Is it really paper?
Paper is often overlooked and not commonly used in product design because of its low-value appearance and doubts of its durability. Thanks to creative and innovative companies and people working hard to make a sustainable difference, you can now find more and more products made with recycled paper content. Let's take a look at a few of my favorites.
Recycled Surface materials, and furniture
Designed and produced by RICHLITE.
Richlite is an incredibly durable, extremely versatile, and highly sustainable material made from resin-infused paper. Originally developed over 70 years ago for industrial tooling and pattern making, Richlite has expanded into a premium surface material used in the aerospace, marine, action sports, culinary, architecture, and design industries, and in machine shops and automotive manufacturing.
The materials are made from recycled content and pulp derived from responsibly harvested trees. Richlite’s range of interior and exterior applications including furniture, cabinetry, cladding, skateparks, consumer products, signage, retail displays, restaurant tables, bar tops, and worktops, and for industrial use in foundry patterns.
Recycled Paper Lampshades
Designed by VALENTINA CARRETTA.
Based in Italy; Valentina Carretta designed the Egg of Columbus lamps that come in three sizes and combine a shade made of moisture-resistant recycled paper with a ceramic lamp holder and a red fabric cord.
The lamp's name refers to the story of how explorer Christopher Columbus challenged his detractors to make an egg stand on its tip. When they gave up, he did it himself by tapping the egg on a table to flatten its tip, demonstrating how a brilliant idea can seem easy once you know how it's done.
Recycled Paper Wallcoverings
Designed by LORI WEITZNER.
Based in New York City Lori Weitzner offers many collections that are mainly inspired by nature. These new collections of wallcoverings are made of recycled cinema posters, newspapers, or magazines.
The recycled papers are collected, stripped, and woven into a riot of color hinting at the drama, romance, and action of the movies, news, or adds they once advertised. They are a great solution for LEED AP professionals looking to earn points on projects (U.S. Green Building Council LEED Materials & Resources credits for Recycled Content).
Recycled Paper window shades
Designed by NATCHAR SAWATDICHAI.
Thailand-born London-based designer Natchar Sawatdichai has spotted a gap in the market and decided to do something about it. She upgrades ”‘Under-qualified’ materials like paper to become ‘Qualified’”, Natchar set out to create disposable blinds that improve sustainability and extend the lifespan of the product. Consumer behavior has been driving "throwaway society" and shorten the average lifetime of products. The paper part of her shade is designed to be replaceable therefore users don't need to throw away the whole product. Moreover, the discarded blinds can be recycled to produce the new replacement over and over again.