Antique vs New

Antique vs New

Most Certainly Not a Carbon Copy

Did you know that purchasing an antique armchair instead of a newly manufactured armchair can save up to 0.16 tonnes of CO2e from being released into the atmosphere?

1 June 2022

CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas that is responsible for global warming, making up 81% of the total impact on climate change. It has been proven that buying at auction can significantly help you reduce your carbon impact, whilst also extending the life of a perfectly good, fine quality piece of furniture. Not to mention securing you unique style and value for money!

Using the Auction Technology Group’s new fascinating research, completed with independent climate change consultancy Small World Consulting, led by leading carbon metrics expert Mike Berners-Lee (author of two fascinating books ‘There is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years’, and ‘How Bad Are Bananas? The carbon footprint of everything’), we can now demonstrate the carbon savings achieved through the purchase of a range of second-hand items at auction.


Carbon Savings at Auction



Let’s look at some more specific examples of carbon savings in our June Fine Interiors sale...


An antique wardrobe

Buying an antique wardrobe instead of buying a new wardrobe will save approximately 0.46 tonnes of CO2e.

A new wardrobe has a carbon footprint of around 460kg CO2e. New furniture often has a much shorter life span compared to a well crafted antique, and could therefore need to be replaced twice as often as its second-hand counterpart. If buying new, you could be responsible for an additional 920 kg CO2e – almost 1 tonne!



Lot 26, A painted pine wardrobe, 19th century and later, Swedish



An antique chest of drawers

This will save approximately 0.32 tonnes of CO2e.

Usually made from higher quality raw materials, with a higher quality of craftsmanship, furniture like this is easily repairable and restorable.


Lot 385, A George III elm chest of drawers



A vintage dining table 

Buying one of these at auction will save approximately 0.46 tonnes of CO2e.

Ever been frustrated by insanely long lead-times to receive a newly manufactured piece of furniture? When buying at auction, you can take the item away with you the very same day!


Lot 148, A bamboo pedestal table



A second-hand sofa

This has the biggest carbon saving of all the examples – weighing in at 0.56 tonnes of CO2e.

Sit comfortably in the knowledge that your purchase has prevented over half a tonne of CO2e from being released into the atmosphere.


 Lot 162, A large Knole sofa


Sworders is extremely proud to be part of the ultimate re-use industry and our buyers have an opportunity to make a big impact by not buying new. By giving millions of items multiple lives, the auction industry plays an important role in reducing the world’s carbon emissions, preserving our environment and protecting our planet for future generations #antiquesaregreen


With special thanks to the Auction Technology Group. Data and statistics taken from their 2022 Carbon Impact Report.


For further information contact

Fine Interiors |



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