Sustainability and luxury aren’t elements that have traditionally aligned in interior design. Thankfully, that’s changing with an increasing demand for an environmentally conscious, high-end approach to decor. These eco-friendly homewares—ranging from furnishings to flowers—are at the forefront of an exquisite shift in the tide.
The Emeco Navy Chair
Legendary French designer Philippe Starck’s advice on sustainability is simple: “Make something so well that it never has to be recycled.” American furniture company Emeco takes this ethos to heart—its iconic 1006 Navy Chair is sleek, functional and designed to last, with an estimated life span of 150 years. Hand-forged out of salvaged aluminum, the chair was first made in 1944 for U.S. Navy submarines (with specific instructions to be able to withstand torpedo blasts) and has been in continuous production ever since. It now comes in variety of iterations, including the Heritage Collection designed by Starck, as well as contemporary ranges made from reclaimed plastic water bottles—such as the 111 Navy Chair and the On and On chair by industrial designers Barber Osgerby.
They may look like they’re hewn from natural stone, but these sculptural vases are actually made from pulped cardboard. In a labor-intensive process, Brazilian Domingos Tótora works with pulped recycled certified and sustainable cardboard that he molds by hand into a series of shapes, before drying them in the sun. The self-taught designer has been working with the wood derivative since 2005 and produced the Mantiqueira collection, named after the Serra da Mantiqueira region of Brazil where he was born, for Italian company Tacchini.
“Flowers always make people better, happier… they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul,” said acclaimed botanist Luther Burbank. New company Ethereal Blooms has found a way of making cut flowers stay fresh for up to six months at a time with no sun or water required, meaning they’re not only beautiful but kind to the planet, too. Ethereal Blooms’ flowers undergo a unique biotech conservation process that lets them keep their just-cut look and scent without the need for any maintenance. The company’s site helpfully groups bouquets by type—choose blooms for your dinner, side, or coffee tables, or explore festive and wedding options.
If the mention of eco-friendly lighting immediately has you thinking of the anemic glow emitted by an LED lightbulb, you’re not alone. Lighting brand Tala does away with those preconceptions with sustainable, low-energy LED lighting products that recreate the warmth of traditional incandescent bulbs. Proving that good design can help to mitigate climate change, Tala’s range includes one-of-a-kind mouthblown statement pieces, as well as on-trend industrial-style filament bulbs—all built from superior components for long-lasting quality. The brand is also lighting the way in terms of sustainable business practices: none of its waste is sent to landfill and it partners with tree-planting programs in both the United States and the United Kingdom to offset the carbon emissions generated by its production process.
Omexco Aruba Wallcoverings
Interior designers usually introduce texture to a home with soft furnishings and accessories but Belgium’s Omexco has gone a step further, allowing you to cover your walls with tactile weaves. The eco-friendly Aruba collection of wallcoverings was inspired by the Caribbean island and materials include raffia and water lily in shades of blue, green, and gray. Designs are made to order and are breathable, making them suitable for installation in humid climates or environments. An ecological certificate is available on request.
Society Limonta Textiles
It’s always worth dressing up for a good meal. This applies to your table as much as yourself. Something Society Limonta knows only too well—since 1893 the Italian textile house has been creating fabrics for the home as well as for the fashion industry. Today it offers a range of tablecloths, table runners, napkins, and placemats, encouraging clients to mix and match textures and color palettes. Made from 100 percent abaca, a burlap-style textile made of milled banana tree fibers, Society Limonta’s tablecloths are available in muted striped or dot designs as well as in equally muted plain shades with broderie anglaise-like detailing.
Banner image: Omexco’s Aruba wallcovering