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Brief Published: 5 Feb 2020

Sustainable Furniture Leads Toronto Design Week 2020


At the 2020 edition of Toronto Design Week (January 17-26) and aligning IDS furniture fair, designers grappled with how the industry can exist in harmony with the environment. We list our favourites below.

  • Sustainable Harvesting: Designers pay homage to one of the nation’s key exports with projects that promote the eco credentials of timber and explore sustainable harvesting practices.

    Canadian design studio Odami enlisted the help of local woodworking practice One Wood to create a collection from a 130-year-old red oak, which was felled due to internal rot. The resulting armchair, coffee table and lamp embrace the markings and heavy proportions of the ancient tree to give it new life.

    Toronto’s new design studio Karben also promotes the use of flawed timber, with its launch collection made from a Pennsylvania ash that was cut down prematurely due to an insect infestation.

  • Natural Selection: Designers interrogate the impact that their products have on the environment with eco-led materials that promise to reduce the damage of production and ease end-of-life.

    Ukranian brand Faina’s Ztista collection explores how natural and man-made materials can combine to lessen the use of virgin and synthetic resources. The furniture pieces are made from recycled metal and covered with a mix of wood chips, paper, linen, straw and clay to create a soft lumpy character that is appealing to touch.

    Similarly, Canadian studio Only One Yes questions the use of any synthetic materials, making sure that products can return to the earth after use. The studio’s coffee table is aptly fabricated from a composite of coffee grounds and limestone, so that it can safely decompose in an organic environment when no longer needed.

    Biodegradable furniture is a concept that we explore further in our A/W 20/21 Design Directions – see Grounded for more.
Odami x One Wood
Only One Yes