• Emma Wanner

Sustainable Alternatives to Fabric

As an interior design student I feel like all we do is research which sometimes can be a pain but can also be very interesting and inspiring. Something that opened my eyes lately and that is really growing in the design world is new types of materials for upholstery. More and more people are looking for vegan, sustainable, more unique kinds of fabrics for their projects. Alternative materials for fabric is not something new, but the attention it is getting is.

I wanted to share some to show you the endless possibilities. What is interesting when speaking about interior is that it has to have a certain kind of durability, which to me is very impressive when they manage achieve that.

Cork fabric by Villani Leonello

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I have spoken about cork before as a sustainable material and it is one that really interests me. Both for its functionality and environmental sustainability but also the possibilities with it. Before, I really saw cork as one look only, the one you had as a kid pinning your drawings on. However, this company shows the opposite. With metallic, digital, transfered prints, lasered cork and many others. They make bags, accessories, upholstery fabrics and even for interior of cars.

Handmade wall coverings by Maya Romanoff

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To the left Braided hemp, to the right Meditation ohms

Maya Romanoff does incredible wall coverings, it is a great way of changing a room and making the acoustics more enjoyable. They have a great assortment of wall coverings but I choose to show two of them.

The braided hemp is woven with lokta paper and done by hand by artisans in Nepal, then hand-painting in their Chicago studio

The Meditation ohms is Handmade Nepalese lokta paper with flecks of mica. Composed of sustainably farmed lokta and crafted close to where the fiber grows, very little energy is expended in making Meditations. Finished in their Chicago studio. A portion of proceeds goes to support Aid to Artisans.

Such an interesting company with, in my opinion, the right approach of having a luxurious feeling and going towards being as sustainable as possible. However, with some materials they have some more work to do. But these two are great.

High quality veneer by NUO

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I believe that leather is a material that we need to move on from. With todays technology and innovation there is really no excuses for using leather anymore it does not hold the purpose it once did.

But what I do believe is here to stay is the "leather feel" and the versatility of it. And NUO is one of the companies who cracked that code and added an additional value to it with the wood look with a leather feel, which makes it very unique.

They do everything from fashion to interior, all in wood, but something that caught my attention was their car interior. Just like Villani Leonello. I am very interested in cars and especially the beauty of them, however it is really a industry that needs to change and with brands like NUO I believe that is possible.

Again, just a few of many. Which one was your favorite? It really makes me happy that the companies are implementing colors into their designs.