Sustainable by design
A budding number of Danish designers are driven strongly by sustainability and making their mark locally and internationally. Standing on the shoulders of the Danish design legacy, these design companies have added sustainability and the vision of circular furniture production to their business model, and with great success. As with design itself, sustainable and circular solutions have become an integral part of Danish lifestyle, and amongst the innovative designers embracing this new reality are:
TAKT is an award-winning newcomer on the Danish Design scene founded in 2019. It collaborates with many of the country’s next-gen design pioneers to create new contemporary classics out of Denmark, but with a global outlook. Made of FSC certified wood from sustainable forests, TAKT’s mantra is to rethink the way to design, build, and sell furniture. Their products can be separated out into key materials for recycling and worn parts can be replaced, and the furniture is delivered flat packed to minimise transport. The company is B Corp certified and all furniture is certified with the EU-Ecolabel.
Mater, founded in Copenhagen in 2006, has the ambition to be a pioneering global brand with sustainability embedded in its core. From the very beginning, the idea was to inspire a global design audience and to engage people in sustainable thinking. Mater combines new technology with Danish design legacy and has developed new innovative technology that can be used for press moulding all kinds of furniture. The special technique allows the company to upcycle industrial waste more effectively, whilst at the same time reducing carbon emissions. Examples of industrial waste used are coffee bean waste, plastic from the ocean, and insulin pens. The material is then used to relaunch e.g., design classics by mid-century Danish designers such as Nanna Ditzel and Børge Mogensen.
And finally, Wehlers is a popular Danish sustainable furniture brand founded in Copenhagen in 2017 with a mission to create a planet with no waste. They design furniture solely made with recycled and sustainably sourced materials and work with the term circular economy, insisting on their furniture being repaired, reused, and recycled during and after the ‘end of life cycle’. As an example, and in collaboration with C.F. Møller Design, Wehlers has created R.U.M. – a new design chair made of trash. R.U.M. is short for ‘ReUsedMaterials’ and is a sustainable stacking chair with a plastic seat and back made of recycled post-use plastic waste from the maritime industry, such as fishing nets, trawls, ropes, and boxes. It is rooted in circular principles, with its seat, back and pipe shoe all fashioned from granulated recycled material mounted on a steel frame. The R.U.M. chair is proof that by designing on circular design principles it is possible to lower emissions and reduce the use of virgin materials significantly – all without compromising on aesthetics, price, or quality – and to help change the furniture industry for good.