Many of us probably have a piece of furniture in our homes in need of a refresh.
This subreddit is home to dozens of examples of furniture, clothing, and other items that users have repaired with noticeable stitches or other decorations. This process, known as upcycling, gives the objects a new life and keeps them from being thrown away.
Upcycling is a good way to resist the “fast-furniture” industry. Like fast fashion, consumers buy and dispose of furniture every year. Sustainability expert Ashlee Piper commented in Architectural Digest that furniture found in landfills is usually new.
“It’s things like a chair that’s missing a leg or things with cosmetic damage to them. That’s because it’s just not built to last, and there aren’t repair programs for it. It was intended to have a short lifespan,” she said.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that 9.7 million tons of furniture were put into landfills in 2018 alone. That’s up from just 2.2 million tons in 1960. FutureLearn reports that upcycling has an enormous benefit for the environment by keeping furniture from this wasteful fate.
In addition to limiting the number of items and materials that make it into landfills, upcycling also celebrates craftsmanship and DIY. Makers create unique products, reducing the need to buy more and reimagining items already owned.
Commenters on the repaired chair post complimented the maker’s artful eye and craft skills.
One poster said, “Love this, the colors are bright and fun yet still sophisticated. I don’t know what it looked like before, but you did an amazing job.”
Another commented, “What a wonderful way to cover. I feel like it embodies the era of this chair!”
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