AVANT-GARDE PRODUCTS THAT SHOWCASE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

From 3D printed clothing and innovative lighting fixtures to distinctive home décor pieces and exquisite furniture, these one-of-a-kind products exhibit the best of sustainable design

By Pallavi Mehra

February, 2021

These vibrantly hued outfits are 3D printed
Photo Credit-Ganit Goldstein

Times have drastically changed in the last few months, and now more than ever it is the responsibility of designers and artists to be conscious of the environmental impact of the products that they create. The good news is that a number of design companies are taking the lead in crafting products that exhibit sustainable design. Here’s a look at five such inventive products that are aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sustainable.

The ‘WeAreAble’ collection comprises garments created using multi-material polyjet technology

Photo Credit-Ganit Goldstein

‘WE.ARE.ABLE’ COLLECTION

Israeli fashion designer Ganit Goldstein has conceptualised a range of vibrantly hued 3D printed outfits. Titled the ‘WeAreAble’ collection, these mesmerizing embroidered garments are created using multi-material polyjet technology. The aim of this new design project is to move away from fast fashion and showcase the benefits of personalised garment production. Inspired by traditional Japanese techniques and Ikat weaving, the outfits in the ‘WeAreAble’ collection exhibit a one-of-a-kind blend of handcrafted processes and 3D printing.

This ‘WeAreAble’ collection is an environmentally sustainable alternative to fast fashion

Photo Credit-Ganit Goldstein

To create the ‘WeAreAble’ collection, measurements are taken from a 360-degree body scanner. Thereafter, the bespoke garments are 3D printed. These garments perfectly fit the individual’s body and there is no wastage of fabric. Goldstein hopes that her clothing range provides people an environmentally sustainable alternative to fast fashion. “I was inspired to create the ‘WeAreAble’ collection using these cutting-edge techniques after seeing the devastating impact fast fashion has on the environment. Making a good quality, classic piece, which fits the individual perfectly, means a more sustainable approach to fashion. I hope that given the technologies we now have available to us, designers will work towards creating fewer bespoke pieces and we can enjoy fashion without negatively impacting the planet,” says designer Ganit Goldstein.

The Veggie Lights feature lampshades made of red cabbage leaves

Photo credit-Shay Ben Efrayim

VEGGIE LIGHTS

Indian designer Vaidehi Thakkar has collaborated with London-based Nir Meiri Design Studio to create a range of striking lights that have lampshades made of red cabbage leaves. Aptly known as Veggie Lights, these lamps feature a minimal, black and golden base, which houses the light source. When the light source is turned on, it is projected upwards onto the shade and it illuminates the delicate veins and natural colouring of the red cabbage leaves. The Veggie Lights are available in two styles. In the first style, the jagged ends of the leaves are left untouched and in the second version, the edges of the leaves are trimmed to create softly sloping curves.

To create the Veggie Lights, red cabbage leaves are turned into a paper-like material

Photo credit-Shay Ben Efrayim

Designer Vaidehi Thakkar developed the process to transform red cabbage leaves into a paper-like material. To create this material, cabbage leaves are separated and soaked in a natural, anti-fungal material. “After soaking the leaves in an anti-fungal material, we dry them until all the moisture is evaporated, using a mould that mimics the shape of the original red cabbage leaf. And then, we finish them off with a water-based, sustainable coating. That means it will stay durable but it will not last forever. As any other natural material, it will ‘age’ over time and was not designed to last forever. It can be returned back to the earth as compost and easily replaced with a new shade but using the same base,” states designer Nir Meiri.

The Soniah lighting fixtures are evocative of sunflowers

Photo Credit-Vova Klever

SONIAH

Ukranian furniture designer and architect Victoriya Yakusha has unveiled a distinctive range of handcrafted lighting fixtures that are reminiscent of sunflowers. This collection is known as ‘Soniah,’ which translates to ‘a sunflower.’ The unique range includes a white sconce and a floor and pendant lamp in a number of heights and sizes. The designer created this series to pay homage to Ukraine’s national flower. The Soniah lamps are made of reclaimed steel and a material made by the designer known as “Ztista.” This material is made using clay that has been combined with wood chips, straw and recycled paper.

The Soniah lamps are made of a sustainable material known as “Ztista”

Photo Credit-Vova Klever

The Soniah series of lighting fixtures is a celebration of Ukraine’s rich culture and features a luxurious design aesthetic. To craft each lamp, “Ztista” is smeared onto a framework of reclaimed steel in thick layers following an age- old Ukrainian building technique known as Valkuvannya. The final Soniah lamps feature a unique tactile and primitive surface. “Based on the philosophy of live design, my studio has a strong connection to the earth and the living world around us, so we work with live and natural materials. Inspired by Ukrainian cultural heritage and traditions, we bring this powerful energy into contemporary design pieces. Ztista is a sustainable material that is very flexible and offers many design opportunities because it can be moulded into almost any shape,” remarks Victoriya Yakusha.

The Concrete Switches by Sekhina are an environmentally sustainable alternative to plastic ones

Photo Credit-Sekhina

CONCRETE SWITCHES

Hungarian design studio Sekhina has conceptualised a collection of light switches and plug sockets made from concrete. The aim of this series is to be an environmentally sustainable and elegant alternative to plastic switches. Gábor Kasza, the founder of Sekhina, crafted this collection when he was not able to find switches made of concrete in the market. Kasza believes that concrete was the ideal material to craft this range because of its electrical insulating and non-flammable properties. Each piece in this series has a distinctive form, comprising bubbles and marks on its surface due to the moulding process.

Each piece by Sekhina has a distinctive form, comprising bubbles and marks on its surface

Photo Credit-Sekhina

Furthermore, the concrete switches and sockets made by Sekhina are environmentally sustainable. They are made of 25% cement and do not have any synthetic resins and contaminants. “Concrete switches and sockets had to exist already – or so we thought initially; it seemed such an obvious idea, but we couldn't find them anywhere. We thought they would look and feel fantastic, so we created them. You can now find the very first completely concrete cover of switches and sockets, made from only silicates – more sustainable and more beautiful," says Gábor Kasza, Founder of Sekhina.

The Fools’ Gold collection’s Bliss Console Table

FOOLS’ GOLD COLLECTION

The Fools’ Gold collection by famous furniture design brand Scarlet Splendour comprises a range of exquisite furniture pieces made of brass. This range is named Fools’ Gold to exhibit the visual appeal of brass, which is often confused for gold. Much like Martin Frobisher, the British seaman who visited Canada in the 16th century and mistook brass to be gold itself, this collection of spectacular brass furniture looks like it is made of gold. Moreover, the Fools’ Gold series is a celebration of traditional Indian metal craftsmanship and is also environmentally sustainable.

Scarlet Splendour’s Rapture Chair pictured with the Strings Cabinet Blue

Suman Kanodia and Ashish Bajoria, the founders of Scarlet Splendour have solely designed the whimsical Fools’ Gold Collection. It comprises decor tables, coffee tables and chairs made of brass. The range’s rich texture and colouring combine traditional techniques in pure brass with contemporary amorphous sculpting. The Fools’ Gold collection displays the founding duo’s determination to revive the dying heritage crafts of India. In addition, the pieces in this series showcase Scarlet Splendour’s distinctive workmanship and evoke a sense of magnificence and grandeur. This beautiful furniture range will add sparkle to the interior decoration of any home.