What is sustainable trade pricing?

Have you ever gone into a furniture store and wondered why every item has two prices on the price tag? There's always a "Regular Price" and some version of "Your Price Today", which could be a Member Price, Sale Price, Special Price, or whatever the store thought of to name the actual price they plan to charge you.

We always wondered that too! Then we started running a furniture store. We learned that the "MSRP and Discount" model is deeply ingrained tradition in the home furnishings industry. Stores love to advertise "40% off" to get customers in the store and give their salespeople a chance with them. But "40% off" is just 40% off of an artificially high MSRP that was never the real price for the furniture.

To us, this system felt dishonest and left us as shoppers feeling like we were getting a bad deal unless we were paying attention to every flyer and ad for every store to see what deals were happening when and where.

So we decided to not to do it.

Our price tags have a single price, which is the real price. Not an artificial MSRP, not a Members Only Price, not a Special Price, but the Sustainable Trade Price.

What's the Sustainable Trade Price?

In order to provide pricing that is fair to our customers, as well as all of our partners and everyone along the chain who contributes to bringing top quality furniture into our store, we have to provide for the following elements:

Sustainability in business

Like any other store, we have expenses like employees, shipping, rent and utilities. Did you know that online stores have similar overhead to brick and mortar? It's true! Online stores spend about as much on extra advertising costs as traditional stores spend on rent. In any case, our store has expenses, like paying our employees a living wage and keeping the lights on. We care about building a sustainable business, so we employ people full time and pay them a living wage with benefits. Our furniture has long warranties, we want to be here if you ever need help with it!

Sustainability at the source

We care about sustainably managed resources and work with makers who do too. We only buy wood furniture from suppliers who use sustainably harvested hardwoods. Our Midwestern Amish builders use lumber sourced within 500 miles of their workshops. This makes for a far smaller carbon footprint than anything shipped long distances overseas, or sourced from areas where the forests are not sustainably managed. This is why you won't see exotic woods like teak or mahogany at Modern Bungalow.

Sustainability in manufacturing

Of course the Amish are going to have the most environmentally-friendly workshops in the industry (no power- no problem!), and every scrap of wood is used, down to the sawdust which is used as livestock bedding.

Our upholstered makers are held to similarly high standards. Foam used in upholstered furniture is CFC-free and polybrominated diphenyl-free, and all scraps are recycled and remade into carpet pads.

Our patio furniture is all recycled HDPE, a plastic typically used in milk jugs and laundry detergent containers.

All of our furniture is made in the US and Canada, and all of our rugs are hand-knotted in Nepal and India in certified child labor free workshops. Our lighting is a mix of American-made and one imported maker.

Sustainability in shipping

All of our wood furniture is trucked from Amish country (about 1000 miles from the finishing shop to our storefront) wrapped in moving blankets with no disposable crates, cartons, or other packaging. We unwrap the furniture, return the blankets, and re-wrap in our own blankets for delivery to your home.

Our upholstered furniture is shipped from British Columbia with selectively minimal packaging to save on materials.

Lighting because of its fragile nature requires more packaging to ship safely, but we re-use boxes and cushioning materials as often as possible.

Sustainability for generations

Nothing we sell is intended to end up in a landfill. We believe in the tenet of "Buy it for Life", meaning that when we as consumers buy quality, we choose carefully, we buy less, and we make things last. We partner with refinishers, re-upholsterers, and repair people who practice age-old crafts that keep your furniture and rugs in great shape for your grandchildren to inherit.

The bottom line

Doing things sustainably doesn't always add up to the cheapest price. Sometimes it does! For example, sourcing furniture domestically reduces our carbon footprint and it saves on shipping costs. But by making an effort to ensure sustainability from the forest to the showroom, we do our best to care of the people and the planet along the way.

The price you see on the price tag in our showroom incorporates all of these ideals, and you can trust that we are doing our best to deliver the best price possible while keeping things sustainable.

Back to blog

Need inspiration?

Find your next treasure. Explore our curated inspirations for your home.

1 of 4