The Value of Sustainability

Sustainability Heading Image of woodwork

As I’ve aged, I have started to value sustainability. When I was a younger person, I was indubitably more carefree and frivolous. What I’ve realised as time has gone on is, it’s more valuable for you to have unadulterated quality than mere quantity. Although quantity can look right short term, long term isn’t viable because it lacks the quality needed to remain in good working order.

Sustainability Choices

Let’s look at it in this way. You have two choices.

Choice one: A cheap “car” but this “car” has no doors, no roof and no boot. It’s just an engine on a chassis. Short term it’s a bargain. Pennies to buy not pounds.

Choice two: A more expensive car with all the doors, roof and boot. But it’s much more costly in the short term.

Choice one is only good value while the sun is shining and you’re travelling short distances. You could use it for two months then it fails. Then what? But choice two has everything. It is the more expensive option but gives more value in its faultless usage. See? Sustainability. Simple.

Sustainability

And that’s how I want my lifestyle to be. So now, when I buy something, be it furniture, kitchenware and suchlike, I want it to be from a sustainable source, and I want it to last. People shouldn’t waste money to be “fashionable” they should desire something that someone after them can still cherish. I think that’s one reason that I err towards handmade, locally sourced items, especially since my partner’s health issue last year.

The Test of Time

One such company that I’ve taken a liking to, that appreciate sustainability and the need for products to stand the test of time – Sustainable Furniture.  A Cornish family run business, with ethics clear to see: support local sustainability (from FSC approved suppliers) while providing carefully precision manufactured products that will last a lifetime for the consumer.

Female making sustainable furniture

Coastal Dining Furniture

Take a look at some of the beautiful furniture they feature, made from reclaimed pine. A coastal dining table with four chairs, from the Coastal Collection, looks incredible, yet practical and terrifically stylish. There’s no doubt with production on a small scale, the attention to detail is exemplary. It’s a classic piece that wouldn’t look out of place in a beautifully adorned white beach hut, complete with matching bookcase and vintage bunting. I can feel the sun beating down on my bare shoulders, as we speak.

It’s this standard of manufacturing, especially via it’s UK roots, which makes me proud to be British.  Flatpack, disposable living is ok for some, but I prefer to support sustainability, lower my carbon footprint and not make a detrimental dent in my environment. Our ancestors didn’t fill their homes with cheap flat packs; they would spend it on a quality item, giving it the ability to thrive in the future, it’s longevity. Some things that have the pleasure of being handed down to the next generation, and so forth.

Man at sewing machine working

Making the right choices

I think sometimes it can be our need to have it immediately that sway our decisions. I’m sure you have bought something like a cheap alternative and regretted it as quickly fallen apart. It’s that lustful mindset that seems to take over when we see a bargain which feeds our need. But if you took a step back and realised that the item you have just bought for pennies, had contributed to poor working conditions, would you still buy it? It doesn’t lead to sustainability; it’s only adding to the acceptance of unsafe practices and paltry pay for those in need. Could your conscience cope if it knew the reality of why it’s stacked high and sold for a pittance time and time again? Someone somewhere is paying the price. Sustainability should be the key. Help support companies that care.

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28 thoughts on “The Value of Sustainability

  1. I always prefer to buy quality items which will last. I hate the fashion for replacing and restyling frequently. I have even heard of people completely replacing their Christmas decorations each year in order to have the latest “in” colour or theme.

  2. I think sustainability is a really important issue at the moment and I think this is a very interesting blog. We should be considering the long term impact

  3. I like Antique furniture not only is it pure quality but it’s Old Gorgeous plus still helps save the planet.

  4. A group of my friends and I got together and swapped a load of furniture that we no longer wanted. Bedside tables, bookcases, coffee tables etc. We picked and swapped our stuff and then we restored or repainted our ‘new’ items. It was a brilliant success, with half of those who’d given away stuff in the past were kicking themselves that they hadn’t thought of this. Upshot of the whole thing is that now we don’t part with anything unless we first make sure that someone out there can’t make use of it and we’ve all now got some great new pieces for our homes.

  5. I and my family love auctions where old good solid furniture can be bought for a song and lovingly restored- I hate the modern thrown together stuff.

  6. I love second hand items I love scouring charity shops in my spare time and I love that I am doing a good deed at the same time x

  7. How funny – this is exactly the discussion some friends and I had one evening recently – it’s a real balancing act between budget and sustainability for lots of people, but I think that’s one of life’s challenges.

  8. Very good article. Things should be valued at cost per use. For example, If you buy a pair of fancy shoes for £20 and wear them 4 times, that’s £5 per wear, But if you buy a good winter coat for £200 and wear it 400 times, that’s 50p per wear so actually a lot better value!
    We also have a few pieces of furniture we have stripped, sanded and re-varnished which look as good as new, one was on it’s way to the tip!

    1. Would make a whole lot of difference if they “powers that be” made people advertise their items in cost per use. Can you imagine the items that would disappear? We have a table that we’re stripping at this moment which was originally a heavy, dining room table. It’s being recycled as a garden table as it’s so sturdy and reliable. Would take years to destroy ordinarily, unlike the old garden table which lasted one full season.

      1. Yes, very good point.
        We have trained ourselves to think in “cost per wear/use”, so the posh dress or suit for a wedding (for example) would be bought as cheaply as possible, as it will hardly be worn.
        We also buy very cheap kettles and irons as we live in a hard water area, but buy an expensive/well made toaster as ours is used a lot! The current toaster is 15 years old and still going strong despite almost daily use!
        Just common sense really, but people need to look at things slightly differently…

  9. I love to give a second hand piece of furniture a new lease of life. The older furniture is very often much better quality than modern and will last for years.

  10. Since my personal circumstances have changed I have really enjoyed looking old furniture and upcycling it with some paint.The older stuff is much better quality than all the new stuff as well.

  11. I totally agree, I’d rather have an object that may cost more but lasts the test of time and perhaps even doesn’t date too much neither, then something cheap that falls apart and looks then tacky.

  12. It’s a much better way to do things, as soon as you can afford to.

    Generally, it’s much cheaper to be wealthy than to be poor for this exact reason; when you’re poor you have to keep repurchasing the things that fall apart.

    But as soon as your circumstances allow you the choice, it’s better to buy quality when it’s genuinely available. Often it isn’t and you’re paying more for the brand or image rather than longevity, but that’s a whole other subject, and something best established case-by-case.

    Sustainable Furniture looks great.

  13. I once heard the phrase ‘I’m too poor to buy cheap’ and it really stuck with me. Sometimes spending more money and really looking at what you’re buying in the short term can pay off in the long term. I always look at sustainability over cost now.

    Katie xoxo

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