Following up on our previous article regarding 5 great sustainable materials for interior design in 2022 this week we decided to focus on brands that made sustainability their very own mission. Some of these companies developed great products for interiors around the concept of sustainability, while others simply took a different and uncommon approach.
This is an important part of our work as Interior Designers. We are constantly on the lookout for brands bringing something new to the table. Thanks to the attention that the environmental friendliness topic gets today, the new solutions adopted are extremely varied. Whether through new technologies, recycling and upcycling, or extremely sophisticated raw materials research, interior designers today have a variety of choices like they never had before. Which makes it even more exciting, doesn’t it?
So, let’s go on and see the first brand we picked today for our shortlist.
Vinterior is not a manufacturer but an online platform promoting independent ones.
Right from the claim “We believe in everything vintage stands for” it is easy to identify this brand’s message and its importance in offering a different path for interior design. Most of all, one that can help us move away from certain bad practices in the industry.
While promoting individuality through high-quality, selected products, in fact, Vinterior also indirectly discourages the purchase of mass-produced furniture pieces. And this approach not only favours closer attention to every single piece when it comes to interior design but encourages also more sustainable practices.
So, pieces sold through the online platform are selected manually by Vinterior’s staff and give visibility to independent businesses regardless of their specific location. This once again is important because it can help smaller local designers, resellers, and manufacturers by helping conscious shoppers.
Vinterior is a great example of how even without big claims about sustainability, the adoption of some conscious practices in various aspects of the industry can create an equally virtuous business.
Is a firm that through the power of 3d Printing (or Additive Manufacturing) offers its clients a number of bespoke solutions for design pieces of any scale. Among its products, Aectual includes a number of options, from flooring to acoustic and decorative panels, screens, column planters, architectural elements even for exteriors, and more.
With a completely different approach from the previous example, Aectual’s products are explicitly obtained from bio-based and/or recycled materials through a zero-waste, carbon-neutral production process. Also, the company’s mission is built around precise objectives. Save up to 95% of the materials with 0 waste and on-demand production only, which is important too against overproduction risks. Empower designers and architects to make refined and innovative designs available to everyone. And finally, accelerating the transition to a completely circular economy.
In fact, along with 3D printed materials the company also offers to its clients a complete industrial setup ready for 24/7 printing using the Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF) based on pellet extrusion on a robot arm.
This was announced in 2021 during CES as the launch of the beta project for a platform allowing for a seamless design-to-deliver process. This not only ensures to speed up the whole production process significantly but also to maintain its strong environmental standards at the same time.
The solutions offered by Actual have also been already adopted for commercial purposes by some really high profile brands such as Nike and BMW.
Velux is certainly a well-known name in the construction and design industries. First established in 1954 in the UK, today is a big brand active in over 35 countries.
One important contribution of Velux and its solutions throughout the years has been the “passion for daylight and fresh air”. These are important factors for interior sustainability, not just in terms of carbon footprint reduction, but also for people’s wellbeing. The right use of daylight and natural air flow are two key elements of the Biophilic design principles.
Additionally, Velux developed its business plan called Sustainability Strategy 2030 with the aim of capturing its historical CO2 emissions reaching complete carbon neutrality within its 100th anniversary by 2041.
Velux certifies the wood used for its windows. And the company looks to constantly improve its product sustainability to achieve the goal set with its new strategy. The short-term goal, 2030, is to reduce by 50% its products’ carbon footprint as well as completely eliminate plastic for packaging substituting it with 100% recyclable materials. The emission reduction will also regard the entire value chain, in order to comply with the Paris Agreement standard.
The “lifetime carbon neutrality” instead will be achieved through a collaboration with WWF with a forest conservation project.
As for its products, Velux constantly improves its roof windows, flat roof windows, blinds, and shutters (now integrated also with smart capabilities) to make sure they last longer to maximise their efficiency.
4. Dinosaur Designs
Another interesting brand that has a unique approach is Dinosaur Designs. A company established in the 80s in Australia and then expanded to several other countries in Europe and the US throughout the years. Again different from the previous examples as it develops its own collection with sustainable resins and metals obtained from waste materials.
Dinosaur Designs produces a wide range of jewellery and homeware with a strong inspiration from the natural world, designed to achieve a timeless design, and all obtained from sustainable materials. Not only that, but to reduce its carbon footprint the firm also supports different environmental initiatives, and works constantly to improve the production process to be more efficient and minimise its activities’ impact.
Dinosaur Designs objects are handmade. The material itself has been developed from a by-product of the oil industry. Being a waste material, if not used, in its unprocessed state, it would end up either burnt or in landfills. A great focus is also posed on using low-energy methods for the items' manufacturing, as well as into the reduction of any further waste materials. So, waste from production is put together and reused for other pieces.
*Source: Dinosaur Designs
While the resin objects are manufactured in Australia, other homewares plated in metal are handmade in India where particular care is also paid to the working condition and the ethical conduction of the business.
And here we are. These are 4 interesting brands that tackle environmental preservation and climate change topics in their own unique way, despite working in the same industry. As designers, the variety and scale of choices are unprecedented and open up countless possibilities (which means there will be more articles like this coming in the future).
All this innovation makes the work of interior designer very exciting, and a proper privilege for the even greater contribution it can give to the environment and the people’s wellbeing thanks to the awareness we have nowadays with regards to these important topics.
Cover image by Aectual