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If you haven’t purchased antique furniture before, you might be wondering why to start now when you can simply pop to a modern furniture store and walk away with something brand new. 

While the process of buying antiques may be slightly different, with the ability to purchase from auctions, dealers and private collectors, there are plenty of reasons to buy antiques rather than new furniture. 

Here are five reasons why you should consider investing in antique furniture rather than buying new.

Reduces Landfill Waste

A large amount of new furniture isn’t made to last more than a few years, which is why it can be sold so cheaply. Even new solid wood furniture loses half its value as soon as it leaves the shop floor, which can mean that it isn’t worth the hassle for the owner to sell it on when it’s no longer needed. 

Both of these situations mean that a lot of newer furniture ends up being thrown away when it is no longer needed or gets broken. 

In comparison, antique furniture tends to hold or increase in value for many years, meaning there is always a market for it. Antique furniture was also made from seasoned timber using techniques that mean any damage is often minimal, reducing the need to replace pieces. 

Antique furniture can last for centuries, with it being passed through families or sold to people who will continue to cherish it. Compared to the average 15-year lifespan of modern furniture, it makes a huge difference to waste. 

Lower Carbon Emissions

While many furniture makers are turning to greener business practices to improve sustainability and reduce emissions, mass-producing furniture is always going to leave a larger carbon footprint. Between mass harvesting of wood, the manufacturing process and the transportation of furniture – often from overseas – modern furniture tends to lead to a greater level of emissions than antique furniture. 

This is because antique pieces will have been made by hand, using materials that were gathered without large machinery. As much waste as possible would also have been used for other furniture or for other purposes. 

A Carbon Clear study in 2010 found that there is a huge difference in the level of carbon emissions when buying antique furniture instead of new. The research suggested that the carbon impact of buying a new chest of drawers could be 16 times higher than buying antique drawers. 

Preserves History

Antique furniture can tell you a lot about the period in which it was made. It is often also made using techniques that are not around now, which makes it important in terms of understanding our history. 

Every item of antique furniture has a story to tell, both when it comes to who made it and who previously owned it. Whether it’s a piece that has been passed down to different generations in a family and so has a personal history attached to it or one that has been owned by many unconnected people over the years, the heritage is important. 

Choosing antique furniture allows you to be part of that history and means that you get to preserve the heritage that people in the future will learn from. 

Supports Small and Local Businesses

Buying antique furniture generally means that you are supporting a small or local business. Whether you buy from an antique shop or head to an auction, most sellers are not big chains. This means you are helping to support them and keep them in business while benefitting from beautiful furniture. 

This further helps with reducing carbon emissions too, as you can purchase antiques that are already in your local area, reducing travel costs. 

Extra Character

There’s no denying that antique furniture has character – something that most modern furniture is missing. Design features have been lovingly and carefully crafted by hand so that each piece is unique. Even small damage from over the years helps to add to the character of antique furniture and tells a story.

Even one item of antique furniture can help to liven up a room and provide a talking point, making it well worth the investment.