More people than ever are following a vegetarian or vegan diet – but did you know that your home could be a plant-based paradise?
Under the banner of sustainability, there are now many new ways to finish and furnish interiors. And I don’t just mean feather-free pillows and soy wax candles.
This is the beginning of exotic-sounding innovation that often uses things that would otherwise be thrown away. This new move is on track to make some serious money: vegan ‘leather’ alone could be worth more than £65 billion by 2025.
Prepare to be surprised by the future of chemical-free, healthy (for both the planet and people) homes. . .
Michelle Ogundehin explores the future of chemical-free, healthy homes. Pictured: John Lewis’ vegan EcoMattresses
Forget feathers, which in China (where most of the down sold in the UK comes from) can be horribly plucked from live birds. Opt for vegan pillows and duvets.
The Fine Bedding Company makes vegan down comforters and pillows from recycled bottles packaged in sustainably sourced 233 thread count cotton (from £45, finebedding.co.uk).
John Lewis’s vegan EcoMattresses (pictured, from £599, johnlewis.com) use a soft polyester filling called EcoFlex, made from recycled plastic — more than 200 bottles line up in a king-size bed.
Cardiff-based studio Ty Syml harvests seaweed from Pembrokeshire beaches to make lampshades (pictured)
When you saw seaweed washing up on the beach, your first thought probably wasn’t that it could be a pretty fixture. Cardiff-based studio Ty Syml did, however. It harvests seaweed from the beaches of Pembrokeshire, dries it, grinds it into powder and combines it with waste paper. The result? A tough material to mold into lampshades (pictured, from £180, tysyml.com).
TEA BAGS COASTERS
Dust London dries out old tea bags and mixes them with a non-toxic binder before pouring them into molds to make household products
You could use old tea bags to fertilize your plants, but the designers at Dust London (dustlondon.co) have gone one step further. They dry out, mix and mix tea bags with a non-toxic binder before being poured into molds to make household products. These include coasters (from £28 for a set of four) and vases (pictured, from £79, both heals.com).
Italian manufacturer Econyl uses old fishing nets to recycle into a nylon fiber to make home carpets (photo)
Italian manufacturer Econyl uses old fishing nets — collected by volunteer divers or directly from fishing — to recycle into a nylon fiber to make home rugs. These are sold under the Sedna brand (shown, £35.49 per square metre, sedna-carpet.co.uk).
Office furniture maker Humanscale uses nearly two pounds of old netting in its Smart Ocean chair (£631.40, back2.co.uk).
SHELL JEWELRY BOXES
London design studio Newtab-22 grinds shells into powder, which, when mixed with sand and non-toxic binders, can be used for mirror stands (photo)
Polished concrete may be fashionable, but it is very environmentally unfriendly: cement is responsible for up to 8 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. But what if you could replace it with shells?
Seven million tons of seashells are thrown away every year by the fishing industry, much of which ends up in landfills or dumped into the sea, and they are rich in limestone, one of the main ingredients of concrete.
London design studio Newtab-22 crushes the shells into a powder, which, when mixed with sand and non-toxic binders, can be used for mirror stands (shown, £63), trays (£55) and jewelery boxes (£38) (newtab-22). 22.com).
British designer Atticus Durnell makes a material called That’s Caffeine by hand from waste coffee grounds, which is used to make household items, including a coffee table (pictured)
Did you know that 18 million tons of coffee grounds are generated worldwide every year? British designer Atticus Durnell makes a material called That’s Caffeine by hand from waste coffee grounds, binders, minerals and vegetable resin.
The resulting material is both water and heat resistant, comes in five colors and has a beautiful glossy finish.
A set of four coasters starts at £30, there’s a coffee table for £800 (pictured) and a floor lamp for £840 (atticusdurnell.com).
Small design studios like One Nine Eight Five of Hertfordshire recycle cotton to make interior pieces like throws (pictured)
Recycled cotton is all the rage in the fashion industry — but it’s also being used in textiles and interiors, thanks to small design studios like One Nine Eight Five of Hertfordshire.
The company was founded with the goal of creating beautiful pieces that ‘close the waste cycle without compromising on design’.
The result is throws (pictured, from £110, onenine-eightfive.co.uk) made from recycled cotton or wool from leftover clothing production.
They are broken down into fibers and re-spun into yarn, they are woven and finished by hand using traditional techniques in British factories.
Smile Plastics wants to make everyday waste beautiful with interior items made from discarded cutting boards, cosmetic bottles and yogurt jars
We know that as a society we use far more single-use plastic than we should, but Smile Plastics wants to make everyday waste beautiful with interior items made from discarded cutting boards, cosmetic bottles and yogurt jars.
Every item it produces carries a trace of the plastic’s origin – so you can glimpse foil from the original lids of yogurt jars or text and barcodes from plastic packaging.
The materials include a marble-like Dapple range. Items range from food platters (pictured, £46) to side tables (£250) (smile-plastics.com).