Fast Furniture. What’s so wrong with it?

People keep asking us what Fast Furniture is and why we are so opposed to it.

Perhaps the reason people don’t understand the damage this issue causes is the name?

Fast Furniture sounds pretty innocuous, doesn’t it? Combatting the climate crisis however has got to be all of us making lots of small but better choices, and Fast Furniture is way up there with all the other problems that shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man to change!

In fact, effective solutions are not difficult and at Ironfire we are proud to be a bit simple and don’t think that we need to greenwash our products or change our practices to make things that are a lot more sustainable. We’ve described our solution to each of the issues that make Fast Furniture such a bad thing, right at the end of this blog and we think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make furniture better to use, look at and own. So see what you think?

Fast Furniture is furniture that is produced quickly, often using low-cost materials and manufacturing processes. It’s designed to be affordable and readily available, catering to current trends and fashion. Being largely produced at unbelievably low costs, retailers can afford to offer long, interest free finance and flash showrooms.

However, mass produced, cheap Furniture has many significant environmental and social impacts:

Environmental Impact production involves intensive use of natural resources, – wood, metals textiles and of course, plastics. This is a major contributor to deforestation, habitat destruction, and pollution. Additionally, the energy-intensive manufacturing processes and transportation of furniture around the world in ships contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

The following link leads to a fascinating easy to read article about the environmental impact of shipping stuff around the world so we can pay high prices for what cost pennies.

If the global shipping industry were a country, it would be the sixth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, falling between Japan and Germany.

Waste Generation. Cheap Furniture is often made with lower-quality materials, meaning it has a short lifespan. As a result, it is discarded and replaced, leading to high levels of furniture waste. This waste typically ends up in landfills, where it can take a long time to decompose and releases harmful substances into the atmosphere. UK households dump an estimated 670,000 tonnes of furniture each year. That’s a staggering amount of unnecessary waste? – bulky waste summary.pdf

Social Implications. The Fast Furniture industry’s culture of low-cost production often leads to poor working conditions and low wages for workers, particularly in developing economies.

Planned Obsolescence. A lot of cheap furniture is intentionally designed to wear out quickly or break easily and very, very rarely replacement parts are available.

To address environmental and social concerns of Fast Furniture, we should apply these sustainable practices:

Use of Sustainable Materials Furniture companies can choose eco-friendly and renewable materials, such as FSC-certified wood, recycled metals, and low-toxicity finishes.

Design for Durability. Creating furniture with high-quality materials and craftsmanship can extend its lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Circular Economy. Implementing circular economy principles involves designing furniture for disassembly, repair, and recycling to minimize waste and maximize resource use.

Responsible Production Manufacturers can improve their production processes to reduce energy consumption and emissions and implement responsible waste management practices.

Promote Conscious Consumerism. Encouraging consumers to make informed choices about their furniture purchases, considering factors like sustainability, durability, and ethical production practices.

It’s all very well spouting off about getting rid of Fast Furniture! So here’s how we meet all the aims below in a very straightforward way.

Lots of companies lay claim to sustainability but how many are jumping on the bandwagon without really contributing anything? At Ironfire our commitment is – slow furniture!Our furniture is made entirely in Britain from renewable English timber. It’s difficult to always know exactly where our Galvanised metal comes from, so our steel strategy is on make it once and make it to last as the most effective sustainable strategy!

Repair –  Spare parts always available and easy to fit
Renew –  Change colours and refresh Ironfire pieces easily and at little cost.
Robust –  Metal is thick and galvanised before being powder coated – Victorian
engineering simple elegant but strong
Recycle – Metal and wood are easily separatable, and toughened glass can be
recycled if kept apart from other glass.
Choice – Wide range of sizes, hard or softwood formats and so many finishes.
Looks –   Ironfire furniture is the centre piece of any room with the beauty of
natural hand -crafted materials
Price –    Buy direct from us, we make a living and you save retail markups –

Worried about buying online? Look at our Trust Pilot and Google reviews!
We can also give you 12 months interest free to help spread the load.