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September 05, 2023 5 min read

Creating an eco-friendly home is a goal shared by many, and there are various ways to do this whilst achieving your desired aesthetic. For some, this may be using energy-efficient light bulbs. For others, it’s investing in environmentally friendly furniture.

But what furniture can you buy when you want to protect the planet? And what is the difference between reclaimed and recycled furniture?

This blog explores these differences and highlights their benefits so you can find the furniture that stands out in your home and supports the environment.

What is Reclaimed Furniture?

what is reclaimed furniture

If you want a sustainable, original alternative to mass-produced items, reclaimed furniture is a fantastic choice.

When someone manufactures reclaimed furniture, the wood comes from old timber instead of a newly-felled tree. Initially, the timber had another purpose, for example, floorboards and beams from old properties about to be demolished, to name a few. Someone may also use old railway sleepers to make picnic benches or other outdoor furniture. Even shipping pallets can provide the wood for reclaimed products.

Creators use the timber in its original form but can adapt it for various pieces of furniture.

However, the manufacturer must use the timber as it is. It is no longer reclaimed if the wood is broken down and remade. Experts can treat, craft and restore the materials, but the final product should still show the original timber’s knots, grains and other characteristics.

Commonly used wood for reclaimed furniture includes cedar, pine and oak. However, there are more modern alternatives, such as maple and walnut.

What is Recycled Furniture?

what is recycled furniture

Whilst reclaimed wood remains in the same form, recycled furniture consists of materials that have been broken down and repurposed. By recycling materials like wood, metal, plastic, or textiles, we can give a new life to discarded objects, diverting them from landfills and minimising the need for raw materials.

Recycled furniture does not contain the form or features of the original wood, such as grain and knots.

Benefits of Purchasing Reclaimed Furniture

benefits of purchasing reclaimed furniture

1) Each Item Is Unique

Industrial reclaimed furniture is a craved choice for a home, and the reclaimed nature means that even with its popularity, your furniture is unique.

Due to the timber’s age, it contains individual features, such as knots and wear and tear, adding a unique sense of character to the furniture. If someone else has the same item, it would still appear different due to its unique grain and imperfections.

2) Increased Sustainability

Manufacturing furniture can use lots of energy to obtain the wood, treat it and create products from the material. On the other hand, reclaimed wood avoids part of this process.

Using the timber in its original form reduces the trees being cut down for resources as the wood is already available. It also requires less energy to treat, alter and manufacture since much can be done by hand.

Reclaimed wood is an excellent resource for sustainable furniture and offers an eco-friendly option for those wanting to protect the environment.

3) Furniture Contains Character and Warmth

The timber used for reclaimed wood furniture is old and has unique imperfections and features due to age. These imperfections may include alterations in colour depth, markings and dents, to name a few, and these features add character to your furniture.

Reclaimed wood also contains warmth, which it can bring into your home through tables, chairs and cabinets, helping your rooms feel cosy and elegant.

4) Stylish Furniture Ranges

Reclaimed wooden furniture isn’t just eco-friendly. It is also an aesthetically pleasing addition to any home or garden.

As mentioned previously, various finishes and wood types, such as oak, walnut and pine, are available, so you can find the right furniture to suit your style and room requirements. You can also find numerous sizes and designs to meet your storage, seating and family needs.

Hemming and Wills have several stylish ranges you can choose from to get the best reclaimed furniture for you and your home.

5) Less Waste

To make this furniture type, manufacturers use the timber in its original form, which has already lasted years.

People dispose of weaker wood, sometimes through landfills instead of recycling. However, they reuse reclaimed timber for various purposes due to its strength. Its previous use strengthened the wood over time, making it more resistant to splitting and warping.

This durability means you won’t have to replace reclaimed timber furniture quickly, and it can lessen the furniture wasted in landfills. Furniture made from this material is the perfect addition for families.

Benefits Of Purchasing Recycled Furniture

benefits of purchasing recycled furniture

1) Eco-friendly

This type of furniture is ideal for those wanting to protect the planet. Furniture using recycled materials reduces the trees felled for manufacturing and the energy required for this to happen.

You can also find options made from recycled plastic, lessening oil usage to make these products. Using recycled plastic in furniture instead of the newer alternative reduces water use and CO2 emissions during production.

2) Can Be Resistant To Wood-Boring Insects

Wood poses the risk of wood-boring insects and rot, though there are treatments manufacturers can use to reduce this risk.

Recycled plastic furniture also offers a solution, as it is resistant to wood-boring insects and the bacteria and algae that usually cause issues within wooden furniture.

This use of recycled plastic reduces the risk of damage to the furniture, making it ideal for gardens without you worrying about damage or replacements.

Which Is Better For The Environment?

Both types offer an eco-friendly option, but is reclaimed or recycled furniture better?

While recycled furniture is better than alternatives using newly obtained wood or plastic, the process still uses substantial energy. In contrast, reclaimed options don’t require this process, making them more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Overall, reclaimed furniture is the more environmentally friendly option, and various designs are available to make your home stylish and sustainable.

Featured: Reclaimed Dining Table With A Triangle Frame

triangle frame dining table

Our reclaimed dining table is a beautiful addition that provides character and elegance for those wanting that rustic feel within their kitchen or dining room.

This handcrafted product combines reclaimed pine with high-quality steel to create a piece of stunning and versatile furniture. It is available in several colours, including driftwood, rugger brown and grey wash, to name a few.

Its characteristics introduce a unique charm to the piece, offering a fantastic sustainable table for your home.

After reading this blog, you should better understand the difference between reclaimed and recycled furniture and the benefits they offer.

Hemming and Wills offer a range of eco-friendly furniture so you can find the ideal solutions for you and your family. Browse our sustainable furniture online!

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