Jan 15, 2019 | By Sarah Housley
Jun 20, 2018
As sustainability becomes an increasing focus for consumers and brands alike, new brands are emerging that combine a design-led approach with a sustainable mindset and an accessible, educational approach. Furniture brand ecoBirdy is a shining example – the company creatively upcycles plastic toys into distinctive, recyclable furniture for kids, and runs a school programme that introduces children to the concept of circular design and sustainability.
Plastic from unwanted toys is transformed into ecothylene, a material developed by ecoBirdy that separates recycled plastics by colour. This upcycling process is celebrated in the final look of the products, with the mixture of plastics creating a textural pattern reminiscent of terrazzo. The product range includes chairs, tables, and animal-shaped lamps and containers in playful, kid-friendly colours and sizes, which can in turn all be recycled when they are outgrown.
As well as embracing recycling in its product design, ecoBirdy promotes sustainability through storytelling. In its school programme, the brand’s specially designed storybook introduces children to the issues around plastic waste and possible future solutions in an interactive and visual way. Kids are encouraged to get involved in the process by throwing their old plastic toys into a collection container, ready to be up-cycled into new furniture.
ecoBirdy is a great example of a brand embracing sustainability at every level of their business and making it feel truly embedded and authentic. By combining education and product design, the brand brings consumers along with them on the circular design journey, allowing them to feel involved and invested in their cause. And crucially, ecoBirdy does not compromise on the aesthetic of the finished product, creating furniture that is playful, colourful and style-driven.
WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors subscribers can find out more about sustainable design approaches in the Design Futures report The Circular Design Econonomy, the latest Sustainability Bulletin, and our materials innovation report on Sustainable Plastic.
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