New Consumer asks: Is Eco-Furniture Going Mainstream?


The other day we took some flak for showing a design students concept of a folding bike. And while we agree it can be frustrating seeing ideas, not actual products, we firmly believe supporting fledgling designers who show a bent towards eco-design can only be a positive thing. A thought echoed by South African designer Ryan Frank, commenting on the state of furniture in the current issue of the UK's New Consumer magazine, "You can see the design graduates coming up now using reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials,' says Frank. 'They have a better education about such issues now and know they're important. But consumers will have to be more demanding if the benefits of eco-friendly furniture are going to be seen beyond just small batch production." However, David Colwell, founder of eco-furniture company Trannon says, "Conceptual sustainable furniture is important to get the message across, [...] but it could be so much better." He suggests that designers should also be striving for works which are sustainable, sexy and inviting, give long service, and "minimise the desire for a rapid turnover of styles." In short, classics. Though he does concede the high price of designer eco-furniture is holding back its broader uptake. A concern we are well familiar with here at TH. [In a related New Consumer piece you can read of Kresse Wesling, a young Canadian, selling furniture made from salvaged fire hose. A stool goes for £600 (~$1175 USD).]The first article explores further the issues in taking eco-furniture mainstream. ::New Consumer on Eco Furniture.

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