Sustainable furniture and interiors needn’t come at the cost of good design. The use of sustainable materials and production methods doesn’t have to necessitate any compromise in the design. Arguably, it can push designers to do better.
Eco-friendly homewares used to bring to mind wicker baskets, recycled wooden crates and upholstery cunningly crafted from sackcloth; these various shades of beige championing the owner’s proud sustainable credentials albeit sacrificing the core principles of good design principles as form and function were clumsily combined. Well, not anymore. We’ve brought together our pick of sustainable brands embracing good design whilst keeping a close eye on their environmental impact…
Mater is a conscious and ethical design brand with a strong design philosophy and focus on great craftsmanship. Through collaborations with an external base of established and fresh design talent, Mater combines exclusive high-end furniture and lighting, with working methods that support people, local craft traditions and the environment. The aesthetic of Mater has clear references to Scandinavian minimalism and the designs are all made with sustainably or ethically sourced materials.
One of their most recent projects, The Ocean Collection, is a reimagined table-and-chair collection (originally designed in 1955) in ocean waste plastic, combining innovative solutions to prevent pollution of the world’s oceans – with one of the 20th century’s most renowned designers, Nanna Ditzel. The series is characterised by its light structure with repeated slats and metal frames, made and tested for outdoor use. The Ocean Collection is also designed for disassembly, meaning that the design allows each component in its purest form to recycle into new production circles.
Sustainable LED lighting, designed to last. Tala is an award-winning lighting brand, founded on the premise that good design can help mitigate climate change. From their London-based studio, they explore the tension between sustainability, technology and design through their wide-ranging collections.
Tala believe that beautiful objects and efficient technology belong together. Their in-house research and development team and engineering lab combine the best of British design with superior componentry. They select methods and materials based on their environmental impact and remain committed to reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
Kvadrat has been leading the field in textile innovation since 1968 when the company was founded. They produce contemporary high-quality textiles and textile-related products for architects, designers and private consumers to specify in public spaces and domestic interiors.
At Kvadrat, a responsible approach to production and processes has long been part of their corporate and design philosophy. Ever since the company was founded in 1968, they have had a strong focus on minimising their environmental impact throughout all processes from design to delivery, while ensuring a healthy working environment.
Today, they focus on their making, local and global initiatives and the afterlife of their products in order to achieve a comprehensive sustainable approach.
STUA is a design furniture manufacturer from Spain that offers a contemporary collection of chairs, tables, stools, storage, lounge and outdoor furniture. There is a fresh spirit to their pieces, but its character is grounded firmly in the principles and character of classic modern design, that of simplicity and timelessness.
STUA are committed to creating timeless designs with a durable life. As part of their ongoing dedication to sustainable production, they have recently built new premises to allow them to be even more sustainable with new recycling tools, the use of solar energy, clean processes, and the introduction of packing without plastic.
Carl Hansen & Søn
The world’s largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, Carl Hansen & Søn represents over 100 years of Danish design history.
They believe that great design and sustainable production are inseparable. This deeply ingrained belief shapes the work of their designers – and every process in their manufacturing facilities. They are continually improving their production techniques, logistics and sales methods to work in ways that are as gentle as possible on our planet.
From investing in the most modern and energy-efficient equipment to setting annual targets for reducing the amount of energy they use in production, they make every effort to minimise their footprint, striving to leave behind nothing but beautiful furniture and a legacy of uncompromising craftsmanship.