The folks at a rental service company called Fernish are out with some sustainability stats. Leaders say the startup is on a mission to eliminate so-called “fast furniture,” letting people rent everything from single pieces like beds or sofas to full-room designs and decor, all for a monthly price. And the business model, including a rent-to-own option, is keeping hundreds of tons of furniture out of landfills.
This also means you can ditch the Allen wrench that comes with those boxes of flat-pack furniture, because the Fernish service delivers and assembles the goods.
The service area is limited to the greater Los Angeles area and Ventura and Orange counties in California, along with the greater Seattle area in Washington state. But not for long.
“We raised our Series A in 2020 with an eye towards growing our business and expanding our presence to new cities, and we’re excited to share some exciting updates in the upcoming months,” says Michael Barlow, cofounder and CEO.
Rockets, Sailboats and Whales
Fernish has put together an infographic (and 2020 Year in Review blog post) to help illustrate the environmental benefits of furniture rental. Highlights include:
- A total of 247 tons of furniture was spared from landfills;
- Customers saved $20 million by renting compared to traditional furniture ownership;
- A total of 610 days were saved on furniture assembly.
In case you’ve never thought about furniture rental or heard of the “fast furniture” issue:
“There are so many facets in the furniture industry that are broken for consumers,” Barlow explains.
“For example, many urban professionals move every year and a half on average. But they’re often forced to spend a ton of money purchasing furniture for the space that they’re currently in. That furniture may not fit in their next place, and they may not really know that until they pay to move it there.”
There also are changing tastes, which can make people feel stuck with their old furniture just because they paid so much for it.
That can lead people to purchase cheap furniture that they end up throwing out each time they move, which creates unnecessary waste (of dollars and the Earth). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 9 million tons of furniture goes into landfills here every year.
Barlow says he and cofounder Lucas Dickey moved more than a dozen times in the few years before they started Fernish in 2017. That’s some inspiration.
Fernish is being used by a range of people “looking for effortless ways to create a home they love,” Barlow says.
“They may be moving to a new space or looking to upgrade their current place to reflect their evolving style … Fernish provides them with both ease and flexibility.”
Or if you only need one piece of furniture for a few months, or want to try out an item, renting-to-own allows for that option.
Sofas on Fernish range from $32 to $93 a month as of this writing, with total costs of $745 and $2,220, respectively.
That’s based on a 12-month rental. The longer the rental, the lower the price. At the end of the subscription, you have the option to buy the item at the current retail price, minus the amount you’ve paid so far. There are more details on a FAQ page, which says normal wear and tear are factored in, and the furniture is kid and pet friendly.
“It costs at least $5,000 to furnish a one-bedroom apartment,” Barlow says. “That’s a lot to spend, especially if you’re spending it on furniture that you may not need when you move in a year … With Fernish, customers can create their space without a huge upfront cost … (and) they’ll never have to pay more than retail.”
Back to the sustainability factor: Fernish furniture doesn’t end up on curbs as street sofas or in landfills.
“Every piece of furniture that’s returned to us goes through a thorough process of inspection, professional and industrial cleaning and refurbishment,” Barlow says.
A lot of the furniture also has a modular design, so pieces can be swapped out if they’re damaged or dirty. Barlow says nearly all of Fernish pieces have a second, third or fourth life. Sometimes, they stick around for even longer.
This article is auto-generated by Algorithm Source: www.forbes.com