Best of TH: Sustainable Designers, Part II


Round Two of our discourse on the best of sustainable designers is a study in variety: of materials, philosophies, ideas and designs. One of TreeHugger's goals is to showcase all the different ways that great design can merge with sustainable practices to create a greener lifestyle for you, the reader, and for the planet as well. From furniture to fashion to wallcoverings and workspaces, sustainable design is all around us; we can barely turn around without running into another great example. So without further ado, today we present Anthony Cochran and Helen Quinn, Linda Loudermilk, Jaime Salm and Christopher Douglas. Read on to learn who they are and why they made the list, and don't forget to check in with the rest of the best in sustainable design.

Design Director Anthony Cochran (on the left, with Q Collection co-founder Jesse Johnson) and Senior Designer Helen Quinn have created some of the sexiest, most sustainable furniture we have ever seen; Anthony handles most of the furniture itself, while Helen typically works more closely with fabrics. Their primary goal is the elimination of toxic chemicals, carcinogens and the leading components of poor indoor air quality; to do so, they make extensive use of an impressive list of TH-friendly materials: sustainably-harvested woods and veneers, water-based, low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) stains and topcoats, water-based, zero VOC paints, natural latex, polyurethane-free foam, fully-biodegradable fabrics using dyes without carcinogenic materials, reproductive or developmental toxins, mutagens and endocrine disrupters -- the list goes on and on. We just can't get enough of their simple yet striking designs, and we aren't the only ones: they've been recognized by the New York Times, CNN, Time Magazine, Interior Design, Departures, Oprah at Home, Elle D├ęcor, Town & Country, Village Voice, Organic Style, Wall Street Journal and many more as a leader in sustainable design. ::Q Collection
Linda Loudermilk blends the best of couture with environmentally and socially responsible fabrics such as bamboo, soy, organic cotton, silk, and hemps. She is continually influencing the fashion world with her eco-ethos, having presented her collections at big-time fashion shows like Olympus Fashion Week, strengthening her eco-commitments along the way. Each season, Loudermilk creates a theme that she features on t-shirts. For Spring '06, she states "Water is a human right," partnering with water philanthropists Ethos, with 100% of the profits going to Global Green's water initiative. Linda is also spreading the good word through celebrity power: Jennifer Beals, Jane Fonda and Roseanna Arquette are among the Hollywood fashion divas stepping out in Loudermilk. And Debra Messing, who wears Loudermilk regularly on Will and Grace, flaunted a Loudermilk design on the cover of a TV Guide honoring her as the "Best Dressed Woman on TV." ::Linda Loudermilk
Jaime Salm (pictured with brother and MIOculture business partner Isaac) is perhaps best known for his 3-D Wallpaper, but he's got some other pretty neat tricks up his sleeve. His work stems from a philosophy he calls "Responsible Desire," based on the idea that design is sustainable and desireable. By delivering products that jive with the prevailing "cool-driven" culture and economy, MIOculture can address both needs and wants from a design and sustainability angle. The Light Capsule and Bale Chair are great examples of the fun, easy-going approach to careful, sustainable design. ::MIOculture
Christopher Douglas is a man of many talents. The owner/designer of Material Furniture is a graphic designer and rock drummer along with unique furniture designer, and his collection of Knock-Down/Drag-Out chairs and tables have made him celebrated among urbanites and college students alike. FSC-certified wood and styrofoam-free packaging insures all products are responsible from start to finish, and his products have more versatility than simply coming apart for ease of moving. His Autopilot Workstation is a study in workplace simplicity and efficiency, and the unique Flipper screen (pictured) can be used as a shelf as well as a room divider. Eye-catching design, efficient use of materials, and smart, minimal packaging make Douglas one of the more relevant, thoughtful designers working today. ::Material Furniture