Is sustainable design important to you? ‘Sustainable’ and ‘responsibly sourced’ are words we’ve been hearing a lot in the interior design world, and they’re not going away any time soon. Yes, there’s a trend element to it, but it’s also about much more than that.
Sustainable design and sustainability is a complicated concept, made up of economic, environmental and social aspects – also known as profits, planet and people. When applied to the world of interiors, this means that furniture could be made from a sustainable source, such as forests that were managed and replanted. If, however, the replanting of the forest had devastated the local social structure by damaging essential farming land, the project as a whole wouldn’t be classed as sustainable.
‘Responsible sourcing’ is a similar idea, sometimes referred to as supply chain responsibility. It’s a voluntary commitment made by individual companies to take environmental and social factors into account when they choose which supplies to deal with.
With more and more of us becoming more aware of ethical and sustainable concerns, we thought it was time to take a look at what sustainable design products are on offer from UK retailers, designers and manufacturers, and why there’s no need to sacrifice style for sustainability.
Pink hydrangea tray, Emma Britton
From UK designer Emma Britton comes this bright, cheerful tray, handmade from responsibly sourced birch veneer with a melamine finish to make it hard wearing and practical too. £33, available from Emma Britton.
Hemp fabric, Stitched
This loose-weave, natural-looking, textured fabric , made from wool and hemp, would be great for curtains, cushions or throws. It comes in a range of nature-inspired colours and is made from hemp, a sustainable, fast growing plant. Just one 45kg bag of hemp seeds makes approximately 300 pairs of curtains. The hemp used in this fabric was grown at Huit Farm, Leicestershire, where any waste fibre is decomposed and used as fertiliser for the following year’s crop. Milled and woven in Britain, the fabric costs £55/metre and is available from Stitched.
Jpeg coat hooks, Moxon London
Simple, stylish, sustainably sourced FSC plywood coat hooks. The peg detail to the top of the hook is a nice touch, and there’s a powerful hidden magnet which will stick to a metallic surface if you don’t want to wall mount them. £14.99 for three, available from Urban Coo.
Welsh tapestry throw, Welsh Otter
Bring a piece of Welsh heritage into your home with this ‘Grug y Mynydd’ (or ‘Mountain Heather’) tapestry throw in shades of lilac and heather, newly woven at a traditional woollen mill in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The blanket is woven to the traditional ‘Caernarfon’ design, and the colour way is designed and commissioned by Welsh Otter using 100% sustainable, naturally biodegradable wool. £129.99, available from Welsh Otter.
Nights diffuser, wxy
This diffuser in bourbon sugar and tobacco leaf fragrance is made in the UK by wxy, who use no animal derived materials, palm oil or parabens. They also use recyclable materials wherever possible and virtually no plastics, and donate 3% of profits to a charitable organisation or project for each product sold. £24, available from noteworthy.style.
Kildare Irish linen napkin in teal, Rebecca Udall
This napkin is made from the highest quality European linen and hundreds of years of expertise and tradition in Ireland. It’s been produced with the highest ethical standards and sustainable business practices, and is available in a wide variety of tones. Matching items also available. £9, from Rebecca Udall.