Designers turn to environmentally friendly materials
Designers are increasingly using different types of materials to produce products that do not harm the environment.
Reused plastic bottles, wood, plant fiber, and even seaweed are being used instead of traditional materials for household items and clothing.
Nina Edwards Anker’s sconces Y chandeliers they look like old pieces of paper placed around electronic lights known as LEDs.
But a closer look shows that they are made of algae.
Anker came up with the idea while working on a doctoral research project at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
Anker chose not to hide the dried seaweed. “From the beginning, we wanted to keep the integrity of the material, and show your unique properties,” Anker said.
She is one of many designers thinking about traditional materials. She wants to find ways to mix design ideas with non-resource-intensive production and supply methods.
A fair for new materials in Germany
Heimtextil is an international trade fair or fair for new textiles in Frankfurt, Germany. This year’s fair focused on the manufacture of new products that come from reused materials.
Olaf Schmidt is Heimtextil’s Vice President of Textiles and Textile Technology.
“We will see companies demonstrating how inorganic materials such as nylon, plastic and metal can be reused; for example, carpet tiles that can be reused”. dismantled at the end of its useful life and is used as a raw material for new tiles,” he said.
He added: “And there are algae, which are used to produce acoustic mats and panels that provide great isolationthey are resistant to fire and regulate humidity well… At the end of their life, the panels can be crushed and reused.”
Fashion industry expert Veronika Lipar described the field’s biggest shift: a move toward sustainability. She said: “The industry is trying to minimize its ‘effect’ on the environment and stop being the biggest polluter.”
Many companies that use other materials
Patagonia, North Face and Timberland are among the companies now using natural materials to produce goods.
Italian company Frumat has developed a plant-based leather made from the waste created by apple juice manufacturers.
Two Mexican developers, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cazarez, have created a leather they call “Desserto” using nopal leaves. Cactus plants are of interest to developers of new materials because they can thrive in hot climates and poor soil.
Pinatex helps support farms in the Philippines by using waste from the pineapple harvest to create material that is sold to manufacturers of footwear, clothing, and other products.
And Bolt Threads, a California-based company, created Mylo, a mycelium-based leather used by companies such as Adidas, Lululemon and designer Stella McCartney.
I’m John Russell.
Kim Cook reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English.
words in this story
sconce – north an object that is attached to a wall and that holds a candle or electric light
chandelier – north a large ornate light that hangs from the ceiling and has branches to hold many light bulbs or candles
doctoral –adj. related to the highest degree awarded by a university
integrity – north the state of being whole or complete
unique – adj. used to say that something or someone is not like anything or anyone
textile – north a material that is woven or woven
dismantle –v. disassemble an object or break something
acoustic – adj. Of or relating to sound or the sense of hearing.
mat – north a small piece of material used to cover the floor or ground
Fashion -north. related to the industry of making things that people use
isolation – north a material or substance used to prevent heat, electricity, or sound from entering or leaving something: a material that insulates something
mycelium – north a group of fungal threads