In recent years, the need to produce and use environmentally friendly objects has also affected the furniture sector. And as is the case in the home, Contract and Retail are also called upon to meet the strong need to produce eco-sustainable furniture, the creation and use of which therefore have a limited impact on the already suffering environment.
However, it is not at all easy to create green products for the Retail sector that are also sustainable from an economic point of view.
In the following paragraphs, in fact, we see how the productions in the sector are always custom and the short runs exclude the use of some preferable processing methods in the case of larger volumes. This is why, in these areas, the design and research and development phases are even more important and require an in-depth knowledge of the processes and materials that are best suited to this type of production.
The production of eco-sustainable furniture for the Retail sector
At the moment, there are still few companies in the sector that decide to allocate a budget to the research of eco-sustainable materials and technologies. This is both because they are often small companies with limited availability and because not all companies are ready to review their processes and products in an environmentally friendly perspective. In fact, by doing so, they completely ignore the remarkable opportunities coming from what was once a simple trend, but which has now become a rather urgent need.
In order to build an active and proactive dialogue with the designer responsible for developing an eco-sustainable furniture project for a brand, it is necessary that the manufacturing company has made the culture of innovation the cornerstone of its management system and all its activities. .
However, even in the face of a particularly “enlightened” company, the design of eco-sustainable furniture for retail can reserve some critical moments. The first takes place at the beginning of the path. As already mentioned, in fact, retail productions never proceed in large numbers, which greatly limits the use of certain materials and technologies. Especially at this stage, therefore, it is essential for the designer to be able to interface with a company willing to dialogue and listen, able to offer sustainable products even economically and to provide highly customized solutions. A company that constantly invests in research, which firmly believes in ethical production and which treats each project with the utmost care.
Characteristics of eco-sustainable furnishings
What are the principles that can guide the production of furniture and accessories for eco-sustainable furniture in the retail world? In general, it is possible to limit the consumption of raw materials:
- Making single material products. The reason is simple: as soon as they have finished their cycle of use, these products can be disposed of more easily and sustainably, or be recycled and become, without further waste, raw material for other productions.
- Working on multi-material products that can be easily disassembled, to correctly separate all the parts that compose them. A QR code imprinted on the surface of the object will reveal the information necessary to properly dispose of each component.
- By resorting to recycled or recyclable materials, an attention that still today should not be taken for granted.
- Using FSC ® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified wood, coming from responsibly managed forests or sources. A practical and easy system to be eco-sustainable by balancing costs.
- By choosing, after wood, other materials of natural origin and, therefore, greener: for example, aluminum, bamboo and steel.
- By entering into collaboration agreements with companies that have already made sustainability their mission or one of the key principles of their work. These could be producers who make extensive use of recycled or recyclable materials, or who exploit the waste from other processes in order to reduce the environmental impact of the various activities.
- Paying particular attention to those who are able to produce durable, easily repairable objects that lend themselves to perform different functions and different uses over time, thus ensuring a longer life cycle.
- Finally, preferring those who are committed to reducing the CO2 emissions of all their activities. Not only those of the purely production phases but also of the subsequent ones, such as those related to the choice of packaging and transport management.
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