The furniture industry is plagued by issues of waste and sustainability, but a local startup is working to make a difference.

LoopDeco is focused on reducing furniture and appliance waste through resale and donation.

Research conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that over 9 million tons of furniture and 2 million tons of appliances are sent to U.S. landfills each year. While solutions exist for online furniture retailers to get rid of excess waste, few options are available for customers and brick-and-mortar retailers.

LoopDeco discovered several recurring themes in the furniture industry that appear to be contributing to the additional landfill waste.

Customers who are purchasing new furniture often ask about furniture removal. Data collected by LoopDeco from DFW furniture retailers shows that 39% of furniture sales teams are asked daily about furniture removal by customers looking to purchase new furniture.

Unfortunately, retailers cannot remove most old furniture that customers are looking to get rid of due to liability issues or simply because they only accept select items for pickup, such as mattresses and appliances.

Out of 400 customers surveyed across the country by LoopDeco, 66% said that they would be more likely to use a paid furniture removal service if it came referred to them by a retailer. Customers also value sustainability, with 76% of those asked saying that they would be more likely to use a paid furniture removal service if they knew the company was sustainable.

With this information in mind, LoopDeco aims to make furniture “circularity” and sustainability easy for retailers and customers. “A circular economy aims to prolong the lifespan of materials, products, and services. It represents a shift from the traditional model of extracting resources, producing goods, and generating waste,” reads the company’s website.

Roman Pennell and Andrew Muniz began a couch-flipping side hustle in 2021 that quickly grew into CouchCycled, a business focused on simplifying furniture reuse for customers. CouchCycled became successful with informal partnerships with furniture sales teams across Dallas, helping connect CouchCycled to customers in need of furniture removal services.

CouchCycled was sold in December 2023 and Pennell began LoopDeco as a more scalable alternative for furniture sustainability.

“Running CouchCycled made me realize three things,” Pennell told DX.  “First, that furniture waste was/is a massive problem. Second, it would be nearly impossible to build a successful national business with in-house trucks and teams. Third, the reseller community was booming, and everyone already communicated through platforms like Facebook to share best practices.”

“Reflecting on these three things I realized a problem existed,” he stated. “Creating a network of individuals and small businesses who had vehicles, storage, and familiarity with resale seemed like the obvious solution.”

Pennell was mindful of the importance of engaging in sustainable practices to make the business part of the solution to the furniture waste issue.

“Through a partnership with One Tree Planted, LoopDeco plants one tree for every customer who uses our service,” Pennell explained to DX. “Additionally, reusing furniture and other home goods after a pick-up is our top priority. Since January, about 85% of all pick-ups were reused,” with about half of the items being donated and another 30% repaired, cleaned, and resold.

When asked about the vision for LoopDeco, Pennell said, “Long term, we hope to keep 100% of bulky home goods out of landfills. As we scale, this will be made possible by new recycling, reseller, and non-profit partners.”