Many of us think about cost as the price we pay for a product and tend to make comparisons based on this one parameter alone. However, a lower price can hide anything from poor working conditions to a low-quality end product.

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    The price generally reflects the processes that lead up to the point of purchase, including everything from how the raw materials were extracted, to how they were handled by workers and machinery, and finally how they were transported to you.  

    So, if you make your choice based solely on a lower price, the product could fail you in one of many ways. Yet when the entire lifecycle is considered alongside pricea more accurate product comparison can be made in the long run. A cheaper product might have deteriorated several times over, requiring either expensive repairs or entire replacement, increasing that initial investment considerably. And, as we continue to deplete the Earth’s resources at an unjustifiable ratechoosing quality and maintaining a product in the long-term will be the most sustainable option as well. Bear in mind the exact same argument can be made around CO2 – embodied carbon is just the beginning. In-use requirements such as required maintenance and design life must also be taken into account for an accurate comparison to be made between any two products. 

    Our Vision Zero: meeting places for the future 

    Other manufacturers may be able to supply furniture at a lower initial cost than us but, in a whole life cost scenario, we believe we are unbeatable. Why? Because Vestre has a Vision Zero. Accordingly, we will not produce a single product that cannot last for ever. This is also how we are fighting the throwaway society, one piece of furniture at a time. Through good design, critical material selection, advanced surface treatment, and a little maintenance every now and then, everlasting furniture is very much an achievable aim. We also supply spare parts without any time limits – if we don’t have them, we’ll make them for you. 

    With great promises come great guarantees  

    The process of assuring everlasting products continues even after the products have been manufactured and delivered. The measures we have taken to ensure quality enable us to offer a fifteen-year guarantee on powder-coating adhesion and all timber. On top of this, we also offer a lifetime guarantee against rust on our steel. We welcome the return of used furniture to our factory many years later for restoration to be returned to a new life and are trialling a new buyback scheme to support this. 

    If you come away from this article with a single insight, it should be this: Think about what you are buying from a life-cycle perspective, instead of only the purchase price. It might just be that your decision will be a different one, and a better one at that – both for you and the planet. 

     

     

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