The interior design industry is truly starting to explore the meaning of sustainability. From furniture to décor, new sustainable interior design pieces come up almost every day. And every trade fair provides new evidence.
The winter appointment of Maison & Objet 2020 has just closed its doors. Besides many other sustainable actors, it has seen the launch of 3 new interior brands with a marked interest in sustainability.
Let’s discover them!
Greenkiss: luxury meets sustainable interior design
Greenkiss (opened in a new window/tab) is a new sustainable collection marketed within the Paolo Castelli brand. 100% Made in Italy, it has been developed by 3 colleagues and friends: Paolo Castelli, Hubert de Malherbe and Thierry Lemaire.
The name Greenkiss has an interesting origin. Green is a reminder that the interior design industry has a lot to still do to improve its sustainability. Kiss is just a positive word meant to counteract the alarmism of environmental messages while inspiring people to act.
Many of the materials used in the collection are recycled or regenerated. And all virgin materials are mindfully sourced from controlled chains.
King of the collection (at least in my opinion) is Vao (opened in a new window/tab), a sustainable sofa with sinuous lines and a great environmental scorecard. Its second-choice ash wood legs are a praise to natural imperfections. The internal padding is a non-flammable eco-friendly rubber, enveloped in natural wadding. Bouclé wool makes the covering and adds a cozy texture to the surface.
An equally sculptural profile characterizes the Hyperbol (opened in a new window/tab) coffee table. Metal legs hold a multi-coloured top made of recycled glass and resin. The cherry on the cake is a hidden LED panel that lights up the table top, emphasizing its sustainable texture even more.
Other sustainable materials are featured in the collection, including recycled marble and glass, hemp fibre and a resin-coated recycled fabric surface.
The aesthetics of the collection took inspiration from the Italian and French design of the 50s - 70s. The results are striking sculptural shapes with a distinct high-end taste. And absolutely nothing to envy to less sustainable high-end pieces!
Noma: recycled materials only
Noma (opened in a new window/tab) is a new French furniture brand that aims at producing high-quality pieces designed by famous personalities, with minimal environmental impact. A challenging ethos for sure. But one that our times crave like never before.
Founded by Bruce Ribay and Guillaume Galloy, Noma sends its message starting from its name. Indeed, Noma stands for “noble matières” (French for “noble materials”). And for Noma, recycled materials are the noblest of our times and should be valued. Which is why Noma’s first collection is all designed with recycled raw materials!
I’ve been following this brand since the early days. And I immediately enjoyed how its vision goes hand-in-hand with a circular economy. Some interesting points are:
- the possibility to substitute or repair single components of a product
- easy-to-disassemble designs that allow recovering all materials
- and more...
In the spirit of continuous improvement, Noma runs a lifecycle analysis for each product to constantly improve its environmental performance.
Not less important, Noma chooses materials to ensure the minimum amount of VOCs in its products. This contributes to better indoor air quality and – in one word – healthier interiors!
Transparency is also key in Noma’s mission. For instance, each product of the collection comes with a table summarizing the total amount of recycled materials, their percentage by component and the geographic origin of each material.
For instance, Ghan (opened in a new window/tab) is a sustainable coffee table that uses 92.8% recycled materials. Its recycled plastic top slides between two solid & recycled oak wood blocks. These are held together by brass spacers that used to be leftovers from the production of train railways.
Is this not a fascinating story for a coffee table?
Pedra (opened in a new window/tab) is another interesting line, made of 99.6% recycled stone sourced from offcuts of Portuguese quarries.
And what to say of Arca (opened in a new window/tab), a 91.6% recycled console made with recycled travertine?
Boutures d’objets: circular design lighting & décor
The name Boutures d’objets (opened in a new window/tab) takes inspiration from plant propagation techniques. "Bouture" means "cutting". And just like a plant cutting originates new plants, a piece of trash can revive into a beautiful object.
Founded by Valerie Windeck, Boutures d’objets focuses on savaging different sources of waste from landfills. Then, it turns them into beautiful objects.
One of my favourite pieces is Solarium (opened in a new window/tab), a recycled plastic table lamp whose sculptural profile would be enough to create a focal point on its own! The upper disc is PET that used to be packaging. And the base is HDPE (another plastic polymer) coming from a combination of ocean trash and waste from the automotive industry.
Another favourite of mine is Vaseo (opened in a new window/tab), a moulded vase that comes in 2 sustainable materials: recycled glass from the construction industry and crushed oyster shells!
If there’s one thing that all these brands share, is the message that sustainable and beautiful can go together!
A message that I’ve always endorsed and that will be key in making sustainable interior design the new norm in the industry. Because let’s be honest, beauty will always play an important role in interiors, but this does not have to come at a cost for the environment. And brands like these prove it brilliantly!
If you're curious to see some more sustainable design pieces, you’re welcome to come take a look at SforSustainable (opened in a new window/tab), where I curate a selection of sustainable interior design products, from furniture, to textiles and tableware!