Ethical Furniture Is Only Choice


I can always make prompt decisions. This is one of the few things I’m proud of in my abilities. The trick is always trying to narrow down choices. Some people (who love fashion, for example) may say “We enjoy matching outfits!” but it’s a rare example. As a psychologist, Barry Schwartz insists in his book “The Paradox of Choice,” more choices make us feel less happy for the three reasons: a sense of helplessness about not being able to make decisions; a bigger doubt in the correctness of choices; too high expectation for something perfectly matching the taste. Apparently, “more is less” is the truth of life.

The reason why I use fashion in the above example is today’s topic is news from apparel industry that is environmental pollution industry second to oil industry. According to UNCTAD, the industry emits 20% of the world’s industry waste water and 10% of CO2. The world biggest apparel company in market capitalization is Fast Retailing (UNIQLO). It has officially announced to achieve the zero emission of green house gasses by 2050. I think it’s great but not enough. We consumers also must change our ways of thinking. Some research says we Japanese people averagely buy 18 pieces of clothes and throw away 12 pieces in a year, and keep 25 pieces not to wear in the closet. We have too much stuff.

Japanese furniture SHOJI Open Shelf by Lucia Matteucci

Now, it’s about our furniture making. Some people may have negative feelings for cutting trees, but it’s no need to worry. The trees suitable for our furniture making are mature ones, like more than 50 years old, at least. In such mature trees, the amounts of carbon dioxide absorption and emission become equal. And also, if we don’t cut mature trees in the mountains around us, the forest will die by the overcrowding of trees. Our production is completely made-to-order, and there’s no disposal. Luckily or unluckily, our products are not cheap, which strongly motivates people to use them for a long time. Why don’t you stop spending on a bunch of disposable products and instead buy one set of our ethical furniture?


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.


Photo Credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44968561