The furniture industry has several big challenges to face over the next decade. Currently, it is not very circular, meaning that a lot of material and energy leaks into our environment. To shift the furniture industry into a circular economy, there must be collaborative efforts from multiple parties including governments, brands, consumers, environmental experts, etc. This article will present suggestions that may prove to be instrumental in achieving this.

Manufacturing transparency

The first step towards waste reduction is buying the most sustainable furniture in the first place. It is not enough to have a few corporations jump on board the sustainability bandwagon since we are all part of the problem. End-users must be conscious of the items they purchase, how they were manufactured, and what will happen to them in the future. The more end-users are aware of these processes, the better equipped they will be to pick more sustainable choices. This is why platforms like Interiorbeat are helpful because it brings major merchants and brands in one place so customers can compare them without jumping from site to site.

Investment in spare parts

Consumers are seldom provided instructions on how to maintain and repair furniture in order to extend and lengthen the product’s lifespan. Moreover, a  scarcity of replacement parts drives the purchase of new furniture rather than following cyclical purchasing habits. It may be a good start for manufacturers to empower users to repair and maintain their furniture rather than constantly marketing new products.

Investment in reverse logistics

There are currently weak drivers and underinvestment in furniture takeback collection and logistics. In a report by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, more than two-thirds of businesses do not have an efficient collection and reverse logistics infrastructure in place. As far as furniture is concerned, it costs about $200 to collect, sort, and transport one used piece of furniture for reuse or recycling. This doesn’t even include the cost of remanufacturing the product or the cost of labor to make sure that each item is safe for reuse. With such high costs involved in collecting used furniture, it’s hard to justify without significant financial support from both the public and private sectors.

End-users to consider second-hand furniture

One aspect that could help facilitate the adoption of a circular economy is shifting consumer demand toward second-hand furniture. Producers have a role here too because for this to happen, they would have to produce more durable items. Furthermore, price regulations for second-hand furniture might also be useful because, in the current market, their price disparity against new products is insufficient to motivate more demand. This is exacerbated by a lack of information about the availability and benefits of sustainable furniture solutions for both residential and business use.

Promote furniture rentals

Furniture rentals are becoming more and more popular today because of the “portable” lifestyle that a great number of people embrace. Perpetual renters who move all the time might benefit from the furniture rental business model. Landlords might also take part in this revolution by offering and promoting this service to prospective tenants.


The bottom line is that the furniture business needs to evolve into a more sustainable practice if it is to remain viable. Fortunately, there are indications that business leaders and policymakers are taking steps in helping drive the industry in this positive direction. The furniture industry, like others, has a responsibility to humans as well as the planet. We have an opportunity to lead by example as we shift into a more circular economy.