Design for a Better Future

The best in design improves the quality of life. And this adage isn't limited to our individual whims. Quality of life is increasingly a matter for the global community, one that means products that consume less energy and minimize waste in manufacturing and post-production. Quality is also matter of lasting durability. In a nod to Earth Day, an LED spotlight on just a few of the dozens of products at A+R produced with a healthy world in mind.

BAM! is the latest entry by Massproductions and one intended to make a dent toward its own environmental efforts. The chair and sofa series is filled with recycled goose and duck feathers (sterilized via high temperature without chemicals), and flat packed for earth-friendly delivery.

The new Rely Seating Collection by Hee Welling for &Tradition takes the classic modern shell and updates it with a 100 percent recycled plastic version. The Rely HW6 is paired here with the In Between SK19 Table, the Flowerpot VP9 Lamp and the Collect Carafe SC62, also from this Danish brand.

Ocean is Mater's eco-conscious reimagining of the 1955 classics from Danish design duo Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel: the stackable chair and tables are composed of used fishnets (primarily from Denmark’s west coast) and recycled hard plastic—each one using 960 grams of ocean plastic waste! And, of course, steel can be re-purposed, making the life cycle complete.

Dryers are a major contributor to emissions, and, even those with an Energy Star, often use five to 10 times more power than a washing machine. So while we might not be able to cut our complete use of one, we can certainly split the difference or more with a rack worthy of a handsome patio, like this one by Anders Brøgger. What's more, the aptly named Spider Web Drying Rack, made of sustainably harvested, weather-resistant teak, is now part of Skagerak's outdoor sale thru
May 5.

Mika Tolvanen named her container series Restore because the 3 sizes are made of polymer felt from recycled PET bottles. Design duo Iskos-Berlin fashion the shell of its expansive Fiber Chair collection from a composite material that includes 25 percent wood fibers and has a matte surface. Muuto brings both these versatile best sellers to market.

The Tank Collection is made from just that: emptied fire hydrants recycled, powder coated and re-purposed into these fun pendant lights by Canadian-based Castor.

As a dining or coffee table, Aurora earns its eco cred from a base fashioned from a mixture of recycled resin and natural minerals. It's also made in Florida, where maker Yield is headquartered.