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37 of the best new sustainable designs

Our edit of stylish, innovative and eco-friendly designs, from ethically-made furniture to recycled fabrics

tom raffield's loer pendant
Tom Raffield

The pandemic has been a wake-up call in more ways than one, and many of us are scrutinising how we consume and the effect of our buying decisions on the planet more than ever before.

The positive news is, design industry insiders believe this mindset will continue way beyond Covid times. ‘Not just because of the uncertainty that the virus has brought, but also because of the political climate, I think there’ll be a return to authenticity, honesty and things you can trust. We’ll see this via a rise in crafts and locally made, traceable design, but also spreading to the idea of data privacy – especially in the realm of the smart home,' says Benjamin Hubert of design studio LAYER.

Sean Sutcliffe, co-founder of Benchmark agrees that sustainability, provenance and materials will rise to become the primary considerations for our purchases: 'Post-pandemic, I expect we’ll see more emphasis on comfort, design, and health – from thinking about the ergonomics of our furniture and the toxicity of what goes into the objects in our homes, to seeking refuge in nature. Either through a reevaluation of gardens or by surrounding ourselves with house plants and natural materials.'

There’s never been a better time to think sustainably, whether you are looking for a guide to eco-friendly fabrics or information on the benefits of green paint. Here, we've selected the best new sustainable designs and brands that are making it easier than ever to make considered buying choices. From diverting waste to landfill, to utilising traditional crafts and creating positive social impact, these makers and innovators are helping to define what it means to be sustainable today.

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1 Isokon Plus
loop shelf and bench by barber osgerby for isokon plus
Isokon Plus

British brand Isokon Plus was a pioneer of plywood when it was founded in 1931. Now, alongside its famous ply designs – such as the iconic 'Isokon Penguin Donkey' – you'll find contemporary furniture and home accessories crafted from carefully sourced solid timbers and veneers. All its designs are made in small batches from its Walthamstow workshop and are designed and built to last. ‘Backless Portsmouth Bench’, £1,046; ‘Loop Shelf 980’, £357.60 each, all by Barber & Osgerby for Isokon Plus isokonplus.com

2 ‘Modern Farmhouse Occasional Chair’ by Fred Rigby for Another Country
‘modern farmhouse occasional chair’, £1,585, another country anothercountrycom
Another Country

Made in Portugal and the UK, Another Country's 'Modern Farmhouse Occasional Chair' is crafted from solid oak from sustainable sources and upholstered in 100% natural materials. As the name suggests, the collection reimagines farmhouse furniture for contemporary living and puts a refined spin on classic rustic pieces. £1,321 anothercountry.com

3 ‘Block + Stitch’ Cushion by Stitch by Stitch
block  stitch sustainable cushion
Block & Stitch

Stitch by Stitch creates handmade textiles in small batches, working with artisan weavers, embroiderers and quilt makers in India, Nepal and England. Made using only natural materials such as organic, rain-fed kala cotton, wool and natural dyes, products use a combination of traditional techniques, including block printing and embroidery. £80, stitchbystitch.uk

4 ‘Loer’ pendant by Tom Raffield
tom raffield's loer pendant
Tom Raffield

Taking its name from the Cornish word for ‘moon’, Tom Raffield’s new ‘Loer’ pendant's graceful mouth-blown glass orb appears to float in its sleek halo of steam-bent ash. Steam-bending is an energy efficient process that relies only on heat and water and produces very little wastage; the brand even reuses any excess water that has condensed in the steamer the next time wood is heated. £345 tomraffield.com

5 ‘Morphs’ by Studio Lindey Cafsia + Studio Carbon
'morphs' by studio lindey cafsia  studio carbon
Adorno Design

‘Morphs’ is a family of five cubical objects made from a bio-based composite derived from cow dung. A collaboration between Netherlands-based Studio Lindey Cafsia + Studio Carbon, the series harnesses the potential of a cheap, plentiful raw material. No glaze is added, so the (odour-free) material can be reused. From £64 adorno.design

