Forget ‘out with the old and in with the new’; Britain is now a nation of self-confessed ‘upcyclers’.
While the art of turning trash into treasure has been a rising interior design trend for many years, the lockdown restrictions of 2020 have accelerated the number of people upcycling, recycling and buying second-hand furniture.
With little else to do than clear out our homes of junk and get creative with DIY, it’s no surprise really. Research commissioned by mobile network GiffGaff found two-thirds of us happily fixed-up and revitalised old furniture and homeware items this year, citing saving money, avoiding waste and being creative as the three top reasons.
Even the big guns are jumping on the bandwagon. Furniture giant Ikea has launched a buy back scheme in its stores, much like the part-exchange deals we are offered on our used cars. Customers will be offered a voucher equivalent of up to 50% of the unwanted item’s original purchase price, with the traded goods resold in a second-hand ‘as is’ area of the store, or recycled.
Since 89% of adults say they would happily buy used items, we predict Ikea may experience a surge in sales of their infamous meatballs too!
Those of us with environmentally conscientious motives for renovating our home interiors are also the reason that the sustainable living trend is set to boom in 2021. The term ‘sustainable furniture’ received a 430% rise in search volume this year, suggesting that upcycling, recycling and buying second-hand is here to stay.
The guide to decide
Making the choice to upcycle, recycle or throw away can be a tough one and usually stems from the desire to declutter. But while 46% of Brits want to clear away to create space, a quarter struggle to get rid of unused items for nostalgic reasons.
The good news is that you can ‘do the right thing’ whatever your objective.
- If you’re finding it difficult to throw something away in the hope that you’ll use it again one day, think about new items on your wish list and see if anything old can be repurposed. Whether it’s faded jeans or rusty cheese graters, there are a myriad of fascinating uses for everyday items, from cushion covers to utensil holders.
- Instead of kitting out your bedroom with new chests and bedside cabinets, research ways you can transform existing items into your desired theme. Start by browsing the internet and social media channels for inspirational influences. Sometimes a lick of paint and new handles is all it needs to fall back in love with your furniture.
- If you can’t find a use for something, that’s not to say someone else won’t, and vice versa – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! So instead of taking it to your local tip for landfill, drop it off at your local charity shop or list it on one of the many online selling platforms like Gumtree, eBay or Facebook Marketplace. And buy/acquire second-hand from these places too.
This approach will not only save you money, develop your inner creative skills and perhaps even make you money, it will also reduce waste and lessen the impact on the environment. If you discover your home is bursting at the seams with revamped items, contact us about finding you a bigger property to move to.