The furniture rental market has witnessed significant growth in recent years and with time, the curve has been steadily moving upwards. Currently the aggregate revenue of the furniture market is approximately $41 billion, with an anticipated growth of 31 per cent -37 per cent by the year 2024. Out of this, a staggering $1 to $1.5 billion was contributed by the furniture rental market, which is expected to grow by $700 to $750 million by 2022-23.
Studies suggest that the growth of the furniture rental segment is mainly due to the millennial working-class and student community. People are now more open to living alone and moving to metro cities for jobs and higher education. Moving beyond the concept of owning things, individuals are now gravitating towards renting as it is a cost-effective and hassle-free option. The rise in this trend also comes from the change in consumer buying behaviour. According to IBM’s report on ‘How the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted views of consumers on Sustainability’, urban Indian consumers are most willing to shift their buying behaviour to minimise their impact on the environment. Renting furniture is great for the environment – by renting furniture, you take part in an environmentally-safe and sustainable economy of using items only when you need them and transferring them to others when you don’t. Since a rental company can simply take back the furniture whenever you want, you could change your furniture style and décor a hundred times without causing extra wastage.
Every year tonnes of furniture products are sent for landfilling but not all of it is environmentally friendly. Plastic and foam are some of the materials that don't degrade easily which causes a blockage of landfills and that further results in the chemical imbalance of the soil. Other than this, furniture is often discarded before they have lived their span, this results in not only excess waste but also leads to excessive production of new furniture leading to exhaustion of resources. One might argue that eco-friendly furniture like wood, stone, and natural fibre-based items don’t hurt landfills the way foam or plastic do. While choosing eco-friendly furniture is indeed a great choice, purchasing them increases the demand for the non-renewable materials required to make them. This means more deforestation, mining, and over-cultivation practices that are harmful to the environment. Renting, however, reduces all that. By renting eco-friendly furniture, everybody gets to enjoy the look and feel of natural materials without cutting more trees, digging more ground, or growing more crops. If the demand for furniture decreases when people rent more furniture, factories don’t have to produce as much and can cut down on energy consumption. Generators release toxins of their own into the atmosphere. Therefore, lower use of these generators will help decelerate global warming by a lot.