‘Fast furniture’ is cheap. And Americans are throwing it in the trash.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Americans bought piles of furniture during the pandemic, with sales on desks, chairs and patio equipment jumping by more than $4 billion from 2019 to 2021, according to a market data company. And a lot of it won’t survive the decade.

Fast furniture, which is mass-produced and relatively inexpensive, is easy to obtain and then abandon. Like fast fashion, in which retailers like Shein and Zara produce loads of cheap, trendy clothing that’s made to be discarded after only a few wears, fast furniture is for those looking to hook up but not settle down. It’s the one-season fling of furnishings.

Many of the Ikea beds and Wayfair desks bought during the Covid-19 lockdown were designed to last about five years, said Deana McDonagh, a professor of industrial design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “I relate to fast furniture like I do to fast food,” Ms. McDonagh said. “It’s empty of culture, and it’s not carrying any history with it.”

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