In an age where disposable furniture has become the norm, there’s a longing for the enduring craftsmanship of the past. Walk into a resale furniture store, and you’ll find pieces that were once considered affordable and mass-produced but have since become cherished heirlooms.
The decline in furniture quality is a stark contrast to the way people used to perceive their furnishings. In the mid-20th century, furniture was an investment meant to last a lifetime. Today’s consumers, however, are quick to replace last year’s trend with the latest social media-driven fad. This cycle has led to an industry prioritizing low-cost labor and flimsy materials to cut corners and keep prices down, even among higher-end chains.
To understand this decline, it’s crucial to examine what most modern furniture is made of. In the past, affordable pieces were crafted from American plywood or solid cherry and oak, often domestically produced or imported from countries like Italy or Denmark. Today, the market is flooded with Chinese-made plywood, while some companies even sell “solid wood” pieces concealing a core of rubber wood with a veneer glued on.
Eustis Chair is Different
At Eustis Chair, we defy this trend by crafting chairs that are true investments, designed to endure for decades to come. Many companies opt for cost-saving measures like using rubber wood, which is prone to decay, or Chinese-made wood products with inconsistent quality. The pursuit of larger profit margins often results in subpar products.
The shift towards cheaper materials and overseas production coincides with the rise of container shipping, which made transporting goods more affordable. Labor costs are lowest in parts of Asia, leading several other major furniture companies to manufacture there. To maximize container space and reduce shipping costs, “flat-pack” furniture has become prevalent, forcing consumers to assemble their furniture at home.
This race to save space and cut costs compromises quality. Lighter, thinner materials are favored for flat-packing, regardless of the availability and affordability of solid wood alternatives. Consequently, consumers have come to expect inexpensive furniture that deteriorates within a few years.
Social media plays a role in perpetuating this cycle. Rather than viewing furniture as a lasting investment, customers often prioritize trendy pieces that fit the latest online aesthetic. This mindset contributes to immense waste, with nearly 10 million tons of furniture ending up in landfills in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Consider an Alternative
If you’re tired of disposable furniture and want something that will endure, there are ways to make informed choices. High prices don’t always equate to quality. Look for products that come fully assembled and are domestically made to order. Furniture constructed from solid wood, such as walnut, oak, or cherry, is a good indicator of longevity.
For a guaranteed commitment to quality and durability, consider custom furniture from American companies like Eustis Chair. We believe in crafting pieces that stand the test of time, providing you with furniture that becomes an enduring part of your life.