Fewer slogans and more visible sustainability: an eco turning point for design?

A new phase may have begun for the communication of green commitment in design. After years of proclamations bordering on greenwashing, many companies seem to have understood that, in terms of environment, sobriety and discretion strong> pay off more than many slogans.

So much so that a term like greenhushing is becoming current, to indicate the policy of brands that prefer not to communicate their environmental policies, even when they are noteworthy.

After all, there is less need to resort to announcements and superstructures if the materials used speak directly. This is what we are starting to see in recent times: the use of raw materials, virgin or recycled, which alone speak for the ecological side of the products.

Hemp bricks with a rough look, untreated wool and fabrics, metals that do without chrome plating: there is an increase in design choices in which the material is left visible with its natural properties, as in a sort of return to origins which reduces work and impact.

Bio hemp for construction

One of the most interesting cases of this phenomenon took place at the last FuoriSalone. In the garage of Design Variations, the layout of the exhibition spaces was created by Park Associati with the bricks by Biomat, an Apulian company specializing in green building which uses hemp as a building material.

For Hemp-Scape, the name of the project, hemp thermal bricks and lime were used which allow the creation of flexible architectural elements through overlapping blocks dry which give life to curved or linear curtains.

“Hemp_scape" explain the architects "was an opportunity to shine the spotlight on topics that our Park Plus research team has been carrying out for years, relating to urban mining and bio-based materials, to emphasize the need for ethical, responsible and low-impact architecture.

All of the hemp bricks used were put back on the market at the end of the event to be reused, thanks to a completely dry assembly which allows for rapid construction and de-construction. , with zero impact on the environment”.

Untreated wool

The work of Ruga Perissinotto, the design studio founded by Alessandro Ruga and Carlotta Perissinotto author of Tracce, the textile collection made with wool from the Lamon sheep.

A wool that does not need to be dyed: the naturally present color variations are enough to create an almost imperceptible and at the same time very sophisticated graphic sign, enhanced by the cooking process of the fabric.

Tracce was born as a research project that the studio started in 2022 after meeting Paolo Paoletti in the family wool mill and continues as a collection of 100 percent Italian wool products. A historical investigation to rediscover a culture that has deep roots in its territory, made up of ancient values ​​and wise gestures, like those of the women who spun at home.

Nothing but steel

Few processes have as high an impact on the environment as chrome plating steel. And in fact, the tap companies in the area are among the main people responsible for the pollution of Lake Orta, a wound famous throughout the world, caused in the mid-twentieth century and remedied in the 1990s of the same century.

From the memory of that disaster, and its recovery, comes the attention for the environment of Enrico Magistro, CEO of Quadro Design, the tap company in the province of Novara which only has untreated steel products in its catalogue, where the properties of this brilliant material and non-deformable are printed on sight, without superstructures or color additions, in the collections signed by designers such as Formafantasma, Calvi Brambilla, Giacomo Moor.

The stainless steel used "bare" is a noble and very low impact material. The production process does not require chrome plating and polluting coatings, the material does not corrode in contact with water and does not release harmful elements. And, at the end of its life, it can be recycled.

The elegance of aluminum

Among the ecological materials by definition because they are totally recyclable, there is aluminium, increasingly at the forefront in the world of design, so much so that one of the main producers in the world such as Hydro, active in building systems and precision tubes, has decided to take a gamble by hiring Design Week in Milan, a series of high-level designers commissioned them to create a collection that spoke of the prerogatives and nobility of this raw material.

From the T-board bench by Philippe Malouin to the Tuba coat hanger by Andreas Engesvik , each piece highlighted, intact, the narrative strength of the profile, making its industrial provenance a driver of recognisability and elegance.