The antiques trade wants to be seen as environmentally-friendly, with a low carbon footprint.
Generally, buying antique furniture instead of new reduces carbon emissions as new furniture needs a lot of energy to manufacture.
In Ireland, antique dealers have asked the government to make the antique trade a green business with tax-free status.
Furthermore, the International Antiques and Collectors Fairs, an antiques fair organiser, is encouraging antique traders to use recyclable bags rather than plastic ones. These are made from potato starch and can be disposed of in a compost or green bin. The organisation considered paper bags but decided that these were not practical when it rains.
The trade journal, Antiques Trade Gazette, has been praised by its readers because it now posts the print version of its magazine in compostable packaging.
Not every dealer uses compostable bags, but compared to retailers selling new items, all antique dealers can be seen as essentially a green business. As antiques dealer Olivia O’Neill said, antique selling is all about sustainability and remaining eco-friendly.
Antique items were made in eras when products were designed to last and not be thrown away after a year or two. At Lancashire antique dealers you can find many fine examples of antique settees, chairs and wardrobes that have lasted over a hundred years. Sometimes they are restored, furniture polished, and upholstery mended so that they are sold near to the original condition when first made. Collecting antiques can be seen as a recycling process.
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