The design community has become increasingly focused on sustainability in recent years. Those in the creative disciplines are thinking beyond conceptual ideas and aspirations of greener, more eco-friendly products and are now actively seeking out ways to make their designs kinder to our planet.
Sustainability was a major trend in the recent Milan Design Fair and it looks set to be a highlight of this year’s New Designers showcase. Our Exhibitor Survey shows that 72% of New Designers participants consider sustainability in their own design practices, with 56% agreeing that design is the most important tool we have to tackle the environmental crisis.
With last year’s emerging creatives displaying everything from coffee cup holders made out of used coffee beans to an appliance that filters cooking oils to make soap, this year’s design event is set to present a new crop of environmentally-friendly designers with green products and projects. Here are some of our predicted highlights:
Protecting our oceans
Designer Fergus Vaux of Nottingham Trent University will present his Turtle bag, which is the result of looking at creative and useful ways to remove plastic waste from our oceans. The durable, functional bag is made out of more than 90% reclaimed ocean nylon, repurposing recycled nylon fishing nets that make up some of the 640,000 tons of marine debris estimated to be in the world’s seas.
University of Brighton student Catarina Abend is also focusing on sea sustainability, creating tiles made from mussel shell waste as part of a project to highlight the waste generated by the restaurant industry.
An end to fast fashion
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing not only the design industry, but the entire planet. With the production of plastic leaping from 1.5 million tons in 1950 to more than 320 tons in 2016, the problem is growing with an expanding population. Emerging textile designer John Oliver from Hereford College of Arts addresses this in his work, with a vision to create an ethical fashion brand with innovative and sustainable materials. Using biodegradable, renewable merino wool, he plays with form a function in his knitted collection that explores themes of protection and defence as a reaction to climate change.
Niamh Pascale of NTU Design Industries is also focusing on the fashion industry, repurposing denim waste to create home furnishings in a bid to raise awareness of fast fashion and the damage it does to our planet.
Sustainability at One Year In
Our One Year In designers are similarly focused on sustainability in the creative world, with a number of forward-thinking products on display this year.
The coffee industry is under the spotlight in Atticus Durnell’s That’s Caffeine project, which uses coffee-related waste to create furniture and homeware products. Meanwhile, Darragh McKeogh is presenting his environmentally-conscious light switch that encourages users to consider their use of electricity and reduce energy waste, Alysa Freeman is using compressed unwanted newspaper to create modern jewellery pieces and Adam Davies is showcasing bio-materials in his lighting collection.
Explore sustainability and more at New Designers 2019
New Designer 2019 is clearly a show passionate about the environment, with many of our exhibitors having a strong opinion on the state of the planet and how design can impact it:
“All design needs to tackle the environmental issues, down to packaging and pricing”
“We have a powerful platform to portray certain opinions”
“Well designed sustainable substitutes will more easily convince consumers to change habits”
Sustainability is just one of the many themes this year’s crop of talent will be exploring at New Designers. Buy your ticket to experience fresh ideas and inspiration and engage with the next generation of designers and makers.