Updated: Feb 22
Sustainable design is the future of production, the future of all products. With the direction that the world has been going and the destruction that our current way of living is causing, the environment will not be able to sustain our destructive usage habits. The time for a conscious shift is upon us and it is essential to get it right, for ourselves and all creatures on this planet.
Sustainability has itself a few varied definitions which take into account the main three pillars; environmental, economic and social dimensions. All pinpointing around the same idea of having,
“the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore being able to continue for a long time.”
Within design it is essential that these values are taken on within every company's strategy.
“Sustainable design is the approach to creating products and services that have considered the environmental, social and economic impacts from the initial phase through to the end of life”
It is clear that soon, our governments, authorities and boards should implement sustainable policies that all businesses shall have to abide by. We all have seen by now that as a country, the UK is looking to be net zero by 2050 and this can only be possible if businesses across all sectors play their part in taking responsibility for their actions. There has already been an initial conscious shift towards customers sourcing materials responsibly and desiring products that are more eco friendly, carbon measured and verified. This has led to many positive new business ethic trends and a tangible shift in the market!
We are taking a moment at the beginning of this new year to highlight some of the designs, products & businesses that we find inspiring and unique. These companies are all based in the UK and use or create high quality, recycled materials, in their products. We hope you find these brands just as inspiring as we do and maybe even incorporate some of their working philosophies into your own brand or lifestyle.
Let's take a peek at what’s out there:
Firstly, who better to inspire and teach, than the future leaders of this planet. Over at O_wow (Our.World.Of.Wood) this is exactly what Alistair has been doing by handcrafting wooden toys (learning resources) through sustainable design. The primary wood stock is from locally sourced, premium quality, solid wood worktop off-cuts. By working closely with a local supplier and using sustainably-sourced materials, he hopes to reduce the impact on the environment by eliminating product waste wherever possible. These beautifully sleek toys are an amazing way to encourage open-ended, imaginative play and develop a child’s cognitive skills. These creative imaginations will be in high demand in the future as we look for more ways of designing sustainably through the utilisation of recycled materials, leaving behind the days where virgin materials are the primary source of any product.
Looking towards a healthy future, we must be conscious to make space for both ecological development and social well-being. Our friends at Space Available take recycling to a level they call ‘radical upcycling’. Repurposing waste from landfill and local beaches to create homewares, furniture and low impact clothes. Led by a global community of designers, artists, scientists and environmentalists, they connect the dots between nature, design, culture and the future. Collaboration is seen widely throughout their products, where they have come together to create various homeware designs made completely from 100% recycled plastic, in their signature blue swirl. Furthermore, they also target the fashion industry, which has long been one of the most detrimental industries to the environment, with the way its products are produced and the rate at which they are thrown to landfill. Space Available uses upcycled cotton in their t-shirts and even demonstrates how we can all upcycle our own t-shirts to give them a whole new lease of life! Keep your eyes peeled for some super exciting collaborations in 2022!
Now we all need a little light in our lives. Often the lighting we find within our homes and businesses has to compete to keep up with the latest fashions and trends, this leaves ‘outdated’ and ‘unwanted’ lighting being thrown away and sent to landfill. This is where Skinflint comes in. Creating “lights for life” by taking old vintage lights from around the UK, Europe and the rest of the world and reclaiming them through a process of restoration to bring them back to life. This enters the lights into Skinflint's own circular economy. Once you buy a light from them you are entered into their full circle scheme whereby you may trade the light back in for 50% credits towards a future purchase, while the other light may be repaired, restored and recertified to go back on the market. On top of this, they are now working towards becoming a carbon-neutral business no later than 2025. One way is by ensuring they choose renewable energies. A step in the right direction that is possible for us all to take!
What is becoming clear in all industries now is the need to monitor and measure our impact on the environment. Sebastian Cox, led by husband and wife partnership Sebastian and Brogan Cox are going above and beyond this. Creating heirloom furniture and homeware designed and made with nature-centred, regenerative principles. They design for a better future in a forward thinking, zero-waste, carbon counting studio in London. Sebastian closely studies our national woodlands and has a great understanding of how their work can positively impact a forest ecosystem by removing particular trees, at certain times, in particular areas. Working with the environment to help it flourish, leaving behind parts of trees to help them nourish the woodland. Furthermore, the wood that is taken away is utilised to store CO2 in adored items within people’s homes, community, spaces and workplaces.
Sustainable considerations are at the heart of every single one of our designs at Revive Innovations. As a business, we will always strive to ensure that we are designing and creating the highest quality handmade products. High quality design with strong principles is at the centre of the sustainable movement. Alongside quality, our other two key sustainable pillars are circularity and transparency. All of the raw ‘waste’ materials that we collect are entered into our own circular economy through making our products repairable and recyclable. We are transparent through each step of the process, taking care in sourcing responsible materials and using local independent fabricators when required. We are always looking to find the next step in our ecological journey and are excited to announce that we are becoming a carbon neutral business in 2022.
Our next milestone ensures that each product itself is carbon calculated and can be rendered neutral by offsetting any ecological costs of the manufacturing process. This allows our clients the assurance that our products will always meet their sustainable ethics and quotas.
We hope you have enjoyed this insight - keep an eye on our blog, socials and mailing list to keep up to date with our journey and our new releases!
Thanks for reading!
- Revive Team ♻️