Throwing the book at Restoration Hardware

So we get a lot of junk mail. Fundraising letters, political letters, continuing solicitations to join the AARP beginning about five nanoseconds after I turned 50.

But this week we got junk mail to out-junk the worst of them — the Restoration Hardware catalogue.

“Catalogue” may not be exactly the best word for it. Doorstop? Deadweight? Anchor for a cruise ship?


The thing sat on our front stoop like a granite paving stone — 710 pages in the main catalogue, plus three smaller RH catalogues caught in its gravity like moons of Jupiter.

It’s thicker than the Oakland city phone book, which is only 333 pages. It’s even thicker than the June issues of Bride magazine, which until now I had naively assumed was the largest periodical publication known to mankind.

I weighed it on our bathroom scale and it clocks in at 5.5 pounds. That’s almost as much as Daughter weighed when she was born.

Think about how much paper went into our one catalogue, and then multiply that by the number of copies they must mail out — hundreds of thousands of copies, maybe millions, each one wrapped in a plastic bag.

How many trees died for this?  How much of that plastic will end up in the ocean killing fish?

And this is the age of the Internet! When people shop online!

Somehow RH figures that dropping this waste bomb on my doorstep will motivate me to drop money on things like a”reproduction of a 100-year-old Hungarian sleigh, crafted of solid elm with a tea-stained burlap cushion.” Or a “linen-bordered 650-gram Turkish towel.” Or a “1920s Odeon glass fringe chandelier.”

It actually has the opposite effect.

I’m so appalled at the waste and excess that I am vowing never again to set foot in a Restoration Hardware store.

There’s a letter at the start of the catalogue from the chairman and “curator” of the company, who says they have revised their vision statement. Their vision now is “to create an endless reflection of hope, inspiration and love that will ignite the human spirit and change the world.”

Okay, he’s ignited my spirit, I’ll grant him that.

But change the world? Maybe he means through deforestation?


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3 Responses to “Throwing the book at Restoration Hardware”

  1. lindseycrittenden Says:

    I’ve long found Restoration Hardware disgusting for many reasons, not least of which is the idea that “hope, inspiration, and love” could come through sink fixtures. And I’m with you on their deplorable catalogue. Maybe we can start a boycott??? Just read in the NYT a piece about the new “Gatsby” suite at the Plaza in NYC — just down the hall, apparently, from the “Eloise” suite. Decorated by the stylist for Baz Luhrmann’s new movie, the Gatsby-esque fixtures come from…guess what megastore? Valley of Ashes, here we come

  2. Judy Says:

    I am sure you know you can unsubscribe from catalogues. I did that for tons of catalogues and it is wonderful not to have to toss all of them out!

  3. David Wilfahrt Says:

    1346 pages! They should be ashamed. Today i received a 712 page book, and a 308 page book and a 128 page book and a 116 page book and an 80 page book, and a two-side mailing sheet… Total: 1346 pages! Mailed only twice a year, as they proudly state, that’s about 2700 pages annually. A standard ream of papers is 500 sheets. So they’re sending me annually a little over 2 and a half reams of paper! They try to hide behind the claim “we don’t send our catalogs monthly” but given how many pages they send twice a year they’re worse than most monthly mailers.

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