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Hints & Tips

Think Before Throwing Away Your Old Sofa

When it’s time to get a new sofa, what are we supposed to do with the old one? If you’re unable or not willing to sell it, the most obvious answer is to take it to a charity shop.

Thousands of old sofas are taken to charity shops each year, but unfortunately, many cannot be given to families that need them.

sofa outside

In 1988, the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations were introduced. This meant that businesses or organisations dealing in furniture must ensure that each piece has a fire safety label attached to it to prove it has been treated with fire retardant chemicals.

When old sofas that don’t have these labels attached are taken to charity shops, charities cannot give them away by law. This means that sofas in perfectly good condition are going to landfill.

John Lewis operates a scheme in which, if you buy a sofa from them, they can take away your old one for a small fee, and give it a new lease of life. Sometimes they’ll break down the parts and recycle them, other times (if the sofas are equip with the right labels) they work alongside charities to support local disadvantaged families in local communities.

If you have an old sofa you’re looking to get rid of, it’s likely that you can recycle it, especially if it has a wooden frame. It may also be worth checking with your local council to see whether or not they will come and collect it.

Don’t forget, you can also advertise your old sofa on Freeloved! Perhaps someone in your local area is looking for something just like the one you’d like to get rid of, and can give it a home in their living room!

So the next time you’re thinking of getting rid of an old sofa, remember to check it for the fire safety label, and think about who will be able to make the most out if it!



Adele Gardner

Adele Gardner

Creative Writer

Adele is a creative writer for Preloved. She loves literature, travelling, baked goods and is always hunting for new music.