Currently, it is essential for the competitiveness of brands – especially those based on health and well-being assumptions – to adopt conscious behaviors that meet the ethical values of society.
Sustainability, as we know it today, has not only driven positive changes in the environment but also provided social and economic development. It presented us with the opportunity to redefine the concept of Luxury applied to Interior Design, resulting in innovative design projects, new manufacturing methods, and the use of materials with low environmental impact.
A low-impact life comprehends considerations on the circular economy, longevity, materials of ethical origin, and low toxicity, among other criteria, which are now evaluated through a certification that allows the guarantee of conscious choices. And, don’t think that aesthetics has been compromised, quite the contrary. Sustainable Interior Design is able to balance luxury with quality, durability, and the required ethics.
Sustainable Interior Design Materials
Designing a Sustainable Interior Design project is to develop a concept in alignment with nature, realizing the environmental impact of each choice and how it fits into the circular economy.
This type of project must start with the most pronounced details. Here, the Infrastructure, Pavements, and Green Spaces stand out. The infrastructure must allow enough natural light to enter, in order to reduce the need for artificial light and heating during the day.
The choice of pavement must take into account thermal comfort. And as for green spaces, having them, both externally and internally (common in the luxury sector), will not only give an aesthetic freshness but also promote air quality and cooling of spaces, reducing the need to resort to air conditioning.
In a more practical aspect of design, the concept of sustainability introduced new ways of using materials from nature, in this sector. Although wood, bamboo, cork, natural stone, and marble are some of the most obvious natural material choices, technological innovations have come to include products made from organic and recycled materials, organic paints, and natural textiles.
Wood: Forest-based products have a number of functionalities and characteristics that make them ideal products with regard to sustainable consumption, however, it is advisable to make sure that it is wood from fast-growing trees.
Bamboo: It is a raw material with several applications, such as furniture, crafts, flooring, landscaping, and decoration. It has the ability to replace wood, avoiding deforestation as it is a fast-growing plant and does not require the use of chemicals in cultivation.
Cork: Countless projects around the world highlight the uniqueness of cork as a durable, waterproof, lightweight material with thermal and acoustic insulation capacity and shock resistance. It is used in the construction of infrastructures, for the creation of artwork, or for the isolation of spaces. It is extracted from the bark of trees without the need for deforestation, quickly growing back.
Marble: It is a rock that, after undergoing a transformation process using high temperatures (only), becomes highly versatile and can be used on floors, walls, decoration pieces, kitchen countertops, and art pieces.
Silk, Cotton, and Wool: These are the preferred textiles capable of attributing refinement and elegance to an environment. These fabrics are considered sustainable as they are derived from plants and insects and require manufacturing processes with low environmental impact.
Glass-based decorative objects are also widely used by sustainable luxury brands, as it is a material that is more durable and can be endlessly recycled.
Other characteristics can be taken into account when choosing the most suitable products to be part of a project. It is possible to give preference to products with local production that reducing the impact of transport on distribution, and to hand-made products, whose production impact is reduced.
We know that the choice of products will be influenced by the Interior Design styles of each project, but we also know that there are several sustainable options available on the market.
Products & Brands with Sustainable Certification
In order to make it possible for any professional or consumer to ensure that the materials to be incorporated into an Interior Design project include the dynamics of sustainability, preference should be given to those that have sustainability certification. There are various types of certifications; for example, we highlight Ecocert, which certifies brands that claim that their product is organic, and Cradle to Cradle, one of the most relevant to recognize products designed for the circular economy, that is, those used in sustainable projects.
As for the brands, they can also be awarded certification for their effort and merit in implementing efficient processes and systems. With the rise of market demand in general, a brand with sustainable certification will be guaranteed to stand out from the rest, making the market more competitive.
In this category, we highlight Green Seal – which certifies products, services, restaurants, and hotels, based on performance, health, and sustainability criteria – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)– which certifies businesses that create green, healthy buildings, efficient and with reduced operation and maintenance costs, and, B Corporation, a certification that validates that the business assesses the impact of its operations/decisions on employees, customers, the community and the environment.
Sustainability is not just a trend…
Sustainability has gained worldwide expression in all industries, including Architecture and Interior Design. For these, it is considered a trend for 2023 due to the aesthetic impact, choice of resources, and change of behavior, however, it is much more than that. In Luxury Interior Design, in particular, is about imposing innovation, technology, personalization, and well-being.