6 ‘Prism’ collection by Angus Ross
angus ross furniture, launched at design nation
Yeshen Venema

Launched at 2020’s Design Nation exhibition as part of Decorex, the ‘Prism’ collection by Scottish designer-maker Angus Ross scooped the award for Best Sustainable Product. Crafted in Ross’s Perthshire workshop from local ash and oak, it takes its name from the sliced and steam-bent triangular arches that sweep around the frame of each piece, adding strength to the structure as well as creating a refined silhouette. The range includes a chair, shelving unit, side table anda stool with a hand-twisted English rush seat. From £900 for a table angusross.co.uk

7 ‘Food boards’ by Hyrst
hyrst elm chopping board
Hyrst

Based in Suffolk, non-profit brand Hyrst uses locally sourced elm and sycamore for its striking food boards, which are made in the workshops at HMP Warren Hill as part of a programme to rehabilitate individuals for reintegration into everyday life. Income paid by Hyrst to Warren Hill is used to fund further training that will reskill residents in preparation for their release. From £32 hyrst.co.uk

8 Wax Atelier
wax atelier's sustainably made candles
Wax Atelier

Not all candles are created equal. Beeswax is thought to be the most superior wax for candles as it has a higher melting point, so it burns slower with less mess,as well as emitting the brightest, most warm-toned flame. London-based Wax Atelier makes hand-dipped, naturally dyed candles using traditional techniques, but there’s another reason its products are worthy of the choicest tables. From its headquarters in Dagenham, the brand is working with non-profit Every One Every Day to train up local residents and create a unique, living wage-paying makers collective to sustain employment in the area. From £13.50 waxatelier.com

9 ‘Rely’ chair by Hee Welling for &Tradition
antradition recycled plastic rely chair sustainable design
&Tradition

It took a year for Copenhagen-based Hee Welling to find the right material for &Tradition’s new ‘Rely’ chair. Wanting to put sustainability at the forefront of his design, Welling eventually decided on recycled plastic from inner car components to make the chair’s ergonomic shell. Available in six colours and fabrics, its clean-lined, versatile design makes it ideal for multiple functions. From £195 andtradition.com

10 ‘Plint’ coffee table by Cecile Manz for Takt
takt flat pack bench by cecilie manz
Takt

The new ‘Plint’ coffee table by Cecilie Manz for Takt is a flat-pack piece that requires no bolts, glue or screws for assembly – a design feature that means it can be easily repaired or recycled at the end of its life. Its two components are held together with sustainably sourced leather loops and wooden pegs, and while it can be put together in minutes, it’s engineered to last. From £599 taktcph.com

11 Memòri Studio
memori studio sustainable handmade ceramics
Memori Studio

New initiative Memòri Studio is dedicated to the revival of fast-disappearing craft traditions from around the world. Part homeware store, part manifesto, each edition focuses on one particular territory, starting with Morocco. Pick up pieces such as hand-built pots decorated with natural pigments, or sign up for one of its six-day ‘immersions’ to learn from the artisans themselves in the Atlas or Rif regions of Morocco. From approx £68 for a plate memori.studio

12 ‘Iklwa’ chair by Mac Collins for Benchmark
benchmark mac collins iklwa chair
Benchmark

The Nottingham-based designer has collaborated with Benchmark on his first consumer collection. Adapted from his ‘Iklwa’ chair, which won the 2018 Cræftiga Award at The London Design Fair, the range of the same name comprises two lounge chairs and a side table. The chairs’ Afrofuturistic shapes are intended to empower the sitter and unite Collins’ African-Caribbean roots with British craft. As with all Benchmark's pieces, sustainability is embedded throughout, from the British-sourced timber and UK manufacture to non-toxic oils and finishes. Large chair, from £2,275; side table, from £835 benchmarkfurniture.com

13 ‘George’ coffee table by Marco Campardo for Alpi
george coffee table made from recycled wood veneer
Alpi x Seeds London

Seeking to find a role for the waste material in contemporary furniture production, designer Marco Campardo worked with wood veneer manufacturer Alpi to create ‘George’, a collection constructed from factory offcuts. Discarded scraps of veneer are glued together to form thicker blocks of material, which are then used to construct a series of stools and tables. From £2,820 seedslondon.com

