Sustainably Sourced

Sustainably Sourced

If you're looking for a more sustainable way to furnish your home, buying furniture at auction rather than from new can go a long way to help reduce the world's carbon emissions.

7 September 2022

With the recent extreme weather, the environment and the planet have never been so prominent in the press. Evidence suggesting that we need to make changes to abate the effects of climate change is abundant. Part of this equation lies in changing the way in which we consume goods by reducing our reliance on ‘new’ and looking to reuse and repurpose items which have already served a previous custodian.

Some of the biggest producers of CO2 emissions when it comes to an interior space are bulky items of furniture such as sofas, wardrobes and armchairs. Demanding in terms of labour and materials to make, buying from auction or a secondary market outlet is a savvy way to be kinder to the planet while adding a truly unique look to a room.


Lot 110
A two-seater sofa attributed to George Smith

Estimate: £800-1,200


Often the designs and styles which end up in the shop window of many high street retailers are watered-down versions of design classics or period pieces. Extraordinarily, the ‘originals’ can often come at a much more competitive cost with the added history, patination and quality which is near impossible to find straight from a contemporary retailer. Sometimes ‘they don’t make them like they use to’ is not wrong!

This green-fingered approach is not limited to one section of the market, with our Fine Interiors sale offering a range of superlative furnishings from established makers, such as Howard & Sons, which are quickly becoming strong investments. For example, lot 329 is a George Smith-style sofa upholstered in a stylish mustard upholstery which would suit a traditional cottage setting whilst not looking out of place integrated into a modern scheme with Scandinavian design. In ready to go condition, you could find yourself securing an awfully comfy sofa while saving approximately 0.56 tonnes of CO2e, which equates to driving over 2,000 miles in a diesel vehicle – The distance between the UK and Cyprus.


Lot 329
A three-seater sofa in the manner of George Smith
Estimate: £1,200-1,500

Storage options can be environmentally conscious too! With two similar examples to choose from, lots 191 and 235 offer a distinctive way to tackle storage solutions. Campaign chest were initially made to be able to be transported with ease, such as splitting into two sections, as well as having flush handles to save any losses during travel. Furnishing your space with an alternative such as these could omit 0.32 tonnes of CO2e, helping the planet, making you feel good and improving the look and feel of your home.


Lot 191
A mahogany campaign chest
Estimate: £400-600


With a plethora of soft furnishings, chests of drawers, tables and much more to complement any version of your ideal space, auctions provide a guilt-free shop window. We are lucky to be in an industry which is in its very nature sustainable, these few items we have touched on are those that have a wider appeal to everyone – we all need somewhere comfy to sit at the end of the day! With that said, whether it be a mirror, a work-from-home desk, or a rug to adorn the dining room, the saleroom offers a multitude of styles and price ranges which are all eco-friendly.

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



Show your support for the movement by posting pictures of your auction purchases in their new homes on Instagram tagging @swordersfineinteriors and @antiquesaregreen with the hashtag #antiquesaregreen






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