The climate crisis is only getting worse, and everything we do and buy in our lives somehow interacts with the environment.
Whether it’s single-use plastic consumption, food waste, fast fashion or furniture, millennials are turning to vintage, antique or used furniture online e-commerce sites that provide a unique style to their interior while contributing to sustainable development.
President, founded in 2013, is an online retailer selling rare vintage, antique and contemporary furniture and artwork. The site is expertly curated for a range of styles and the site features pieces from 12,000 small businesses and artists. With over 85% of its vintage inventory, it has attracted millions of buyers looking for more sustainable solutions.
“Research shows that sustainability is a top priority for consumers of all ages and demographics, ”said Chairish Co-Founder and President Anna Brockway. “Our Chairish 2021 consumer study found that 58% of Millennials in particular agreed that the resale market plays an important role in the future of sustainability.”
Fast furniture has a lasting negative impact on the environment. Not only is fast furniture made from poor quality materials, it often contains toxic chemicals, like formaldehyde. As a younger demographic continues to move, throw away and buy back furniture fast, it contributes to landfills. Much of this furniture is also non-recyclable, which means that the life cycle of fast furniture is short.
“In most cases, vintage furniture costs up to 80% less, is better made and readily available, and brings character, uniqueness and style to a room,” says Brockway. “It’s also more respectful of the planet.”
Not only that, but many are looking for a rare piece of furniture or work of art that cannot be found elsewhere.
“As they become homeowners, millennials are looking for items that can’t be found everywhere,” says Brockway. “About 61% of millennials say that a unique and stylish inventory has sparked their interest in used, vintage or antique home furniture. Vintage pieces allow buyers to express their unique style and create very personal spaces.
Another popular site for vintage, antique and contemporary furniture and art is 1stDibs, an e-commerce site that has brought antiques into the 21st century. You can not only find unique works of art, but also quality jewelry from the world’s most renowned designers and exceptionally rare vintage pieces from all over the world.
According to 1stDibs, more than 60% of the company’s orders from millennials are for vintage and antique furniture. Company statistics show millennials are ordering more vintage or antique chandeliers, pendant lights, coffee tables, wall mirrors, and lounge chairs than ever before.
“[This interest] is in part the result of a generational change in taste, ”says Anthony Barzilay Freund, Editorial Director and Director of Fine Arts at 1stDibs. “Furniture and decor that older people remember from their childhood as they fell out of favor are now discovered by young collectors to be refreshing and full of character. It is also partly a question of economy. As antiques have become less desirable, they have also become more affordable, often costing less than some newly made pieces that can be found ubiquitous in design magazines and in the interiors of your friends’ homes.
Used furniture is becoming an essential part of the circular economy, and it is clear that the younger generations are leading the charge.
“It’s depressing to think that 12 million tonnes of furniture is thrown away in the United States each year,” Brockway says. “Buying and selling vintage extends the life of well-made pieces and keeps them in circulation longer, more environmentally friendly. “