14 1616/Arita Japan
1616 arita japan ceramics sustainable design
1616 Arita Japan

Named after the year and location in which the art of pottery was first introduced to Japan by the Koreans, 1616/Arita Japan makes contemporary ceramics with the same traditional materials and techniques used in the region for centuries. Its distinctive clay, made with crushed stone, results in pieces that are strong and heat-resistant yet beautifully thin and light. Designed by creative director Teruhiro Yanagihara, the signature ‘TY Standard’ collection (pictured) allows for different combinations and functions. From approx £14.55 for an espresso cup, 1616arita.jp

15 Stool by Dirk Vander Kooij
dirk vander kooij recycled plastic waste stools
Dirk Vander Kooij

Amsterdam-based designer Dirk Vander Kooij makes furniture from melting down waste plastic in the form of discarded CDs, garden furniture and agricultural tubing. A relentless prototyper, the designer uses an array of processes to transform the material into new and unique forms, including 3D printing and extrusion. From £400, selfridges.com

16 ‘Reprise’ chair by Norm Architects x Ercol
reprise chair by ercol and norm architects
Ercol

For its centenary year, British design brand Ercol is launching new pieces that celebrate its long legacy of craftsmanship while looking forward to a new era. Our highlight is the ‘Reprise’ chair, a collaboration with Copenhagen studio Norm Architects, which reimagines the brand’s hallmark spindles in a minimalist lounge chair. And, as with all Ercol pieces, it’s made with care using sustainable practices and materials, ensuring it can be loved for years to come. Available this autumn, pre-order now, ercol.com

17 ‘Note’ stools by Edward Collinson
note stools by edward collinson
Edward Collinson

London-based designer Edward Collinson’s handcrafted pieces have been on our wishlist for a while, and his sculptural ‘Note’ stools have just hit the top spot. Made using traditional carpentry techniques, they come in an ebonised oak, walnut or natural oak finish. Gently curved undersides add to their tactile appeal, while flat tops meanthey can double up as side tables. edwardcollinson.co.uk

18 Skinflint Lighting
skinflint lighting
Skinflint

As a purveyor of reclaimed lighting, the circular economy is embedded within Skinflint’s ethos. Now the brand is going one step further with a new buy-back scheme that allows customers to sell their lights back to Skinflint for up to 50 per cent of the original value. The lights will be fully restored, tested and certified ready for reuse and resale. skinflintdesign.com

19 Organoids
organoid pressed flower wallcoverings and flooring
dieWEST.at

Reminiscent of bloom-imprinted pages from childhood flower presses, Organoids’ wallcoverings and laminate flooring literally bring the outside in, with surfaces of compressed wild florals, Alpine hay, leaves and wheat. Laid by hand onto natural flax in a CO2-neutral process in Tyrol, Austria, all the materials are sourced as locally as possible, including lavender stalks and coffee grounds from nearby cafés. No artificial colours or fragrances are added. organoids.com/en

20 Kana x La Soufflerie glassware by Kana London
kana glassware recycled blown glass
JANVRHOVNIK

London ceramicist Kana has teamed up with non-profit glassblowing cooperative La Soufflerie to translate her signature pieces into delicate recycled glass. Due to the nature of the the traditional blowing processes used by the Paris studio, the clay moulds can only be used up to 20 times, rendering each of the limited edition glasses and carafes unique. kanalondon.com

21 Bloc Studios x Tableau
sustainable design candle holders tableau by bloc studios
Bloc Studios

Founded in Carrara in 2014, Bloc studios uses marble offcuts salvaged from industrial waste to create its unique furniture and accessories. Its latest launch is a series of 10 one-off vases in collaboration with Copenhagen flower, art and design studio Tableau. Each one consists of a roughly hewn chunk of marble and a sleek aluminium cylinder which can be removed and filled with water and stems – and easily separated and recycled at the end of life. tableau-cph.com

