Grand Designs' Green Heroes Honoured

eco force photo

Image from EcoForce

Grand Designs, the t.v. house make-over series, has had a good track record of featuring green and ecological houses on the show and in their magazine. This year Kevin McCloud, the star, architect, and presenter of the popular series has chosen what he considers to be the best green entrepreneurs in the world of home design.

McCloud wanted to chose some fun and interesting products that he thought should get more exposure. How about upholstery made of nettles, chairs made from bank notes and yoghurt containers, cardboard furniture and bath cleaners made from recycled plastic...

nettle fabric photo

Image from Camira

McCloud is optimistic about the future for green entrepreneurs and products. He says that ten years ago there was nothing to offer and we are now seeing the big changes and exciting developments in the field; with more to come.

Now back to the upholstery fabric made from nettles. Apparently during WW1 the Germans were running out of cotton so they developed a new material made out of nettles, which were abundant, for their uniforms. The people from Camira, a Yorkshire company, looked into it and took four years to develop the sustainable and environmental fabric. Made of 75% wool and 25% nettle, it is renewable and compostable and uses a plant that grows everywhere in Britain.

Sheep's wool insulation made from sheep in Wales is a long lasting and ecological alternative. According to Black Mountain Insulation, the higher the hill, the better the sheep's wool because it is thicker. This is the first company in the UK and Ireland with a dedicated factory making sheep wool insulation.

Other winners are Giles Miller's cardboard furniture, first seen in 2006 during London Design Festival. Parans Solar Lighting is famous in Sweden, and uses fibre-optic cable to bring natural light inside. Heat Saver Thermal Shades are insulated blinds that control the heat coming in.

moore chair photo

Image from Smile Plastics

Who could resist these jolly looking tables, chairs and work tops by Smile Plastics, made from recycled goods found in the garbage: old yoghurt containers, charcoal, CD's and money.

dusters ecoforce photo

Image from EcoForce

Give a cheer for EcoForce, who make common, everyday household items like clothes pins, kitchen sponges, and dusters from recycled plastic. Its founder put it best: "It seems ludicrous to me that so many products are manufactured from virgin materials, at great cost to our environment, when in so many instances it is entirely unnecessary."

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