Image courtesy of Mohawk Group
The Abstract Artistry collection is produced in collaboration with ArtLifting, a platform to help artists struggling with housing insecurity or disabilities.

6 Products that Contribute to the Circular Economy

Dec. 6, 2022
From closed-loop manufacturing to supporting ethical labor laws and positively impacting communities, these manufacturers are making a difference in world around them.

Our industry is a dedicated one. The A&D world is continually finding new and innovative ways to not just lengthen the lifecycle of products, but also to make sure that loop stays closed so pieces continue to live on well beyond their original intent. That can take many forms and different methods of paying it forward around the circle, whether it’s through the innovative use of materials to lessen a product’s environmental footprint, supporting ethical labor laws or giving back to the community to positively impact people’s lives.

Regardless of how far-reaching a product’s impact is, if it contributes to the greater good in some way, we want to celebrate the manufacturer’s efforts because every small step can lead to meaningful change. Here’s a roundup of products that keep the circular economy moving in their own way.

Maya Romanoff

Stitched Vertical is one of a number of Maya Romanoff surfacing products from which a percentage of the sales goes to DIFFA’s Specify with Care program. Affiliates in this program help to make sure DIFFA has the resources to help HIV/AIDS organizations year-round. This is a hand-dyed paper embellished with tone-on-tone vertical stitching, designed by David Rockwell. It’s considered the next evolution of the Maya Romanoff Weathered Walls wallcovering that uses rich dyes to create striations of color to resemble lacquered leather.

mayaromanoff.com

Ethnicraft

With their hyper-focus on designing for circularity and their own vertical integration, Ethnicraft launched their Live Light program in 2020. This furniture rental service promotes the circular economy by giving subscribers access to high-quality design products at a monthly fee, maximizing the entire lifespan of a product: reuse, refurbish, recycle. The N701 sofa takes it a step further by featuring upholstery woven from recycled cotton from the fashion industry. The weaver’s commitment statement also reads that they are actively involved in using sustainable resources and respecting human rights and ethical labor rules.

ethnicraft.com

Mohawk Group

Durkan Hospitality continues its collaboration with ArtLifting through the Abstract Artistry collection. ArtLifting gives a platform to artists struggling with housing insecurity or disabilities and this line translates the work of two in particular (Eve Hennessa and Marc) into abstract carpet patterns. Featured here is one in Definity broadloom, a more sculpted option for public spaces and corridors. But the designs can also be applied to Durkan’s Pattern Perfect broadloom and tile, Precision Dye Injection (PDI) tile, tufted broadloom and hand-tufted area rugs.

mohawkgroup.com

Signify

Signify’s Lightolier 3D Printed Decorative High Bay luminaire is an integrated modular fixture with a built-in light engine. Users can maximize energy efficiency and connect the luminaire to lighting control systems for additional capabilities and savings. The luminaires are constructed with polycarbonate resin, which is 100% recyclable; they’re also printed without traditional mold and cast tools to minimize waste. At the end of the luminaires’ life, the resin can be shredded and reused to produce new luminaires. They are 3D printed, which shortens the manufacturing process from six to nine months to just six to eight weeks. The luminaires also have a drastically lower carbon footprint than comparable luminaires because they’re made from a single material, are lightweight and have fewer and less complex components.

signify.com/en-us

nanimarquina

Re-Rug gives new life to leftover wool that may never have found one. The rugs are hand-loomed, utilizing 50% virgin wool and 50% reused wool accumulated by nanimarquina suppliers. Each uses 1kg/m2 of reprocessed wool to be exact, helping to reduce not just what was unmanaged waste, but also CO2 emissions. This also produces colors and tones that are beautifully unpredictable, as they are mostly out of the producer’s control. There are both colored and black and white options as the yarn is made by hand from the recycled fiber created by manually shredding the original yarns into small pieces before being mechanically opened and transformed back into said fiber.

nanimarquina.com

Loll Designs

Made from partially recycled HDPE plastic and stainless-steel fasteners (as all Loll Designs products are), the entire Alfresco Bar and Counter Collection of two table heights and coordinating chairs in nine colors can be recycled to become new Loll furniture. Users can replace parts if needed instead of having to replace the whole product. The fasteners used to assemble the furniture are also 100% recyclable, along with about 99% of Loll packaging. All this intentional circularity is in line with the company’s overall goal of responsible environmental stewardship—production is designed to generate as little waste as possible and the company even redirects the heat generated from its CNC machines to heat its Duluth, Minnesota design/manufacturing facility during the cold winter months.

lolldesigns.com

About the Author

AnnMarie Martin | Editor-in-Chief

AnnMarie has been covering the commercial design space since 2005 and has been on the editorial staff at i+s since 2011. Her style and vision has helped the brand evolve into a thought leader in purpose-driven design and cultural movements shaping the way we live and work. She returned to the role of editor in chief at the start of 2023 and her journalism and fiction writing background have helped to craft bi-monthly issues that don’t just report the latest industry news, but tell a cohesive tale of some of the biggest topics facing designers today.

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