In recent years, sustainability in architecture and interiors has been increasingly prioritized. In the past, earth-friendly products and sustainable materials tended to require serious spending, and, at times, eco-elements felt like an afterthought or superficial talking point. But now, with so many novel and thoughtful materials on the market, the opportunities to be more intentionally and pervasively sustainable are exploding. Innovation comes in all forms and, often, in response to conditions of excess—whether it’s marine plastic waste or styrofoam from packaging. 

Here are seven materials and products that either give new life to an otherwise wasted material or help protect the planet with their feather-light footprint. 

The limited-edition Upcrafted objects by Liaigre

Photo: Steven Pfaff

Upcrafted by Liaigre

French design label Liaigre has launched its very first series of useful design objects rooted in upcycling fragments, offcuts, and remnants of deluxe materials including wood, bronze, and leather. From start to finish, the collection has a strong sense of eco-responsibility, involving vegetable glues and custom-made recycled packaging, plus Liaigre leather scrap handles. There are just 10 editions of each of the four creations, which include an oak and textured bronze bookend and—the pièce de résistance—an elegant assemblage vase of leather offcut “petals,” produced by a haute couture workshop in France. 

Passepartout collection by Salvatori

Image courtesy Salvatori

Kathryn Romeyn

​  Read More  Sustainability & LEED AD Pro, AD Pro / Sourcebook, What to Spec Now ​From the world’s first bio-material toilet to a chair woven from recycled plastic rope, these imaginative inventions use upcycling, renewable resources, and sustainable techniques to add soul to a space