Follow your Eco-Conscience – trends in sustainable living

With so much focus on sustainable interiors across the design industry, it's finally easier than ever to buy more consciously for our homes

Sustainable living is hot, hot, hot, if this year’s new launches are anything to go by. The HOMI 2020 interiors fair in Milan, Maison & Objet in Paris and Stockholm Design Week 2020 have all been abuzz with innovative eco-friendly concepts, recycled products, biodegradable designs and stylish takes on natural materials. And the ideas are already spilling over into the high-street.

Both H&M’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection and Habitat’s Spring/Summer collection heavily feature natural materials, with cane and rattan being the hero material. Meanwhile French Connection have added to their sustainable offering to include woven rugs that are made entirely with recycled plastic bottles, while Heal’s has launched a 100% recycled sofa – along with cushions made entirely from plastic bottles. We’ve even seen new launches in sustainable wood flooring, plus smart, energy-saving washing machines.

Whichever way you look at it, there’s no denying that sustainable and eco-conscious design is a hot topic right now. And with the new decade kicking off with sustainability in the spotlight, it’s no surprise that rattan, cane, and other natural materials are hotter than ever for home interiors, with previews of 2020 lines indicate there’s much more to come. But this new shift of focus on sustainability is more than an interiors trend – it’s set to become a way of life.

Alex Michaelis, co-founder of Michaelis Boyd Architects comments on the rising trend for sustainable design: ‘In 2020 I anticipate that interior design, and design in general will be heavily influenced by sustainability and climate change. It is more important than ever to know the materials we’re using are sourced sustainably and ethically. Importance needs to be placed on designing with real consideration for the next generations.’

Interior designer Harriet Anstruther agrees, adding that 2020 will see a big rise in people upcycling, repairing and personalising their home accessories. ‘This year there is a big focus on sustainability and reducing our waste, and this is one of the ways it will translate into the home. As a society and planet we need to do more of make do and mend. Upcycling has of course been going on forever, but perhaps more people will want to learn the skills required and workshops will become more of a desire in domestic projects.’

Read Also: What’s hot: all the interior trends for 2020

With so much focus on sustainability across the design industry, it’s finally easier than ever to buy more consciously for our homes. Here are 8 brand new eco-friendly launches we’re excited about…

1. RECYCLED RUGS

Ligne Roset is proving that one person’s trash really is another’s treasure with the launch of its All the Way rugs and runners. In a palette we’re calling ‘soft candy’, each one feature strips of cork woven with T-shirt and swimsuit offcuts from the Portuguese garment industry to make 100 per cent recycled designs. And they’re not the only ones at it; Jennifer Manners’ /re/PURPOSE collection utilises discarded polyethylene with the added benefits of the rugs being more durable and stain-resistant. Top marks all round.

All the Way runner, £867; Roll desk, £769; Perluette chair, £297, ligne-roset.com

2. BANANA FIBRE

AKA Manila hemp – a fully biodegradable textile made from the Abaca plant. See it for yourself at QWSTION, the Swiss brand making commuter-friendly backpacks from its self-devised Bananatex material, and at Pinch – maker of the prettiest pendant and table lights (pictured) in this eco-friendly fabric.

3. DO-GOOD DESIGN

‘Conscious consumption’ gets a literal twist with the launch of Grace Souky’s Nourish bowls; for every one sold,  the designer’s chosen charity, LATAM Freedom & Development Foundation, provides two-weeks’ worth of meals for a Venezuelan child in need. Now that’s what we call food for thought

Grace Souky’s Nourish bowls

4. THE INNOVATION

Love your log-burner but worry about the CO2 contribution? Patricia Urquiola’s Wall stove for MCZ is pellet-burning, ensuring low emissions for an equally clean eco-conscience. Proving ‘eco’ doesn’t mean ‘ugly’, its sleek shape cleverly hides unsightly grilles and handles.

From £3,766, from mcz.it

5. CONSCIOUS HIGH-STREET

There’s been no rise quite like that of the high-street home department in recent times. Once a mere retail afterthought offering bedspreads and bath towels en route to the checkout, the big brands like Zara and French Connection are turning out increasingly covetable homeware lines – some now presented in stand-alone stores – to reel in the crowds.

H&M Home, meanwhile, is not just fast-tracking footfall by way of designer collaborations (think Jonathan Adler et al), but through beautiful, timeless pieces that defy what you might expect for their price tags. Take its new line of acacia wood and rattan furniture, part of the brand’s ‘conscious’ offering, fully FSC-certified and likely to be met with cries of ‘I can’t believe it’s high street’.

Wooden folding chairs, £79.99 each, hm.com/home

Read Also: New dedicated H&M Home Store now open on London’s Regent Street

6. HIGH-STREET HERO

‘Global craft meets modern British design’ is the strapline for the SS20 collection from Habitat – and the result is a cross-continental melting pot fusing Indian-feel textiles with pieces inspired by Vietnamese rattan workshops and the ceramics gardens of Thailand. Pushed to pick just one piece, our money’s on the Otton shade with its natural fibres, statement silhouette and easy-fit installation for the DIY dunce.

Otton natural easy-fit shade, £130, from habitat.co.uk

7. NATURAL HIGH

Designer Ilse Crawford and Spanish brand Nanimarquina are launching a collection made from entirely natural, locally sourced fibres, including Afghan wool, hemp, seagrass and raw cotton, with each piece geared towards achieving a feel-good home full of warmth and tactility. Expect a wall hanging, throw, rugs, cushions and, yes, a hammock – because wellbeing should always encompass putting your feet up at the end of a long, hard day.

Chubi hand-knotted rug, from £960; Tapestry wall hanging, £1,380, from woven.co.uk

8. MATERIAL MATTERS

Found across all the fan favourites from its autumn collection, French Connection Home is dropping a fresh batch of cane-clad offerings for spring. Cute and undeniably chic, make room for this lamp on your desktop.

Table lamp, £95, from frenchconnection.com

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