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The London Design Festival 2021 returned to the design capital for its 19th edition, which took place from 18.-26 September 2021. The festival hosted over 200 events, exhibitions, and installations that could be found all over the metropole. The event aimed at providing design talents the chance to showcase their work and exchange with stakeholders. Essential to the festival were its numerous partner events of which one highlight was hosted by EDGE (ECO Design Green Environment), an organisation that promotes and connects sustainable and circular designers. EDGE invited not only sustainable interior designers, architects, and construction experts to engage in talks on London’s circular construction and design future, but also opened their showroom to the public to share the most exquisite circular and sustainable product innovations. 3 of which we think are a must-know.
Smile Plastics is a small company that recognized the “green” side of plastics. The company offers versatile plastic products ranging from panels and planks to Food Platters over Side Tables. However, all products share a common denominator: Products consist of 100% recycled post-industrial, commercial, and single-use consumer plastics that are little valued by the waste management industry and likely to end up in landfill or incineration. However, Smile Plastic’s use of these materials as source of innovative, high quality, handmade designs change the value of plastics. Besides, each product is unique and includes traces of its former life, such as texts and barcodes, to remind of the products origin and promote reusage. Indeed, At Smile Plastics, circularity is truly at heart. Their products are 100% recyclable, and the company offers its customers to refinish or repurpose their plastics or buy it back to follow a zero-waste production model. Smile Plastic shines with its modesty, while forcing others to rethink former misconceptions of plastic, thereby highlighting the real problem: Our current linear economic model.
Paint and colour are most crucial for successful interior design, determine the atmosphere of a room and can affect our mood. However, conventional painting products make it difficult for environmentally conscious individuals to feel good about their home and workplace. Many conventional painting products are oil based, which is non-renewable. Besides many products contain among other toxins, VOC’s (Volatile organic compounds) which have detrimental effects on the environment and human health . However, the company Old Fashioned Milk Paint offers furniture paint that is based on an ancient paint formula that is merely made out of milk protein, lime and natural earth, which renders it eco-friendly, non-toxic, VOC-free, food-safe and biodegradable. On top of that, the colours offered by Old Fashioned Milk Paint create a retro flair that is not only pleasing on an aesthetic but also an environmental level. Old Fashioned Milk Paint made clear that sometimes, true innovation is not about exploring the unknown, but about rediscovering the old.
The enticing concept of having a piece of nature at home has been explored by endless artists who represented nature in their artworks. However, the green innovation system company, Mobilane, took this concept a step further, by offering art made out of real plants for offices and homes. In the pursuit of transforming urban landscapes from co2 producers into co2 absorbers, Mobilane came up with systems, that are not just suited for interior design but also architecture and construction. These systems are ranging from green roofs over hedging screens to a living wall. In a nutshell, Mobilane’s innovation systems contribute to a greater biodiversity, purify the air, control heat, raise property values and foster healthy and attractive living spaces. In our eyes a must-have for all nature lovers.
This year’s London Design Festival was so longingly anticipated, by stakeholders of the design industry, of which many suffered the pandemics consequences. Fortunately, the festival did not disappoint. Exhibitions focusing on sustainability, as EDGE’s showroom, demonstrated the extent to which sustainable thinking has already advanced within the vast field of design. Eye-opening companies such as Smile Plastics, Old Fashioned Milk Paint and Mobilane represent the abundance and versatility of novel, innovative and alternative approaches. Approaches, that hopefully sparked creativity, proactivity, lust of change and recommencement, which seems so needed after a time characterized by constraint and seclusion.