As an interior designer, I have the power in my hand to change things. I have the ability to choose products that will suit my clients, but also I can choose whether I will go for a cheap carpet based on my aesthetical view or I can choose a sustainable product that will help the planet. These days, more and more product designers and manufacturer companies are looking into better technologies and source materials that are eco and don’t contribute into destroying our planet. Also, that these products can be sourced from a fair-trade and doesn’t involve a child labour or animal suffering.
However, I still see a production of many cheap products and only that matter is how much profit is the company make. Cheap labour, not properly checked the source that often involves either human or animal suffering but also products that contain un-recyclable parts and emission of very nasty stuff and pollution.
There are 2 types of designers, those who care and those who markings of profit is more important than the source. I have personally met both on multiple occasions. This is a serious problem when it comes to commercial interior design. Just imagine, a company is moving into a new office, there is already laid a cheap carpet made of un-recyclable parts. The carpet gets ripped off and taken by removal company and stuck somewhere to emit nasty things. Then a new company is moving into their new office and they hire a designer. The designer has a pretty good deal with the carpet and furniture maker, so push the sale of the products to the company who pay for it. Their new huge office gets flooring that is cheap and again un-recyclable because none one cares. The company moves in, stay within their leasing period of 5 years, and then move to another building. The circle starts again.
Knowledge is the key to success.
|Natural eco timber floor image source|
Of course, an above is just an example of what is happening in large percentage in city big cities not only the UK but around the world. I must admit, I was lucky. When I worked as a commercial designer for an office interior we had the freedom of choosing what we wanted, while some companies are only allowed to work with a certain brands (again big profit for a design company CEO). We once got an award, and I wrote a 2 pages report of how we are sourcing our products based not only on sustainable products but also on many aspects and test to ensure the products is not only a good quality but have a decent background and most of all are recyclable.
When it comes to the domestic interior, these days the option for choosing an eco and recyclable products are much better. First of all, the product doesn't require as many tests and it doesn't have to be as durable as commercial products. This means to manufacture and designers can actually choose materials that are more eco-friendly.
I have mentioned the flooring on a purpose as this is my subject today. This is a product that often just get’s thrown away once is used, unless recycled wood panels of course. I want to show you few examples of flooring carpets and rugs that you can choose, that are eco-friendly and recyclable so not only myself as an designer have the power, you can have it too. Knowledge is the key to success.
You will be surprised to know that 100% cork floor is water resistant due to advanced coating technologies! What I love about cork flooring, is that no tree is cut to made this beautiful floor and it’s the perfect renewable, eco-friendly and sustainable floor solution. I am little in love with white cork flooring that you can find it for example from the Floormaker. I see more and more use of cork flooring at homes and I think’s it’s a great solution for any vinyl floor and cut around £18m2 but having cork flooring you know this is pretty much eco investment.
|Cork Eco floor image source|
bamboo and eucalyptus flooring
We all know, that natural flooring is recyclable but if floor panels are poorly made or the wood is not strong enough it can get damage over years (well, some of us adore the distressed look so not so bad). If you are after a beautiful grain but something more solid, yet recyclable then eucalyptus flooring like this it’s your shout. It has a very unusual grain that definitely it will be a feature to every home. Another huge aspect, alike an actual tree that grows for 20 years to be ready to harvest the bamboo flooring takes to 3-5 yeas and eucalyptus only a year to grow 6-12 feet. Also you don’t cut from roots, which means it can still regrow! Of course same as hardwood, both are fully recyclable.
|Eucalyptus floor image Local Milk blog|
natural rugs & carpets
This is probably an obvious choice, but these days many rugs are offered as eco fibre which many people mislead and actually it is a plastic fibre ( polypropylene) rugs. It can easily melt so it's recyclable but it's not always the case. I would urge to just make a little research and check for natural products like 100% wool and hemp or sisal-like these below you can find in Modern Rugs., the company have a huge choice eco rugs and their colour spectrum. You can find any style, size and texture. Eco is trendy and finding a product that not only just looks amazing but also can tick all sustainable boxes-one word-winner.
|Polyperyne rug from Modern Rugs|
|100% wool and cotton rug from Modern Rugs|
|Sisal rug with cotton border -Modern Rugs|
Concrete is a natural material and perhaps I don’t need to convince you in that. It's easy to care and is highly durable. Recently, with industrial trend polished concrete flooring became more popular. If you decided to use existing concrete slabs, with just sanding them down plus polish, no need of using any new materials unless you go for this really cool sisal rug. You can also add an extra touch with stencilling for example and applying any pattern! One day, this will be my flooring!
|Concrete floor example imge Coco Lapine Design|
|white concrete floor with eco rug|
I wanted to write this post and show you the difference and same urge you to pause and re-thing of products you are choosing. We all want beautiful and trendy products right? Who doesn’t! But, are all these products comes from a source that is not harmful to earth or a human being? Is this product recyclable? Sometimes, it’s really worth to think of this aspect, especially if you are interior designer or stylist. You have the power in your hand, use it! Don’t just choose a product because, the colour match or the supplier offer free delivery. I know, it’s your marking and profit and cheaper products mean happier customer, but sometimes it’s worth to just read the label, or check the extra info on the page if contain a sustainability info.
|white timber floor|