“Our product is sustainable, re-usable and re-saleable. We must all work to make people aware that antiques are green.” So says Beaconsfield dealer Nigel Worboys, who this week launches a campaign to change the public perception. Click Here to register your vote on the Antiques are Green logo.
Nigel Worboys here sets out his manifesto for an effective
Antiques are Green campaign.
"I have had a retail shop for a number of years but it is only
recently that I have really begun to speak to customers about the
obviously green credentials of antiques. Now I find that after a
few minutes' conversation on the subject there is a look of
recognition as the customer first relates antiques to
As the conversation progresses, it also becomes evident that
there are no additional greenhouse gases being produced as a result
of their purchase, no rain forests will be depleted or additional
raw materials used.
"The customer is now feeling more comfortable about the purchase
in the knowledge that 'antiques are green'. They can justify their
purchase and they now have that feel-good factor on top.
"But wouldn't it be far easier for us all if the buying public
at large were aware of all this before they came in to see us? If
they already knew antiques were green because they had read it on
numerous occasions in the press and heard about it on TV? If there
was the same Antiques are Green logo on show wherever they
"Now that opportunity is here and I hope that we all unite -
dealers, auctioneers, fair organisers, restorers, publishers, in
fact anybody involved in the trade - to make this a roaring
success. My proposals for achieving this are set out below."
Aims and objectives
- To promote additional sales and the preservation of antiques by
capitalising on their green credentials.
- To attract a new audience who might not have considered
- To present antiques as an alternative to a new purchase.
- To develop a sustainable "Not for Profit" business that can
continue to support the Antiques are Green message.
- To raise funds for green projects that are related to the
trade, such as tree-planting.
- To offer help, advice and incentive for the trade to reduce its
Why are antiques green?
"I find the best way to illustrate this is by an example. I have
chosen the humble Windsor chair, but similar reasoning can be
applied to many different antiques, even those which would
otherwise be considered only as expensive, luxury items.
"The parts for the Windsor chair were made by craftsmen who
lived in the woods where the materials came from. The turnings were
produced on treadle-operated lathes, then parts were taken on foot
to a local workshop to be assembled. From there the completed
chairs would be distributed around the country by horse and cart or
"That chair has undoubtedly seen hard use, but it is still
around today. What a green product and what a life-cycle!
"By buying the chair to use again we have not only conserved our
natural resources but avoided the carbon footprint produced by a
new chair that might well have come all the way from the Far
"What is more, I expect that a new mass-produced chair will hit
the waste tip long before the antique Windsor chair is sold again
at auction, goes to the restorers to be revived and is retailed
again for another 40 years' use!
"In summary, our product is sustainable, re-usable and
How far have we got?
- I have met a number of trade associations and have spoken to
200 delegates at the ATG conference - the majority of whom
expressed their full support.
- A website is currently being developed -
- We are actively canvassing the support of some well-known
individuals to help promote the campaign.
- There is a selection of logos to choose from.
- Decide on a logo. After consideration and feedback from over
100 members of the trade, I have designed a number of logos for you
to choose from. You can vote on-line for your favourite, by
- Produce a selection of point-of-sale material, and get it on
show. I envisage door/cabinet transfers, coasters (we have all seen
them put to good use in auction rooms as surface protectors!),
display boards, badges, etc (using recycled materials where
possible). The Antiques Trade Gazette has kindly offered to
distribute POS free of charge as an insertion within the
- Create and develop a website that is of use to the consumer and
trade. The focus will be on green issues, but this site will
promote the trade in general, sell point of sale material, have
links to directories, auction rooms, fairs, shops etc, discuss
restoration and repairing. It will have a blog section, so content
contribution from the trade will be essential.
- Gain the support of recognised celebrities, campaigners and
- Encourage the trade to promote "Antiques are Green" from
- Talk to the media to try and prepare for future PR.