Sustainability. It is on everyone’s mind this year. Even the September issue of Vogue (UK only though) is dealing with this. At a commercial fair like Maison & Objet this is not so present. Not at all actually. The rumour is that the fair will have a full sustainable focus as a theme in January 2020 – but now – not very much.
I want to be clear – sustainability and tons of interior design products like you find at a fair – is a contradiction. I mean, who needs a new candleholder 2020? Or a new cutting board? Or a new pillow? Or even a new chair? But I am not adressing this.
What I really miss at this fair is communication.
There are plenty of sustainable design at Maison & Objet, but noone really communicates about this. Above for instance a lamp made at the Philippines. It is handmade and crafted, made of weeds growing in the mangroves. But there is no symbols of eco friendliness, or fairtrade, or anything at all. I met a lot of Scandinavian brands at M&O who does not at all talk about where and why their products are made. One example is poster brand Paper Collective printing their posters on FSC paper. Or Swedish Aveva making products of locally produced wool. Etc, etc, Thumbs up for sustainable and good products – but how should one know which products are good or bad?
I just got the numbers (today) from the organisation. There are 3 237 brands. If they don’t start labelling their things, I do understand that people are against over consumption.
In this ocean of stuff there are of course amazing and inspiring new stuff. Like this portable grill that works on solar reflections. Made by Solar Brother. I loved this.
Beautiful outdoor lamps that run on solar energy by French Maiori. And yes, I did see some crappy ones too, but this looks really nice.
An example of how non-existing communications. Here storage made of paper pulp for Ferm Living. Smart, sustainable and amazing. But I had to ask a person at the stand to realise this is part of their new collection.
A Portuguese example where they have used recycled cork in the carpets. They are called Sugo Cork Rugs.
Very, very, very few brands talk about how they aim to be better at sustainability. Do you remember perhaps a year or two back when brands wanted to talk for hours about the craftmanship and production? There were black and white pictures of men in aprons at workshops. Carpenters, blacksmiths, etc, etc. I would say we need to to the same story but about sustainability.
Wonderwall Studio impressed with interesting sustainable stories and also in communications. The Dutch company makes wall panels out of recycled wood. The dark wood are from tree trunks that have been under water for a long, long times.