With our launch on Earth Day 22nd April 2018whose campaign is to end plastic pollution, I decided to do a feature on a selection designers who are going beyond the problem of plastic waste and consciously turning plastic waste into aesthetically pleasing interior pieces for sustainable interiors. The past few years have seen an increase in sustainable, yet very stylish, home and lifestyle products hitting the marketplace that are breaking the stereotypical ‘recycled’ mould. We are seeing a shift towards designers creating pieces that consider our environment as well as meeting the demand from society for more green interiors using sustainable furniture, textiles and soft furnishing. What seems to be emerging now is people putting more conscious thought into sustainable interior design rather than following a more traditional route. Many more recycled plastic products are becoming much more mainstream and easily available, which means an exciting time ahead for green designers!
Creating a landfill lifestyle
By switching our focus to turning recyclable plastic waste into beautiful pieces of furniture, home textiles and lifestyle products, many innovative green interior design companies are creating a better way forward for the planet. One such design company is cutting edge Pentatonic, a furniture design & homewares company that not only rescues trash including plastic waste from landfills to create cutting edge furniture and home-wares, but also instils the ‘circular’ idea into each piece of furniture they make. This means that not only are you buying something aesthetically beautiful that is made from 100% recycled materials, but you are also buying something that is completely recyclable too. Each piece produced by Pentatonic comes with a lifetime buy-back guarantee, making your furniture or home-wares ‘circular’ by design.
According to figures calculated by Pentatonic, a staggering 8.3 billions of tons of plastic has been manufactured since the ’50s, with most of it ending up in landfills of the oceans, which is said to be “smothering ecosystems in plastic.” Pentatonic co-founders Jamie Hall and Johann Boedecker want to disrupt the furniture industry through its use of 100% post-consumer waste to craft its products. Even the carbon footprint of their operation is greatly reduced through sourcing their waste plastic feedstock from near the production facility instead of shipping materials in for use from across the world.
Weaver Green is helping to promote this trend for conscious consumerism. This Devon-based company was the brainchild of founders, Tasha and Barney, who were inspired to figure out a way to re-use plastic waste in a practical and beautiful way after travelling in Asia.
After coming across a fishing boat tethering rope that was made from unravelled plastic bottles and lids, the couple took the idea and ran with it, developing a very useful yarn made from plastic bottles that is not only strong, but waterproof as well. It took the couple seven years to perfect the formula to transform hard plastic into soft and open fibres that have the look and feel of natural wool. The beautiful textiles they now produce are all fully machine washable, moth proof, easy to clean, mould resistant, UV stable and hard wearing, stain resistant, environmentally friendly and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Weaver Green offer a bespoke and beautiful selection of recycled rugs, blankets, footstools, cushions and Juno bags. They have gone out of their way to produce a range of stylish and timeless home textiles that you would choose regardless of the source materials. Smile Plastics is another leading green design company that came together through the collaboration of talented environmentally-minded designers, Adam Fairweather and Rosalie McMillan. With both designers having a long previous history of creating products from a range of waste materials, combining their talents and skills has led to the company offering inspirational and visually stunning hand-crafted materials.
Images Copyright of Smile PlasticsThe idea behind Smile Plastics is to design and produce exquisite hand-crafted panels using waste materials. The panels the company produce have gone on to be used by designers from across the world to create both small products, to very large-scale installations in commercial and residential premises. With limitless possibilities, their stunning panels have been used to fit out bars, restaurants and offices, as well as going on to make jewellery, home-wares, and indoor and outdoor furniture. The company truly fuse both art and technology to produce products that show off the unexpected beauty hidden within waste materials.
Other ways to reduce, reuse and help
By re-thinking how we choose to furnish and decorate our homes using recyclable plastic furniture and home-wares, we can help to save the environment from plastic pollution. Reducing waste and reusing items go hand in hand and can have a significant, long-lasting and positive impact on the planet. Greenpeace have a great article called: Nine ways to reduce your plastic use which can help you reduce waste in your every day life. Here are some weird, wonderful and practical things you can make with recycled plastic bottles for the home & garden on Pinterest : Upcycle Plastic Bottles
Understanding the circular economy
The Ellen Macarthur Foundation is a leading light in establishing and nurturing the circular economy. The aim of the foundation is to make people think beyond the current ‘take, make and dispose’ industry, and instead put in place a more restorative and regenerative process in the form of a circular economy by design. The idea is to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimising negative impacts. By consciously choosing to buy and use 100% recycled and fully recyclable home-wares and furniture, you can make a lifestyle-change by applying the circular economy ethics to your own life.
Support Marine Conservation
The Marine Conservation Society is the UK’s leading marine charity. “Our wildlife is suffering, our fish stocks are dwindling and our seas and shores are being polluted. Together, we can stick up for our precious seas. There are lots of ways you can get involved, locally and nationally, and we have the tools to help you make a difference in your community and beyond.” Take a look at the latest campaigns being run by the Marine Conservation and see how you can help