Sustainable design: editing Italian design icons

In the move towards a more sustainable interior design industry, independent designers are leading by example, proposing innovative solutions. Some of them are upcycling trash from the food industry and making ocean-bound waste materials useful.

Big design brands are starting to follow, giving more relevance to sustainability both in new launches and in their existing collections.
In particular, some companies are taking their iconic pieces and editing them in a more sustainable way.
Let’s review some examples!

CASSINA — LC2 and LC3 Fauteuil Grand Confort Durable

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LC2 and LC3 are two iconic armchairs designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand in 1928.

This year, these chairs have been edited, altering some of the upholstery materials. The cushion & seat padding is now made of a 100% recycled PET fibre. And the foam elements integrate bio-sourced polymers.

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Credit: Cassina

KARTELL — Componibili Bio

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Kartell has been looking into bioplastic for a few years now (starting with its installation for Milan Design Week 2018).

Recently, Kartell has edited Componibili — the iconic storage unit designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri in 1967.
The new Componibili Bio are made with a bioplastic material obtained from agricultural waste.

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Credit: Kartell

ZANOTTA — Sacco Goes Green

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Zanotta has announced its new commitment to sustainability with Sacco Goes Green, an initiative related to the iconic Sacco armchair, designed by Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini e Franco Teodoro in 1968.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sacco, Zanotta has launched a sustainable edition where the plastic pellets filling is substituted with BioFoam® microspheres derived from vegetable materials. And the new cover is made of ECONYL®, a recycled nylon thread produced from used materials like fishing nets, fabric and carpet scraps.

This started as a limited edition and the patterned cover is available only in 100 numbered pieces. But the concept of an eco-friendly Sacco is actually going to become part of Zanotta permanent catalogue!

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Credit: Zanotta

The value of editing design icons

The urge to embrace sustainable design practices is more and more present in the design industry. Big design brands are starting to answer the call, and I believe this is a good sign in itself.

As mentioned when looking into IKEA’s 2030 sustainability goals, big brands have the power to move industry standards quite quickly. And a commitment to sustainable practices sends a strong message!

But editing iconic designs is a partially different story.
Design icons represent a brand. They carry a long history. They’re a lot more than an object.
Therefore, touching a design icon is somehow a brave move. But an extremely powerful one too!

A sustainable edition of a design icon is the ultimate evidence that sustainable, beautiful and good quality can actually go together! And this is a crucial mindset shift that needs to happen for the design industry to transition to more sustainable standards once and for all!

If you’re interested in discovering sustainable interior design options for all budget and styles, you’re welcome to browse through SforSustainable, the online platform dedicated to sustainable interior design I curate!

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Originally published at on September 18, 2020.

Written by

Interior designer+Content creator on a mission: making interiors good for wellbeing (biophilic design) & our planet. My entire blog:

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