Sustainable design picks from Maison & Objet Digital Days 2021

in Sustainable Design

Pandemic obliges, design events are still mainly digital. A radical change that makes them different but no less inspiring.

Today, it’s Maison & Objet Digital Days 2021 that drives the inspiration. Below are a few interesting product picks from the event, all reflecting an aspect of sustainability in the design industry.

Traceability

The extent to which a product is sustainable depends on several elements. Besides materials, there’s a whole world related to processes.
Where and how materials were sourced, how they’ve been transported and modified, who worked on them…and the list goes on.

Being able to retrace the supply chain backwards from final product to raw materials is a new and important possibility. A transparency shift that facilitates more conscious choices.

Discover on SforSustainable:

Front view of a sofa with a rug under it.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Chhatwal & Jonsson (opened in a new window/tab)
Front view of a sofa with a rug under it.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Chhatwal & Jonsson (opened in a new window/tab)

Multi-choice

Designing objects that can be used in more than one way is an efficient move that saves production resources while giving more options to the end-user.

Multifunctionality – giving more functions to one same object – is one way of doing this.
Alternatively, one can incorporate the joy of change in a product, giving users the chance to switch between different shapes, colours or configurations – all in one single object.

Discover on SforSustainable:

Stone table set in earthy tones.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: LIND DNA (opened in a new window/tab)
Close-up of a breakfast table set in earthy tones.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: LIND DNA (opened in a new window/tab)

Taking responsibility

When speaking of textiles, fast fashion is pointed to as the main cause of poor production standards, overconsumption and waste.
Far from wanting to deny its responsibility, interior textiles also have a role to play in the problem, and in its solution.

Preferring sustainable fibres, supporting sustainable cultivation methods and producing with respect are all moves that apply to fashion and design alike.
Not only that, the poor socio-ethical standards typical of fast production can be replaced with the willingness to make a difference in society, for example helping disadvantaged communities.

Discover on SforSustainable:

Front view of a bed with sand bedding.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Bihan (opened in a new window/tab)
White blanket hanging from a tree.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Bihan (opened in a new window/tab)

Starting from scratch

In the journey towards more sustainable standards, solutions hide everywhere. Materials, sourcing, production, transportation, disposal... every phase of the supply chain is full of choices that can move the result in a more sustainable direction.

Crafting a more sustainable product calls for reconsidering all those aspects to see what can be improved and how.
It's a hands-on approach that requires humility in questioning all we know and all what has always been done in a certain way. But the potential is huge, both in terms of personal learning and for overall sustainability.

Discover on SforSustainable:

Sun umbrellas line up on a rocky beach.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Klaoos (opened in a new window/tab)
Sun umbrella on a patio.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Klaoos (opened in a new window/tab)

 
The world of sustainable design is growing and evolving. A lot still needs to be done, but we can all contribute individually, supporting the causes we believe in, and ultimately being the change we wish to see in the world.

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