22 Cork Table by Tom Dixon
tom dixon cork table
Tom Dixon

‘In terms of a dream material, you couldn’t get a lot better,’ says Tom Dixon. He’s talking about cork, which he has utilised for a new series of furniture. ‘Cork has this amazing warmth and tactility – it’s also fireproof, water resistant and lighter than water, so it’s easy to transport. Plus, it can be continually recycled,’ he adds. The collection comprises two round tables, shelves and a rectangular table, all with pleasingly chunky proportions. tomdixon.net

23 ‘/re/PURPOSE’ rug by Jennifer Manners
dotty repurpose rug by jennifer manner
Jennifer Manner

London-based rug designer Jennifer Manners’s ‘/re/PURPOSE’ rugs are hand-knotted in India using waste plastic. What makes these hardwearing and stain-resistant designs really special is that they have a plush texture more akin to wool than plastic. There are five designs in the collection, including the round ‘Perugia’ with its terracotta splodges, but colours and dimensions can be customised for a bespoke piece. jennifermanners.co.uk

24 ‘Cross Chair Tube’ by PearsonLloyd for Takt
cross chair tube by pearsonlloyd for takt
TAKT

All of Danish design brand Takt's pieces have been awarded the EU Ecolabel, which vouches not only for the sustainability of the materials used, but also for the consideration of the environmental impact a product has in its lifetime. Designed by London studio Pearson Lloyd, the ‘Cross Chair Tube’ is a new take on the firm’s inaugural design, the flat-pack ‘Cross’ chair and offers the same circular approach, elegant simplicity and ease of assembly with a lighter environmental footprint. taktcph.com

25 ‘Blantyre’ glass jars by Hadeda
sustainable design glass bottles by hadeda
MARTIN@M600.CO.UK

Founded by Kate Kindersley, who grew up between Africa and the UK, Hadeda is a lifestyle brand which believes in the enduring value of craft and design over mass production. Its pieces are handmade by co-operatives in Africa and ensures local heritage crafts are used and passed on. The 'Blantyre' glass jars are made from recycled wine bottles and have striking handcrafted mahogany stoppers. hadeda.co.uk

26 Seaqual x Camira fabrics
seaqual x camira recycled ocean litter textiles
Cinco Design PDX

Yorkshire-based textile brand Camira began producing recycled fabrics 20 years ago, and has now teamed up with Seaqual, a global initiative that connects fishermen, scientists, NGOs and authorities to remove and upcycle marine litter. Camira’s new collection of fabrics are woven using ‘Seaqual’ yarn and each metre is made from the equivalent of 26 plastic bottles. There are 16 shades to choose from. camirafabrics.com

27 GoodWaste
sustainable homewares from waste materials
GoodWaste

GoodWaste was founded by Royal College of Arts graduates Ambra Dentella, Ewan Alston and Rafael Muldal el Baz. The brand sources waste materials including marble, steel and Corian from London’s industrial sites (in this case Park Royal in Harlesden) and transforms it into unique pieces of furniture and homeware. They see their work as a ‘new model of manufacturing’, disposing of unwanted materials and creating quality goods with longevity. goodwaste.net

28 Granbyware by Granby Workshop
ceramic tableware from waste materials
Granby Workshop

Having tested and analysed materials from a range of waste sources, Liverpool-based ceramics studio Granby Workshop has launched the world’s first ceramic tableware made purely from waste. Its clay is formed from industrial manufacturing wastewater, the glaze is sourced from laboratory glassware, while the colour is derived from crushed tiles and broken dinnerware. granbyworkshop.co.uk

29 ‘505’ vase by Alp Design
black and white vases on a table
Yeshen Venema

Annick L Petersen’s latest design is actually six in one. The ‘505’ vase is made up of five stackable components that can be combined or used individually. Available in black and white, the vase is 3D printed from Petersen’s north London studio and uses recycled plastic made from household and commercial waste. alp-design

