Four technologies tackling the problem of plastic pollution in rivers

Most ocean plastic starts off in rivers. From bubble curtains to googly-eyed trash wheels, here are four technologies designed to intercept river plastic before it gets to the sea. Last month The Ocean Cleanup turned its attention to river plastic and launched the Interceptor, a floating device it claims can harvest up to 100,000 kilograms […]

Enis Akiev makes marbled tiles from post-consumer plastic waste

Kazakhstani designer Enis Akiev has developed a method for turning single-use plastic packaging into tiles, by emulating the organic process of rock formation. Metamorphic rocks such as marble develop their flowing, irregular patterns through heat and pressure, and Akiev’s Plastic Stone Tiles are subjected to similar conditions to achieve the same effect. “First, I collect […]

Ecosystem Kickstarter is a cardboard structure that fights soil erosion

Dutch designer Thom Bindels has developed Ecosystem Kickstarter, a honeycomb-shaped cardboard frame that can help small-scale farmers grow crops in degraded soil. The simple, modular, cardboard system, which was first presented at Dutch Design Week, is embedded in a slope of degraded earth and filled with local soil. This forms a terracing structure to prevent […]

Prada becomes first luxury brand to sign loan tied to sustainability targets

Prada has signed a £42.9 million loan with banking group Crédit Agricole, with repayment terms conditional to meeting key targets around the sustainability of its products and operations. According to Prada – which also owns subsidiary brand Miu Miu – this marks the first time that a luxury brand has procured a sustainability-linked loan. In […]

Spira countertop bioreactor allows users to grow their own algae for food

Individuals could cut their greenhouse-gas emissions by replacing meals with algae grown at home using the countertop Spira device by recent design graduate Rob Russell. Spira is a photobioreactor, which means it uses light to cultivate microorganisms – in this case, spirulina, a nutrient-dense algae. Spirulina is so rich in protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants […]

Benjamin Benmoyal makes garments from recycled cassette tapes

Central Saint Martins fashion student Benjamin Benmoyal drew on his years in the Israeli army to design this collection of “utopian” garments, hand-woven from fabrics made of recycled cassette tapes. The fashion collection, called It Was Better Tomorrow, comprises a range of structural garments patterned with colourful stripes and complete with boxy wigs, all boasting […]

The Ocean Cleanup launches system to catch plastic waste in rivers

Dutch non-profit The Ocean Cleanup has launched the Interceptor, an autonomous system for collecting plastic pollution from rivers before it reaches the sea. The organisation said the solar-powered system would augment its ongoing efforts to remove marine plastic waste from the oceans. “To truly rid the oceans of plastic, we need to both clean up […]

Chiara Tommencioni Pisapia uses moths to transform unwanted clothing into “precious” bio-waste material

Central Saint Martins graduate Chiara Tommencioni Pisapia has proposed a method for improving the textile recycling process by using moths to break down the natural fibres in discarded clothing. Pisapia, who says she is “interested in sustainability related to fashion, textile recycling, bio-design and the circular economy“, wanted to find a more efficient way to […]

Actiu HQ first industrial building to be both LEED Platinum and WELL v2 certified

Dezeen promotion: office furniture manufacturer Actiu’s headquarters has obtained both the WELL v2 and LEED Platinum certifications, the first industrial building in the world to achieve both. Situated in Castalla, Alicante, Actiu‘s headquarters, called the Technology Park, has become the fifth complex in the world to receive the WELL v2 certification for well-being. This award accredits […]

Sumo seaweed-fibre nappies offer healthy and sustainable alternative

ÉCAL graduate Luisa Kahlfeldt has designed a new diaper that is more sustainable than even other reusable cloth nappies — an innovation for which she won the Swiss James Dyson Award. Kahlfeldt‘s Sumo nappies are made entirely of a fabric called SeaCell, composed of seaweed and eucalyptus. The textile is antibacterial and antioxidant-rich, so it […]

Daisy Newdick makes coffee from dandelions to promote biodiversity

Central Saint Martins graduate designer Daisy Newdick has created an alternative to coffee using the roots of the dandelion plant. Called Make Weeds Great Again, Newdick’s project aims to highlight the overlooked qualities of the common dandelion plant, which is often seen as an “unsightly weed that spoils the nation’s lawns”. After discovering that, in […]

“To end plastic pollution, we first need to eliminate language pollution”

Designers’ efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their products are being hampered by confusion over terminology and rampant greenwashing, writes Marcus Fairs. Greenwashing is back. As concern about climate change, pollution, habitat destruction and species extinction rises, so too are spurious claims about saving the planet. Terms like “sustainable”, “biodegradable”, “compostable” and “circular” increasingly […]

Nendo designs N02 Recycle chair from household plastic waste for Fritz Hansen

Japanese studio Nendo has created a collection of stackable chairs from recycled household plastics, which take design cues from a folded sheet of paper. Designed for Danish furniture brand Republic of Fritz Hansen, the shell of the N02 Recycle chair is made from recycled polypropylene. The chair is Fritz Hansen’s first move towards creating a […]

MIT researchers develop emissions-free cement production process

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have demonstrated an experimental way of manufacturing cement that releases no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Currently, the production of cement for concrete accounts for about eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, leading to calls for architects to stop using it. However MIT‘s materials scientists are exploring […]

Flokk designs its most sustainable chair to date from recycled materials

Dezeen promotion: Furniture manufacturer Flokk, owner of the Swedish brand RH, has released its most sustainable task chair to date – the RH New Logic, which has been made from recycled aluminium, plastic and steel. Designed in collaboration with Norwegian designers Jonas Stokke and Øystein Austad, the RH New Logic chair is an updated version […]

Vin + Omi creates fashion collection from Prince Charles’ stinging nettles

Nettles taken from Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate were transformed into a collection of garments by sustainable design duo Vin + Omi, for a London Fashion Week show. The fashion collection was showcased as part of Vin + Omi’s Sting project, which has seen the duo develop 20 textiles and processes using stinging nettles since 2004. […]

Dexter and Byron Peart launch Goodee shop for “conscious consumers and impact-minded makers”

Montreal brothers Byron and Dexter Peart have launched a marketplace for products framed on “good people, good design and good impact”. Here they choose five that represent this vision. Billed as a marketplace “where good design meets good purpose”, Goodee is intended to enable makers and consumers to champion social impact, as the duo collates […]

Carlo Ratti’s orange squeezer serves juice in bioplastic cups made from the peel

Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati has developed a circular orange juice bar that turns the waste fruit peel into 3D-printed bioplastic cups to drink the contents from. Created for global energy company Eni, Feel the Peel is a prototype orange-squeezing machine that aims to bring circular design into everyday life. The 3.10-metre-tall experimental juice bar […]

X Shore electric boats designed for emission-free sea travel

Engine noise, fumes and carbon emissions are all nonexistent with X Shore, one of the first electric boat-makers to target the consumer market. The Swedish company manufactures all-electric boats, emphasising that the “power of silence” and lack of smell facilitates a deeper connection to nature. X Shore launched its first boat model, the Eelex 6500, […]

Designs from Ro Plastic Prize to be exhibited during London Design Festival

Dezeen promotion: sustainable designs from Rossana Orlandi‘s Ro Plastic Prize competition will be exhibited at Istituto Marangoni London as part of this year’s London Design Festival. The works of winning designer Alexander Schul and other emerging creatives will be displayed at the exhibition, alongside pieces by renowned Italian architect Piero Lissoni and contemporary designer James Shaw. […]

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