Design with a Green Heart

When you think about ecological, green, or recycled design, your mind might wander into the realm of weird looking knick-knacks made of weaved plastic bags. However, Finnish design world is full of examples that are both ecological and neat.

Fashion made of recycled materials – or “trashion”– seems to be on the crest of a wave right now and it’s no wonder. In Finland alone, 70 000 tons of textiles are consumed every year and only 44% of that is recycled or re-used. Many Finnish clothing designers have found ways to recycle materials in order to create sustainable yet beautiful designs. One memorable example was the gala gown designed by “trashionista”, designer Outi Pyy made entirely of 4000 used coffee capsules at the annual Presidential Independence Day reception.

However, green design isn’t only limited to clothing, but you can actually find everyday objects that are made of recycled materials. We picked our favorites, what’s yours?

Anna Nygård Design’s säle-baskets

Weaving birchbark is a historical trade – shoes, baskets, and even fishing equipment were made out of bark when plastic and fabric was sparse. The most famous birchbark lover was Elias Lönnrot (1802–1884), the creator of the Finnish-Karelian epic Kalevala, who recommended birchbark shoe insoles to anyone with joint problems. Anna Nygård has successfully combined this ancient art with modern recycled materials, namely venetian blinds. The result is light, handy, and stylish.

Hookoohoo’s shoulder bag

Click it or Ticket – this unisex bag is made out of old safety belts. It’s basically indestructible since, well, seatbelts are made to last forever. The bag is big enough for your laptop and lunch, but chic enough that you can show up to work with it.

Evolum’s Bombay Sapphire flower vases

Evolum’s Jukka Isotalo gives used glass products a new life. He makes use of bottles and jars that cannot be recycled – in Finland people usually recycle all their drinking bottles, since you get your deposit back when you return them. The Bombay sapphire flower vase is delicate, yet fun at the same time.

Think Today’s puzzle coasters

Think Today’s coasters are made of floor laminate, tile, and leftover wallpaper. You can collect the puzzle together and use as a bigger placemat, or break it down and use the pieces as individual coasters for drinks.

Globe Hope’s Finnish Maiden earrings

Celebrate Finland’s centenary with these splendid earrings that are shaped like Finland! The geological shape of Finland is often referred to as Suomineito, Finnish Maiden. These pieces of jewelry are made out of recycled computer mainboard, thus making each earring as unique as the person wearing them.