Reduce, reuse, redecorate: Shop pre-owned for furniture and help the environment, too

Reduce, reuse, redecorate: Shop pre-owned for furniture and help the environment, too
Can you repurpose or upcycle an item to give it new life? (Photo/Brandpoint)

By Brandpoint

If you’re searching for ways to make a positive impact on the planet, consider how you buy furniture. By opting for pre-owned or used furniture you can save money. It’s also an excellent way to reduce waste and contribute to a sustainable future.

Purchasing new furniture can have a significant environmental impact. Furniture production contributes to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, furniture accounts for 9.8 million tons of waste in landfills each year. By choosing to buy pre-owned, you can help divert usable items from ending up in a landfill. Sourcing pre-owned furniture also prolongs the lifespan of resources already extracted from the earth.

Buying pre-owned isn’t just good for the planet. It can also be good for your wallet. Pre-owned furniture is more affordable than buying new. You save money while still getting quality pieces for your home. Pre-owned shopping can give you access to unique and vintage finds. It can make your home feel stylish and unique.

It can feel overwhelming if you’re new to shopping for pre-owned furniture. The most sustainable piece of furniture is the one you already own. Before browsing for new furniture, take stock of what you already have. Can you repurpose or upcycle an item to give it new life? Sometimes a fresh coat of paint, new upholstery or modern hardware is all you need to completely transform a piece of furniture.

Determine your needs

Consider what kind of furniture you’re looking for before shopping. Think about the size and style of the piece. What is your budget? Knowing what you want will help you refine your search and make the process less daunting.

Shop Local

If you still need new furniture, consider shopping locally. This reduces transportation emissions and supports small businesses. Look for resale stores in your community or browse online marketplaces.

Materials matter

When shopping for pre-owned furniture, consider how it’s made. Look for items constructed from sustainably sourced wood, bamboo or other renewable materials. Avoid items made from materials that are harmful to the environment, such as plastics or synthetics. Antique and vintage items tend to be of higher quality. These pieces will usually last longer and can add unique character to your home.

Invite imperfection

When shopping pre-owned, it’s important to carefully inspect items before you buy them. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as scratches, dents or stains. Make sure the piece is sturdy and functional. However, minor imperfections can often be fixed with a little bit of DIY work. You might consider hiring a professional to complete repairs. Sometimes simply cleaning an item thoroughly can bring it back to life.


Many resale stores and online marketplaces allow for negotiation on price. Don’t be afraid to make an offer that fits within your budget. Ask about the piece’s backstory. Where it was originally purchased? How long it was owned? Having the facts will enable you to achieve a fair purchase price.

Get creative

One of the best things about buying pre-owned furniture is the opportunity to get creative and personalize your space. You can paint or refinish a piece to give it new life. Mix and match styles for a unique look. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Have fun with your unique finds.

Choosing to shop preowned furniture instead of new is a step toward reducing our environmental impact and creating a more sustainable future. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can find beautiful and unique pieces. Give your home a fresh new look while also protecting the planet.