Sustainability - Formland 2019
Commissioned by Formland
Last week I visited Formland in Herning, Denmark. To those of you not aware of what this is, it is a Danish interior design and furniture fair showcasing news from the season. It’s a biannual event, and this year it was their 71st time hosting the fair. Impressive.
We arrived to Hotel Eyde Wednesday evening, and was greeted by Allan Torp, Bungalow5. An hour later we met in the hotel’s ‘Library’ where a representative from Formland welcomed us and told us about the fair. Later, we had our dinner served on and surrounded by AW19 news from Rosendahl Design Group, introduced to us by two lovely ladies from the company.
On Thursday morning we headed out to Formland for the official opening, that was combined with breakfast and speeches. From then on, the programme was intense, visiting a lot of different brands throughout the day - with the common denominator: sustainability.
Similar to my Preview blog post I’ve summed up the brands in one or more ‘Sustainable facts’, as I think it is key to highlight, share and stand by these achievements as a brand. Furthermore, I’d like to emphasise how these sustainable facts really ought to be a more integrated part of our consumer habits when buying. If we all start asking those questions when we shop, I believe that brands will make more of an effort with their planet-friendly designs, because of our future demands towards the notion of sustainable production, materials and ethics.
Quality, originality and (hand)made are the three words that Ro Collection choose to use in their approach to a sustainable production. They believe in making products that are long-lasting, made from raw materials. They introduced some pieces of vases/wooden containers made with wood that was ‘rejected’ for production due to cracks. In this sense, they work with up-cycling what otherwise would have gone to waste. All moulds and casts are made by hand, adding detail and authenticity to the pieces. Production wise, Ro aims to produce exclusively in Europe, collecting materials close to the production site.
Up-cycling wood that has been ‘rejected’
Production in Europe
Working exclusively with FSC certified wood
Pure colour pigments / minerals for glass
All glazes comply with European standards for working and environmental legislation
Calm, clean and consistent. Those three words shaped Camillas upbringing and later, her company mantra. Camilla is the power plant behind Humdakin and I love how personal this brand feels. I hear Camillas voice everytime I read about their products, and I can’t help but love this brands’ authenticity. Her background is within the cleaning industry, and she first started her own cleaning company when she was a student at age 18. She tested Humdakin’s products out for a year before launching the brand.
Apart from cleaning products, they do textiles for the bathroom and kitchen, soaps and candles. They also launched cleaning accessories, such as dish brushes. All of their textiles are made from 100% organic, GOTS certified cotton. More on their extraordinaire cleaning products in my previous post.
Textiles are made from 100% organic
Scented candles consist of a non-toxic wax blend, made with 100% natural and sustainably sourced ingredients
Cleaning products are allergy-friendly
Recycled PET plastic used for their packaging
Bamboo and mango tree used in their wood products
Vegan and cruelty-free
What I’ve seen from Juna before visiting their stand at the fair, has been very neutral, feminine and light. Almost a bit bland for my taste. But their new collection and their new colour range totally changed my opinion of them as a brand. Their new collection reminded me of a 70’s summerhouse somewhere in the countryside of Denmark and I believe that styling those sheets in a more modern bedroom would look super cosy, romantic and perfect for that nostalgic mood. I haven’t stopped thinking about the waffled, checkered new bedlinen in green and blue. Also, their towels are very thin, which also reminds me of my grandparents’ bathroom textiles. I’m pretty impressed by how far they’ve taken this collection and I’m sure that it will appear in many peoples homes, just like the floral wall paper slowly making its way back. All textiles are 100% organic!
Træfolk is a Danish brand, founded by two guys with a passion for wood and furniture making. The two combined and a functional wooden dining table was made, kickstarting their venture. Træfolk are very environmentally aware when it comes to sourcing and production. They have their own production site in Denmark, where they produce all of their furniture. They aim for zero waste, and use all remaining off-cuts to make small trays and cutting boards - upcycling what would, in most places, go to waste. On that note, Træfolk are only working with FSC-certified wood (more on this abbreviation in previous post).
