Once upon a time, the choice was between a sustainable item or a fashionable one. The two were mutually exclusive. If a stylish item happened to be sustainable, it was purely coincidental; but no more!
As the demand for sustainable options has grown, so have the number of great design minds applying themselves to service that need. Today we’re spoiled for sustainable brands in every area of interior design. So much so that we’re at a tipping point: the question we should be asking our suppliers and designers is why they might have chosen a non-sustainable option?
To illustrate the point, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite brands from across a range of common interior design solutions that have a specifically high-end finish. Samples from each of these suppliers are amazing. We hope they inspire you too, to seek out the sustainable options that are out there for you. And be prepared, because if you don’t go sustainable, sooner or later, someone is going to ask: why not?
FLOORING – TILES: Lithoverde from Salvatori
Stone-finished areas can give great texture, warmth and class to a design, but quarrying and shipping is invariably damaging and no matter how good your intentions are, there is always waste (you literally have to over order, otherwise you’ll run out and will never quite be able to match the colour… The danger of literally unique finishes.)
Enter Salvatori with their Lithoverde range of recycled stone off-cuts. By combining the discards of other projects with a natural resin, they create “planks” of stone in a range of (natural) colours. But this isn’t terrazzo; the finished product is practically indistinguishable from the stone product it’s made from. You’re just not letting offcuts go to waste!
Lithoverde is even certified by the US Green Building Council, meaning that by using it you can contribute positively to your LEED rating.
FLOORING, BATHROOMS & FURNITURE: Indigenous
Based out of too picturesque Oxfordshire is Indigenous, a company very consciously inspired by traditional European materials and techniques.
They’ll do a resin wet room like Salvatori and a hardwood floor or work-surface like Wood & Beyond, but these are not their specialities. What I love Indigenous for is the breadth of their range, all high-quality, all created with an eye to sustainable practices but assembled with a magpie-like curation that makes their range simultaneously on trend and very personal.
Check them out! Where else will you find both a stone chaise longue and a reclaimed teak table?
FLOORING – WOOD: Wood & Beyond
Good hardwood floors will never go out of style. We recently visited with these guys at the Surface Design Show here in London, and safe to say their products are as beautiful in person as in the pictures.
Responsibly sourced direct from sawmills and manufacturers all over the world for the best quality and price, if you’re set on a hardwood floor there is no reason for that floor not to be both gorgeous and sustainable.
WALLPAPER: Back to the Wall
You may recognise these guys from our post on 2019 trends, but they are gorgeously bringing whole-wall maximalism to your interiors.
Their reliance on sustainable fabrics, textiles, inks and dyes are a great plus, heightening what are already scene-stealingly beautiful designs.
FURNITURE – STEAM-BENT WOOD: Tom Raffield
Tom Raffield has a way with wood. I adore the shapes and lines he manages to coax from these all natural products, which all scream high-end by the time he’s done with them.
LIGHTING – BIOPHILE STYLE: Flow & Chaos
Let’s coin the phrase now: this is biostyle at its very best.
I love the current trend for biophilia and am always looking for new and original ways to incorporate plants and life into my designs, so it’s no wonder I am in love with work Danielle Trofe has been doing with her lighting brand: Flow & Chaos.
The range of “biofabricated” pendants and lamps are beautiful and unique; their soft, spongey forms are grown and just beg to be stroked and touched. I love the seeing people’s reaction and pleasure in these lights.
FEATURE WALLS: Freund GmbH
Another entry in the biophilia category for me are the amazing team at Freund in Germany. What a way to bring more life indoors than with a living wall; they’re not just for offices and malls, especially if you’re dealing with an inner-city space with more wallspace than floorspace for plants.
They also do a great range of natural claddings, suitable for both in and outdoor use.
DECORATION – PRINTS & TEXTILES: One Nine Eight Five
One Nine Eight Five is high-end accessorising done right. The finishes are all high-quality, the processes are all sustainable, and yet the products are available only through Heal’s here in London (as well as online), which for anyone who knows Heal’s knows that these are the uppercrust of tasteful accessories.
It may seem like a small and inconsequential thing, but this is another sign that, unless you’re actively trying to be unsustainable there’s no reason to be.
DECORATION – LEATHER: Studioart
Outside of furniture, leather is an often overlooked option in interior design. Studioart is another Italian brand on our list and these guys really do demand your attention.
Their variety of wall options play with textures, colours, shape and light in ways that a printed wallpaper can’t, and of course, it’s incredibly tactile and luxurious.
Their processes are also all eco-friendly, with re-used and recycled water waste and responsible sourcing of their materials from local suppliers.
LINENS: Oliveri Home
When it comes to traditional beddings and linen Oliveri are an exceptional option.
Of course, I’ll never stop encouraging you to at least try a tencel alternative. Seriously, we’ve been using our tencel sheets for over 6 months now and they remain one of the greatest purchases I’ve ever made! But, if you’re determined to go with a more traditional option, you can’t do better than the linen produced by the Tuscan designers at Oliveri Home.
Their emphasis on sustainable production married to traditional methods results in the most sumptuous (and responsible) linen anywhere in the world.
Aniza make beautiful textiles and they it in a beautiful way.
By empowering women all over Mexico – who might otherwise struggle to make a living – to create fabrics using products and techniques native to their area. Aniza then connects these women to textile houses in Europe where the traditional Mexican fabrics and turned into high-end pillows and throws (all sold in collections grouped by their region of origin).
It’s a great strategy, done sustainably, supporting women, regions and cultures deserving of support. Why wouldn’t you want cushions from Aniza?
FURNITURE – BED: Savoir Beds
OK – unlike every other brand on this list, where the price is reasonably comparable to an unsustainable alternative, a Savoir Bed is going to set you back some!
Boasting a tradition rooted in the opulent tradition of the Savoy Hotel, these beds and mattresses have been handmade to exacting, sustainable standards for over 100 years. And they have the pricetag to prove it – these mattresses start at US$12,850.
So, sustainable on all fronts but budget.