As I came up the driveway after work yesterday I noticed a package on my doorstep. I felt a tickle of joy, because who doesn’t love getting presents in the mail (even when you ordered them yourself online and forgot that you did so- thanks self!). As I walked up to the door I squinted my eyes. That couldn’t be….could it? All of that? Really?
Yep, that’s a giant bundle of Restoration Hardware catalogs.
I bent down to pick it up and almost fell over from the shock of the SEVENTEEN pound weight. Shrink wrapped and delivered via UPS (the package guiltily emblazoned with “carbon neutral shipping!” on it), this stack of bricks clamored down onto my dining table as I stood there in awe. What a truly obscene thing this is! I couldn’t even believe it- I had to open it to make sure that the whole neighborhood’s catalogs didn’t accidentally all get dropped on my stoop. Nope- just 11 catalogs all for me . Then I thought, maybe these are just delivered to members of the trade/ designer program? One quick check of Instagram proved that wrong too. And supported my own quickly developing feelings- people are PISSED about this.
Now I love Restoration Hardware’s products, and I order from them all the time for my clients. In my experience they have provided well-made, clean lined upholstered goods, bedding and accent pieces that are priced much better than a lot of designer brands I use. And I will continue to order from them- but not without standing up against this offensive waste of trees. I love getting a catalog as much as the next girl, there is something nice about flipping real pages and looking at items in an editorial manner that the internet just doesn’t provide. However, when I do all my ordering it is online. Restoration has a good website that is easy to order from, and I guarantee that most of their orders are placed that way. And for those people who don’t have the internet and need to order over the phone, I doubt they are spending $1,299 on a Deconstructed 19th Century Replica Slope Arm Dining Chair.
(11 books in total- and yet THE INTERNET)
So that leaves us wondering who are these for? I don’t have time to flip through 8 billion pages of catalogs of items I can find quickly online and neither do any of you. And I wouldn’t keep these “Source Books” in my office to use as a designer because they aren’t even helpful- there aren’t any dimensions listed on anything anyway! So I have to wonder, why would the big, smart business people running this company think this is a good use of a massive amount of money? It has to cost at least $10 to deliver each 17 lb. package and printing these things isn’t cheap either. Doing some quick math (with the disclaimer that I got a C in Fundamentals of Pre-Calculus) they are likely spending millions on these things only to enrage their own consumers! To me this whole thing seems like a backwards PR nightmare! And there is a hint of that issue within the very package of these “books”- a slip of paper heralding their “commitment to the environment” and lauding the recycled paper they use to print these, the carbon neutral delivery system and the fact that they are only send them once a year. So basically, they are saving the environment, right?!
(I clearly ripped this in a fit of environmental rage. Or just struggling to open the shrink wrap….)
I lumbered my stack of catalogs right to the recycling bin without looking at them (I spent an hour on their site at work already), as many of you probably did too. And it made me feel gross to be tossing out what felt like six trees. So I looked on the back and found out that you can opt out of receiving these. Call Restoration at 1-800- 762-1005 with your address and cancel your “subscription”. I plan on doing it this morning, and I hope you do too. It’s the only real way to send a message to the company that this isn’t what you want from them. If they really want to spend that kind of money per consumer, I personally would rather get a gift card for $20 along with a single, slim catalog of new collection highlights. As much as I love Italian Banded Sateen Bedding (and I do, I really, really do) I love trees and oxygen more.