With environmental concerns becoming increasingly prevalent in both popular culture and mainstream news, we are looking to address and incorporate sustainability measures in as much of our routines as possible. It is the little things we do not expect to have a positive impact that always do. That being said, sustainability is really a huge element of the process in the upholstery industry – whether we realize it or not.
This is not a warning or threat. It is an asset for reupholstery measures.
Misconceptions About Upholstery and the Environment
Luxury auto brands like Chrysler, BMW, Ram, and Fiat have all been particularly involved in this move toward sustainability alternatives. For most, they have been incorporating lower impact selections in their trim and detail work for at least the last five years. This shift has become so strong that many of these once ‘alternatives’ are no longer substitutes but rather standard practice in design and execution processes.
Many individuals also assume that sustainable efforts result in a dilution or dismissal of quality. UCLA School of Management and UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability professor Magali Delmas performed research demonstrating that quality, luxury, and function are actually integrated very easily and commonly with sustainable products and services.
Upholstered furniture, decor, vehicles, offices, or homes are inherently acting with sustainable measures in mind. This is because when an item is reupholstered, it is quite literally reusing and repurposing an existing item instead of purchasing and/or providing demand for another item.
Think of it this way:Instead of pooling your time and money into shopping around for another expensive sports car, you decide to look into updating and reviving the niche classic car you currently own. Now, the vehicle you own is not going to the dump or being sold off, further saturating the market with more vehicles. The only additions you require are completely specialized refurbishments toward your vehicle with minimal fabric, textiles, or paneling excess. Ultimately, reupholstery allows you to reinvent the article you already have with nuanced and personalized features that better suit your needs as well as the environment’s needs.
On top of all of this, sometimes our favorite things have become investments but their value is built on sentimental factors, not just monetary expense. Maintaining and even improving upon that worth with contemporary relevance or nostalgic restoration can significantly benefit the item or the experience with it.
Sustainability and Increased ChoiceSome argue that reupholstery is just sticking a band aid on a bigger problem. Others claim that it is adding to the problem. Ultimately, though, there are so many alternative products available in the market that work the same, if not better, than the originals…. And they are sustainable!
This offers individual customers the opportunity to self-select sustainable textiles and accessory features that not only improve their experience but work more efficiently for the environment. This also challenges the industry’s market to consider more environmentally conscious practices and operations through unique consumer populations driving demand with sustainable buying trends. The industry needs to suit the buying power of individuals, not the other way around.
Taking the decision-making power back into your hands by considering and asking your upholstery professional about what sustainable measures you can take to elevate your collections and experiences can give you the luxury comfort you have been seeking.