Zero waste work ethic
Like the name, The Organic Company works only with 100% organic materials. When they started their brand 10 years ago, before the organic wave had seen the light in the design industry, the owner was ‘nawww-ed’ when introducing her brand vision to people. But she was a first mover, I’d say.
Some of the news introduced to us at the fair were alternatives to anything single use. Cloths instead of kitchen roll, thin food storage fabric bags instead of plastic bags, and large pieces of textiles instead of gift wrapping paper. In Denmark alone, we produce 273 tonnes of gift wrapping paper each year - paper that cannot be recycled because of all the glitter, plastic and colour added to it. The Organic Company introduced fabric in a variety of patterns that, in a true Japanese style, can be folded around whatever gift you want to wrap, tied with a knot. The idea is that this piece of fabric can be used many times over and over again.
100% organic, GOTS certified cotton
Rosendahl Design Group
They presented a stand at the fair that was one entity, divided up by semi-transparent curtains. They had an artist hand-painting sketches to be used for the Christmas collection, and also they had the iconic Kay Bojesen monkey represented as seen from the workshop.
Local production (Kay Bojesen)
100% organic cotton (Juna)
Known for their french press, Bodum has decided to revisit the design in a more sustainable manner. Their experiences are, that the glass container of the french press is often broken, so many are replacing it with a new glass container. However, the glass is so thick that it cannot be recycled. Therefore they have launched a french press with a plastic container, made of plastic so thick that you can beat it against the corner of your kitchen counter top without it breaking (demonstrated at the fair!). Also, it doesn’t get scratched or wears down over the years, so you can have it for many many many years. Hopefully. Bodum proving that a considered, long-term use of plastic can be beneficial.
Replacing glass containers with thick, long-lasting plastic containers for the french press.
A brand that you need to touch. And you cant help yourself not to. These textiles are extremely soft. They are all handknit by Nepali women, and they are only using natural materials. They support the local artisan craftsmanship in Nepal, and thereby keeping small workshops alive. Knitting happens by hand or on old-fashioned manual knitting machines, and weaving is both manual and semi-automatic. Their styles are gorgeous and timeless and they definitely promote quality over quantity (also reflected in the prices).
Care By Me make the so-called ‘Soap Nuts’ - an alternative to washing powder where you use the shells of tree berries, that release saponin when in contact with water at a minimum of 30 C degrees. Lots more on the soap nuts in my previous post. They also do ‘Dryer Balls’ that reduce the drying time with up to 30%, meaning less electricity consumption. You can use these balls up to 1000 times, and they are made of 100% wool.
Soap nuts are 100% organic, biodegradable, non-toxic and odorless
Supporting women and artisan craftmanship in developing countries
Their textiles are made of natural fibres only (cashmere, wool and cotton)
Loved their architectural stall, that mimicked a very modernistic house, with lots of dark details. And their products are also very dark, moody and autumnal. I enjoy their minimal and functional designs, however they did not introduce us to their thoughts on sustainability. And yes, with a name that almost sounds like wood it would really suit their branding to be FSR certified.
Umage [ˈuˌmæˀjə] is the Danish word for ‘making an effort’. Their designs reinterpret a 60’s style and they have a set palette of forest green, bordeaux and petrol blue and saffron yellow, as well as anthracite grey and white. I knew little about them, but they have strong visions as a design brand. Their upholsteries and leather are from Kvadrat and Sørensen Leather, that both represent a sustainable approach to design. One of the news was a mirror for those narrow Copenhagen hallways with a little cabinet for keys. The compartment comes in the colours mentioned above.