30 Bastone x Poiat cabinet by Åben
sustainable nordic design homeware
Aben

Set up as a platform to promote emerging Nordic designers, each of Åben’s products, from ceramics to furniture, has sustainability at its core. It’s the antithesis of fast consumerism; lead times start from around four weeks as each piece is made to order. shop.aben.as

31 ‘Jethro’ table by SCP
SCP

The beautifully considered ‘Jethro’ table and bench are the latest pieces by designer-maker Sarah Kay. With a fine cabinet-making background, Kay’s passion for woodworking and classic joinery techniques is apparent in the pair’s subtle features, sustainably-sourced materials and quality craftsmanship – tenon joints wedged with walnut, chamfered legs for a refined silhouette and walnut peg details on each end – making them designs to admire from every angle. scp.co.uk

32 Naturalmat
sustainable mattress natural mat clean sleep eco friendly materials
Jon Day

Supplier to a roster of five-star hotels, including Six Senses Resorts and Spas, Naturalmat has been crafting sustainable mattresses for over 20 years, supporting local farmers and keeping its carbon footprint to a minimum, while scooping up a plethora of industry awards along the way. Its bedworks also runs on solar energy to help customers rest easy. naturalmat.co.uk

33 ‘He & She’ chairs by Mater
sustainable chair design natural materials low carbon design rattan wicker
Mater

‘I wanted to embrace sustainable thinking with the ‘He & She’ chairs, while celebrating one of my biggest inspirations: the Bauhaus school,’ says architect, designer and founder of Earth Studio Eva Harlou. ‘The biggest challenge was to create a light and sculptural but comfortable chair. It took time to get the right angles, bendiness and composition but we succeeded – we used FSC-certified wood and fast-growing grass for the seat.’ materdesign.co.uk

34 ‘Woodernism’ by Darkroom London
sustainable design eco friendly furniture darkroom london
VEERLE EVENS

To celebrate its 10th year, the brand has released ‘Woodernism’, a capsule collection based on the beauty of wood and its functional qualities. It includes the six-piece ‘Blok’ series, with items hand-built from ash in north-east England and stained with bold water-based pigments. ‘We wanted to use the material, with its strong heritage, to create something new. It also signals our pursuit of a more sustainable approach,’ notes director Rhonda Drakeford. Five per cent of the sales will be donated to The Woodland Trust. darkroomlondon.com

35 ‘Karipot’ by Tiipoi
sustainable design eco friendly traditional skills handmade kitchenware tableware
Tiipoi

‘London-based design house Tiipoi has collaborated with Indian artisan Mathew Sasa on a range of ceramics that uses a unique type of pottery from the remote village of Longpi. In a method that fuses contemporary design with an ancient technique, clay is manually shaped over a plaster mould and burnished before being left to dry in the sun. The objects are then fired in an open bonfire, and smoked in sawdust made from local foliage, giving them a distinctive black colouring. For Tiipoi founder and creative director Spandana Gopal, the joy is securing a place in the future for these rare crafts, reclaiming them from ‘the tokenisation of handcrafted souvenirs’. tiipoi.com

36 ‘Snake and Pomegranate’ by Christopher Farr
sustainable ethical rug design by christopher farr and turquoise mountain
Christopher Farr

Presented at the 2019 London Design Festival, Christopher Farr’s ‘Snake and Pomegranate’ rug by Studio Shamshiri was made in collaboration with Turquoise Mountain, an organisation set up in 2006 by HRH The Prince of Wales which invests in traditional crafts and provides jobs and skills in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. It pays weavers at least 10 per cent more than the market rate as well as educating them about workers’ rights, so wherever they go in the future, they have that knowledge. christopherfarr.com

37 ‘Canopy’ collection by LSA
lsa canopy collection made from 100 recycled glass
LSA Canopy collection

Launched in collaboration with the Eden Project, LSA’s ‘Canopy’ collection is made from 100% recycled glass and is boxed in recycled and recyclable packaging printed with organic vegetable inks to further minimise the impact on the environment. A winner of the prestigious iF Design Award 2019, the collection revolves around the ideas of hydration and propagation and includes both drinkware and planters, vases and terrariums. lsa-international.com

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