK, the average person throws away 12 homeware items per year, and this all adds up. In total, this sums up to 69.9 million items per year or £2.17 billion in waste – a lot of perfectly good homeware taking up valuable landfill space.
As well as taking up space in the landfill, the textile industry, in general, is particularly damaging to the natural world. As well as being one of the largest polluting industries in the world, the textile industry contributes twenty-one billion tonnes of industrial waste and makes up 10% of all global carbon emissions.
What can be done to reverse the effects of ‘fast’ homeware?
It’s still possible to keep your home trendy without buying into ‘fast’ homeware cycles by following these three tips:
1. Buy furniture that lasts and isn’t influenced by trends: Investing in quality homeware instead of cheap pieces made to fulfil décor trends will ensure a much more sustainable way of shopping. Not only will your furniture last longer since you won’t need to replace it all the time, but choosing a classic style will ensure your furniture remains timeless in years to come.
2. Prioritize companies with ethical policies and sourcing of materials: Many brands are beginning to introduce sustainability initiatives across their manufacturing processes, including only using materials that have been responsibly sourced. Purchasing from these businesses ensures you aren’t actively buying into ‘fast’ homeware and are giving back in your way.
3. Shop more consciously: Simple things like donating furniture to charities instead of throwing it away, searching for second-hand pieces on online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace, and repurposing your old homeware pieces by upcycling them to give them a new lick of life are all easy ways to counteract the effects of ‘fast’ homeware on the environment.
It’s important to understand just how detrimental ‘fast’ homeware trends can be to the world around us. But by just changing a few things, you can ensure that you’re doing your bit to reverse these effects, too.