Designers are increasingly focusing on reducing waste, reusing materials, and leaving as light a footprint as possible—resulting in fabulous eco-friendly design that proves style and sustainability can go hand in hand. Read on for six brands making sure that looking after our planet has never looked better.
Before embarking on a career in fashion, Wolfgang Langeder studied history, with a particular interest in the culture of ancient Egypt, which has shaped his latest creation, the Scarab jacket. “The scarab beetle was always a symbol of shelter and protection. I liked this positive symbolism very much, and that is why we were inspired by it for our brand.”
Langeder’s jacket features a detachable wool inner shell and a tapered outer layer made of 100 percent recycled waterproof material. A fan of slow fashion, and a champion of responsible consumerism, Austria-based Langeder considers himself a product designer rather than a fashionista. “Sustainability is the future of fashion and the new luxury,” he believes. “It has always been more interesting to make a product durable, to develop things that are beautiful, which can be enjoyed for many years. Sustainability enables us all to have more quality in our lives.” Other products in his range include a backpack with a hidden magnetic lock, chest strap, and integrated waterproof hood.
Hemp has been used in the world of textiles for millennia. As we strive to welcome more natural materials into our homes, designers are using it in new and interesting ways, including on our floors. Carpet Edition, a family-run business based in northern Italy, has developed a collection of rugs made up of 80 percent hemp and 20 percent cotton. Available in browns, beiges, a red, and even a “natural denim,” options can be customized and styles include Hemp Loop and Hemp Straw. Hemp Loop rugs are distinguished by their longer and curlier bouclé yarns, while Hemp Straw has a shorter, tighter weave. All rugs are knotted by hand.
The Donut Table owes its origins to India’s do-not-waste culture. Its designers, Utharaa L. Zacharias and Palaash Chaudhary of Soft Geometry in San Jose, California, were approached by an Indian factory to see if they could make use of the offcuts from its wood furniture. The pair wanted to make something sculptural, and created the table by patching the offcuts together and turning them into a circular shape. The donut is available in solid oak (caramel), solid mango with a white glaze (sugar), and solid acacia (chocolate), and can be ordered with or without a glass top for those who would prefer it as an objet d’art.
Hydroponic farming—growing vegetables without soil—was initially developed by NASA for the International Space Station. Now, aptly named Australian, Toby Farmer, with his company Bace, has used the technology in the Bace Rotofarm, to bring a five-foot-long (1.5 m) vegetable patch into your kitchen. Like other hydroponic systems, the Bace Rotofarm uses mess-free nutrients and a water reservoir to feed its plants, while its rotary function turns the plants a full circle every hour. This means that they spend half their time in negative gravity, which according to Bace, accelerates growth. Farmer describes his creation as the “easiest-to-use and most automated planter in the world.”
In uncertain times, more and more of us are discovering the delights of growing our own fruit and vegetables. As Tom Barry of Hartley Botanic greenhouses observes, “Being able to produce your own food taps into the most basic of human needs.” Hartley Botanic has been building bespoke greenhouses since 1938 and today serves both the United Kingdom and the United States, offering a range of options, from large Victorian styles to modern, rectilinear structures.
Just as your next car is likely to run—at least partly—on electricity, so too is your next tender. Launched earlier this year at Boot Düsseldorf 2020. DutchCraft’s innovative full electric DC25 is able to cruise at up to 32 knots for a maximum of 75 minutes. Enough, its creators claim, to deliver guests to your yacht from the shore and back again several times over, or even to go waterskiing.
Banner image: The Bace Rotofarm