Flatpacked design to minimise transportation costs
Lot’s of peach and stripes - bold warm colours and classic 70’s inspired patterns are definitely trends for this years autumn/winter. And I really like it. When meeting with Normann at the fair, they talked about how the brand focused a lot on CSR strategies - Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. They talked about having more factories in both Asia and Europe, to be able to deliver more ‘locally’. Furthermore, they do apparently work with FSC certified wood, but this is not something they use in their branding. I’d like to know more on how they work with sustainability, and I’d also like for some of their lovely textiles to be GOTS certified.
Some products are FSC certified
More local production by having different sites for this in both EU and Asia
RAW Crafted concept is a sub-brand of Aida Denmark. The face of RAW is Danish celebrity Christiane Schaumburg-Müller, who has designed in collaboration with Aida. Our impression was that she herself is really excited about the new collection, offering a new set of colours and stoneware pieces. Some of their placemats were recycled leather, and their linen table cloths had a waxed surface, without losing its beautiful linen texture.
Aida were so kind to offer us vegan lunch, of course served on stoneware from the newest Nordic Nude collection.
When I think of Iittala, I think of glass. Coloured glass, vases, Finland. And this is what they’d also like to be remembered by. I thought this display at Formland was so genius. It really suited the coloured glass to be lit from below, for them really to come to their right. Their pieces are timeless and they are eager to promote long lasting design and functionality as part of their sustainable approach. In designing, they focus on the essentials: design less, high quality, multi-functional and aesthetically lasting: “What we design must carry the potential to become a future classic.
Taking a stand against throwawayism
Paper Collective makes prints. Their three most important principles are social responsibility, sustainability and strong creative partnerships. They promote good graphics with good causes, meaning they donate small amounts of every print sold to a good cause. At the moment they are building a school in rural Nepal for several hundred kids. Paper Collective produce locally, in Denmark using only high-quality, FSC-marked material and under certification of the Swan mark. Right now they are rethinking ways to use their card board poster tubes, inviting people to up-cycle them into eg. a fun Sunday project with the kids.
On a personal note, I don’t believe too much in prints that are mass-produced. I enjoy art in its unique or limited edition form. But I do honor how Paper Collective offers many different, affordable art options for peoples homes. And, they actually do make limited edition art prints in collaboration with designers and artists.
Supporting good causes and charities
FSC certified materials
Swan eco-labelled production
Trend Zone - Værket
The Trend Zone area at Formland is a meeting place and exhibition space. This year is was about contrasts, showing the industrial versus the handmade. Inspired by Bauhaus and industrial factory interiors, VÆRKET embraces artistic chaos in functional order. The design duo Studie Flyhelsted did the concept for the Trend Zone, in a curated display of different products from this years fair.
The large black frames, that mimed industrial windows, were created using plastic sheets - something which had a fantastic effect and that most of our group were really intrigued by/had fun photographing. Great colours were presented too, both on the walls, the floor and on the podiums along the back wall. All in all, super into this space!
They made a wall called VÆRKET where visitors had the chance to stamp and write their name, and thereby being part of the piece VÆRKET.
SELECTED BY / Allan Torp
In the SELECTED BY area, four design experts had been invited to create styled environments. They handpicked products from Formland and the exhibitors, showcasing objects and design pieces in home settings.
Blogger and influencer Allan Torp from Bungalow5.dk did a beautiful home office environment with a sharp selection and curation. A lovely wall colour too, with blacks to contrast it. Soft neutral pinks looked amazing on the Træfolk desk too, especially the large vase on the left corner of the desk, in combination with the smoked oak table.
SELECTED BY / Eckmann Studio
Trend expert Anette Eckmann and owner of Eckmann Studio did a super colourful display, using some really kitsch items to contrast modern classics. I loved it cause it was so daring, a little wild but still a super elegant way of styling.
Imagine Bar Luce in Milan at the Fondazione Prada, combined with an American diner with a candy shop twist. That was the vibe I was getting from Café Composé at Formland. This Trend Café also displayed lots of products from the fair, on turning pedestals in a layer cake shape. Lovely pastel shades and an inspirational universe to have a coffee in. Well done Høeg + Møller!
Paid partnership with Formland. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.