Our focus at DanSmith.Design is to create environments that make the world a better place – through immersive, inclusive and sustainable design. In this post we are focussing on sustainable products, finishes, furniture and accessories.
Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimise waste, and create healthy, productive environments. – US GSA
If not managed carefully, the design and construction industry can be incredibly wasteful, but we are all becoming more aware of the impact we have on the planet... and this has filtered through into how we think about building, decorating and furnishing our homes and workplaces.
Foresso, based in Birmingham UK, are leading the way with a beautiful timber terrazzo – using waste material from the construction industry to create a sustainable material that can be used for furniture, worktops and finishes. By using 65% recycled waste material to create the product their aim is to not only create a material that reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill...but to also become a waste negative factory, consuming more waste than they produce.
When sourcing materials or furniture for a space, we look further than how it was made, but also how and where the factory is ran. Is it local, do they offset carbon created by deliveries, how do they dispose of waste and how do they treat their team? Companies like Foresso, who are transparent about all these elements of their company, are the perfect suppliers that we like to work with. – Dan Smith
Wherever possible we try to source materials from local companies and use local contractors - reducing the travel distance and carbon footprint. Some local contractors have also started to offset the carbon footprint of their travel by planting trees in sustainable projects through organisations such as Carbon Neutral Britain.
In 2019, a YouGov study of over 9000 consumers found that they were 67% more likely to choose a product or service from a business that is taking action on climate change and the environment. In 2020, a Neilsen study also found 66% of all consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. This figure is even higher for millennials (73%) and Gen Z (72%). – Carbon Neutral Britain
As we consciously cut down our use of plastic, some businesses have found ways to recycle some of the single use plastic already in circulation. Vescom's new range of upholstery fabrics are available in multiple colours and styles and are still soft and durable whilst being made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles. The fabric can be used to create seating, cushions or headboards.
The Linen Cupboard, in Yorkshire, provides bedding made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles, as well as Eco Duvets which are 'powered by environmentally friendly production with regards to the consumption of land, water and energy', reducing the carbon footprint by 80% to that of standard production.
Smile Plastics have also tackled the plastic crisis, and recycle would-be waste, such as discarded chopping boards, cosmetics bottles and yogurt pots into 100% recycled and recyclable hand-crafted sheet material that can be used in the home, commercial environments, art installations and furniture design.
Feeling good about our design choices, the products we surround ourselves with and considering the way in which they were made can have a profound impact on how we feel about any environment. As the world around is ever evolving, we must think about the sustainability and life-span of the products we use and how we chose to invest in our wellbeing.
If you're starting a new project – a home renovation or commercial project – get in touch with us to discuss how we can create you a space that is not only beautiful to look at, but also kinder to the environment.