Get to know these products so you are up to date on products that eventually may cross over to the promo industry.
We often lament about how nothing lasts anymore. But for a new wave of biodegradable home-related items — think chairs and toothbrushes — breaking down is a good thing.
“There is a pull towards being more sustainable from designers and artists like myself, which is now gaining momentum and becoming more fashionable,” says designer Spencer Jenkins, who makes furniture and sculptures that are woven, carved or steamed from wood and willow. “This needs to happen if the world as a whole is to survive.”
A 2015 Nielson survey found nearly three out of four millennials say sustainability is a shopping priority. And this group is the most willing to pay extra for sustainable products, with Baby Boomers not far behind (51 per cent feels strongly about making sustainable choices).
Biodegradable kitchen products have been around for a while, but these days designers are creating larger items, such as furniture. Last year, a Dutch Design Award was given to Christien Meindertsma for her biodegradable Flax Chair, made of flax fibre and PLA (polylactic acid) bioplastic derived from sugar cane and cornstarch. The chair was purchased by the prestigious Vitra Design Museum.
We rounded up nine products that can be enjoyed — and tossed — guilt-free.
Abeego food wraps
Toni Desrosiers is the queen bee behind Abeego. Desrosiers has created an all-natural food wrap made of hemp and cotton fabric that has been coated with a combination of beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil. It can be used to wrap food or cover a bowl. Desrosiers says it’s completely biodegradable and encourages customers to compost it at the end of its natural life. $15 to $18, Abeego.com.
Trust the Swedes to design a dishcloth that is not only stylish, but also 100 per cent biodegradable. According to Marie Kanwischer, owner of SwedeThings, the Swedish dishcloth is nothing new. “These have been a household staple for over 60 years back home,” says Kanwischer, who was born in Sweden and grew up using these all-purpose cloths. Made of cellulose and cotton, the cloths are machine washable and dishwasher friendly. $7, Swedethings.ca.
Etsy bamboo dinnerware — square bamboo plates 10 pack
Skip the dishes at your next party and use disposables. Convenience comes at a price, but it’s worth it knowing that the dishes are biodegradable, compostable and made from bamboo, a renewable resource. $20, etsy.com/ca/shop/RevelryPartyCompany.
Brush with Bamboo toothbrush
Your plastic toothbrush is dirty, ending up in landfills, or even worse: washing up on beaches, according to toothbrush maker Brush with Bamboo. Have a clean conscience and opt for a plant-based, bamboo toothbrush. BPA-free, vegan, verified Non-toxic and biodegradable. $6, Ecoexistence.ca.
Greenlid compostable compost bin
Morgan and Jackson Wyatt have made composting a family business. The brothers have developed a compostable compost bin made of locally recycled cardboard and newsprint. The same material egg cartons are made from. Fill it with your regular compostable waste. It breaks down with compostable waste and produces nutrient-rich soil. A starter kit includes 30 compostable compost bins, 30 compostable paper lids, 1 dishwasher-safe reusable greenlid. $39.99, mygreenlid.com/our-products.
Wall Flats, Chrysalis (10 panel box)
Add texture and dimension to a wall with wall panels made from a sugarcane byproduct. The panels are available in eight different designs and are installed using an adhesive. Can be trimmed to size. Leftover scraps are biodegradable and can be recycled or composted. $78, 2storee.ca.
Spencer Jenkins Norfolk pebble chair and wall sculpture
U.K. artist Spencer Jenkins creates modern furniture and sculptures with traditional materials such as willow. His creations range from bespoke furniture, wall and garden sculptures to the massive willow arches he created as lead artist to celebrate the Queen’s 60th Jubilee Celebrations in 2012. You can commission your own willow creation from Jenkins, who is happy to ship across the pond. Norfolk Pebble chair, $9,799; Wall sculptures, $816 to $1143, spencerjenkins.co.uk.
Flax chair by Christien Meindertsma
Christien Meindertsma’s flax chair will soon be available in Canada, says a spokesperson for Label-Breed. The chair is made from flax fibres combined with PLA (polylactic acid made from sugarcane and corn starch). $681, thomaseyck.com.
Pluto Pendant designed by Maria Fiter from Crea-re