Antiques sustainable way to have a low carbon footprint

Antiques green alternative to buying new

Antiques green alternative to buying new

Antiques are no longer brown, white or any other colour! They’re green!

Buying an antique or vintage piece rather than a new reproduction can save as much as 537kg of carbon dioxide emissions (the equivalent weight of 6 fully grown men).

Antiques 10 times better than new

Figures to indicate how much better for the environment antique & vintage furniture is compared to new furniture has been hard to come by but several articles have popped up recently to highlight this.

Nigel Worboys, a Beaconsfield Antique Dealer quoted in the Antiques Trade Gazette and This is on the launch of a new green initiative says,

“The carbon footprint from antiques’ original production expired a long time ago, and their continued existence has been testament to a life cycle of at least 10 times an equivalent modern item,”

According to an article in the independent, having had one life already, it is carbon neutral after one owner, let alone the 10 quoted by Nigel.

One restorer in the US even puts it at 1000 times more efficient than new products although this seems a little high.

New products in the CO2 heavy weight category

More specifically Do the’s article indicates that an average of 0.78kg Carbon Dioxide is emitted per pound spent on a new item (averaging across CDs, pieces of furniture or electrical items).

Therefore, for your average reproduction double door armoire that would equate to approximately 584kg of carbon dioxide emitted (equalling approximately 4 times its own weight) and this is even before delivery to the customer.

…and not forgetting landfill

Carbon dioxide is not the only saving as the effects of landfill for items also has a major effect. Assuming a small piece of furniture weighs 10 kg, this saves approximately 15 kg of carbon contained within the piece. It also saves  the time and energy taken to break it up or put it through a recycling process turning it into a reconstituted wood product.

Do the also quotes an Envirowise report that shows in today’s manufacturing industries, around 93% of the raw materials used to fabricate the items that we buy in our daily lives are wasted.  Only about 7% of these materials actually find their way into retail products.

Frenchfinds environmentally friendlier

Taking into account sourcing journeys to France and resources used for restoration, the average carbon dioxide generated per piece is approximately 20kg.

The average CO2 cost per piece for delivery direct to our customers (an average of 160 miles + a return journey) is 27kg.

So 47kg of Co2 emissions vs 584kg – a no brainer?

Wherever you purchase an antique, vintage or second hand item, even before you even consider the beauty of it, envinronmentally it just seems to makes sense.