We all know that furniture can be expensive. For example, if you’re looking to buy a new sofa, it is easy to spend £1,000 or more on one. But even the cheapest couches tend to cost at least £300, and that’s assuming you don’t have to pay for delivery or installation. If you’re looking for ways to save money on furniture while still getting what you want, then fast furniture might be the answer, but at what cost?

Fast furniture is furniture that’s built to be cheap, mass-produced and disposable.

Fast furniture is furniture that’s built to be cheap, mass-produced and disposable. It’s made from cheap materials and is designed to be thrown away after a few years.

Fast furniture has been around for a while, but it’s becoming increasingly popular in the 21st century as consumers look to save money on large purchases like couches and beds. Fast furniture companies are always on the lookout for new ways to make their products cheaper, faster and better engineered so they can sell them at even lower prices than before.

Fast furniture is usually produced in countries with the cheapest labour and the smallest environmental protections.

Fast furniture

Many of these countries have been widely criticized for their treatment of workers, and some have even been accused of using slave labour. The UK has a lot more regulation than other countries when it comes to manufacturing, so many companies go overseas to avoid the higher costs associated with keeping production at home.

Fast furniture companies typically build their factories in China or Vietnam because they can pay workers less than £1 per day (or even nothing at all). They may also hire children under 16 years old who don’t have rights under international law. These children work long hours with no overtime pay or breaks, sometimes until midnight or later at night; many of them don’t even get enough nutritious food every day because their employers don’t want them slowing down production lines by taking bathroom breaks!

The cost of fast furniture makes it seem like a good deal, but you end up paying for it in other ways.

If you’re looking to save money on fast furniture, think again. Yes, furniture produced in China is generally cheaper than locally-produced pieces, but it’s not a great deal.

Why? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that buying cheap furniture costs you.

When we buy fast furniture:

  • We’re paying for it with our health. Fast food restaurants are forbidden from calling their food “healthy” because they are full of very unhealthy ingredients that can lead to obesity and cancer. Similarly, cheap furniture is usually made from low-quality materials like plastic and particle board (the stuff your basement walls are made out of). These materials release toxic chemicals into the air when they are manufactured and have been linked to asthma attacks among children who spend time in rooms where these chemicals have been released into the air—and as you might guess, those same toxic chemicals will remain in your home after you bring home some fast furniture!
  • We’re paying for it with local jobs. Fast furniture companies tend not to hire local workers; instead, they rely heavily on machines so they don’t need skilled craftspeople who would cost more than just pressing “Start” on a machine. This means fewer jobs available locally and less tax revenue coming back into our communities which could otherwise be used for schools or other projects benefiting everyone, not just those few lucky people able to find employment through these massive corporations.

Fast furniture is made from cheap materials, so it doesn’t last long.

There are so many types of fast furniture on the market, from prefabricated cabinets to easy-to-install shelving. While it may seem like a good idea to buy these products, they’re not a good deal for your home.

As fast furniture is often made of pressed wood or particle board, it can splinters easily and crack over time. The joints don’t hold together well either and can easily come apart when you try to move it around.

The key to buying good quality furniture is to look at the materials used in its construction as well as the design features — like how sturdy the joints are — before making a purchase decision.

You don’t know what the materials are made out of or how they’re going to affect your health or the environment.

cheap materials

Because fast furniture is often made from cheap materials and is produced in countries with lax labour laws and minimal environmental regulations and because of this, these companies can sell their products at a lower price point than traditional companies can (which typically use higher-quality materials). This makes them seem like a great deal at first glance! But if you think about what’s really happening here, you’ll realise that there’s no such thing as something being both cheap AND good quality meaning fast furniture often hurts the environment and people in several different ways, such as:

  • Toxic chemicals: Some fast-furniture products are made by using harmful chemicals such as lead paint or formaldehyde resins. These products can hurt people who use them or live near them (such as neighbours who might breathe in fumes), but they also harm wildlife through runoff into rivers or lakes where animals drink from those sources of water.
  • Carbon emissions: The manufacturing process for some types of fast furniture uses a lot of energy–and therefore produces carbon dioxide (CO2). This type of CO2 contributes to global warming which makes climate change worse!

Alternatives to Fast Furniture

The coronavirus pandemic was a difficult time for many, but it did have one positive outcome: it forced people to consider the materials and methods used in furniture manufacturing. As we were confined indoors, many turned to buying local and upcycling furniture restoration, giving a new face to old pieces of furniture that may have otherwise been thrown away.

Updating vintage pieces to fit with current design trends is a great way to ensure that those sturdy – though perhaps old-fashioned – pieces fit in with modern homes. A lick of paint and a few cosmetic changes is often all it takes.

It’s easy to see the draw of fast furniture and understand the want to buy it. But before you do, think about all of the other options out there. Many local designers make beautiful pieces such as a stunning wooden fireplace mantel from reclaimed oak beams and that will last for decades and won’t hurt anyone or anything in the process. And if you still want cheap prices? Try charity shops, eBay, Gumtree, and other online marketplaces! You can find some really amazing stuff there at a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere.