Umbra Goes Seriously Sustainable

icff 2008 header


Umbra has always been famous for promoting good design at affordable prices, and introduced Karim Rashid to the general public many years ago. That meant that Umbra sold a lot of plastic, and would not have been a prime candidate for a TreeHugger post. Not anymore; we have done a number of them recently, including one on their wonderful new showroom in Toronto, and quite a few of their products. That's because co-founder and CEO Les Mandelbaum says that sustainability is no longer an option in design, but a necessity.

They have changed a lot of their materials and production processes, no making their iconic Garbini wastebasket out of PLA, or corn plastic; the pulp bulletin board is made from newspaper, sustainable woods include bamboo and plantation woods, and packaging has been revamped to eliminate stryrofoam and PVC.

We caught up with Les at his display outside the entrance to ICFF and grabbed a brief interview, after the jump.

I apologize for the abrupt ending to the interview, but the camera ran out of batteries. ::Umbra at ICCF 2008