NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You may have heard of fast fashion, a term used to express the rapid turnover of clothing products.
But what about fast furniture?
Two Brooklyn artists are drawing attention to waste through art.
Walking past furniture dumped on the sidewalk is commonplace for most New Yorkers, reported CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge. The number of couches on the curb caught the attention of two Williamsburg artists and environmentalists.
“Everybody has so much stuff. Throwing out stuff is fun. But where does it go?” said artist Ellie Sachs.
As part of an art installation, Ellie Sachs and Matt Starr built up a large pile of used furniture, putting it on display in SoHo with the sign saying “Free, take what you want.”
It drew a large crowd that they hoped would not only walk away with free furniture but also an education.
“Everybody’s throwing stuff away. There’s 9.7 million tons each year going straight into the landfill because furniture is mixed material and it’s hard to recycle,” said Starr.
The pair discovered that’s because most fast furniture is made with unnatural materials often containing chemicals and isn’t made to last.
“We went to all of our local thrift stores, consignment stores, and we were turned away,” said Sachs.
Looking to change their relationship to waste, they found new companies like Feather that allow you to rent, swap, buy or return furniture.
Even Ikea, the leader of low cost disposable furniture, is testing out the rental market.
If that doesn’t interest you, there’s always the tried and true antique shops like Furnish Green in Midtown.
“We’re rescuing piece off the street for sure,” said Furnish Green manager Marielle Palamaro. “Presenting them her in an affordable way, comparable to the Ikea pricing point… so that young shoppers can be buying things that will last them.”
Whether you’re selling, reusing or donating, advocates of the fast furniture movement just don’t want you to throw your old stuff out.