You’ve heard of fast-fashion, but have you heard of fast-furniture?
Much like the mass-produced trendy outfits at stores like Forever 21, Zara, and Old Navy, that get worn for a season and then cast aside, in the professional world, office furniture is also a major contributor to waste, but this can be avoided by purchasing used office furniture.
Office furniture based on trends or purchased to fit a very specific theme or setting tends to have a short lifespan and is often designed with low-quality products, making pieces difficult to repair.
When it’s time for a change of scenery or an office move, companies have a hard time re-homing or resuing idle and unwanted furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E), and sadly, a shocking amount ends up in a landfill.
Obstacles to reusing office furniture include:
- An organization-wide lack of visibility into current inventory and over-purchasing
- Not having the ability or bandwidth to oversee a rehoming or reuse initiative
- Staff being unaware of reuse and rehoming resources
- Purchasing based on trends vs. high-quality, longer-lasting pieces
- Stigmas around the idea of used office furniture
- Furniture materials that are not easily stripped and may contain chemicals
- Pieces that are difficult to take apart to recycle
This is a massive environmental toll that we simply cannot afford. Thankfully there are a lot of opportunities for businesses to transition from a cycle of waste to a cycle of reuse.
Whether you are a procurement manager or interior designer, your company and your clients will appreciate the value you can deliver with like-new furniture for a fraction of the cost. If you are planning to update your current workplace or outfit a new office, you can take steps toward saving the planet and saving a lot of money by investing in surplus or used office furniture.
Mitigating waste, carbon emissions, and rising costs benefits everyone.
Used office furniture near me
Here are three ways to avoid the landfill and give new life to used office furniture in your workplace:
1. Social Media Marketplaces, Apps, and Websites
Social media is a treasure trove for design ideas and DIY videos, and clever ways to reuse resources in the home. But it can also be a valuable source of workplace furniture.
Facebook Marketplace, apps like LetGo, and websites like NextDoor and Craigslist all offer platforms for buying and selling items locally. You can search for specific pieces of furniture or scroll through and see what’s available that fits your office vibe. You might find some amazing gems at a great price point. You can also sell or donate your company’s used office furniture through these platforms.
The interfaces are user-friendly, allowing you to communicate with private sellers and make speedy deals through the apps.
While these are a great starting point for your used furniture search, you may not be able to buy furniture in volume to outfit a whole office. And much like a garage sale, you are buying at your own risk without knowing the true quality of a piece until it is in your hands.
2. Furniture Liquidators, Outlets, and Resale Stores
If you are in need of a higher volume of furniture items for a large setting, you may want to consider a furniture liquidator, outlet, or resale store, like your local Habitat for Humanity resale shop. There are some awesome shops in each of these categories in most major cities.
Furniture liquidators and outlets generally offer surplus items that are in new condition, while resale shops might sell a blend of new and used office furniture.
Much like the social media marketplaces, the inventory ebbs and flows, and you might be searching for a while for the right fit for your workplace, or you might find a gem right away.
While these furniture items are higher quality because they are often new, or vetted pre-owned pieces, there is still no guarantee on what you are buying. You’ll save money, but items get snapped up quickly from these outlets!
3. Rheaply’s Resource Exchange Platform
Social Media Marketplaces and local furniture outlets and resale shops are great starting points for finding used furniture for your organization.
But if you really want to make your procurement process sustainable, you first must understand your company’s needs and current assets. Without access to information on what resources exist, where they are and how they are utilized, reuse will become a near-impossible task. Rheaply’s resource exchange platform ensures this data is readily accessible to instill confidence in sustainability initiatives.
Our platform empowers workplaces to:
- Maximize the value of inventory
- Reduce carbon emission and track avoidance of embodied carbon
- Extend the lifetime value of resources
- Make informed purchases
You’ll get a window into what office furniture is currently in use, what needs to be replaced, and what furniture assets are sitting idle in a storage room somewhere. If your company has a certain style, custom furniture, or a preferred brand, you can easily share surplus across locations to keep consistent,
By salvaging assets and recirculating them, organizations have the opportunity to become their own original equipment manufacturers (OEM), with greater quality control and reduced costs.
Rheaply handles the logistics for you, creating a portal to list and purchase furniture that can be shared across your organization. Our solution helps you reuse your assets in the most effective way possible while advancing your sustainability initiatives and bolstering your bottom line.
A better way to work
Sourcing furniture within your organization and finding new uses for long-forgotten items is possible, and it can make a huge difference for your budget and the environment when done right.
In 2021, Rheaply helped Rush University Medical Center divert 19,000 pounds of furniture waste from the landfill to other buildings within the Rush system.
We can help you do it, too.