Sarah casts her eye over Clerkenwell Design Week 2022!

After a long hiatus it was great to be able to enjoy Clerkenwell Design Week festival once again. Chairplan’s Sarah Kane, shares her thoughts on this years show including the latest designs, trends and products.

Sustainability, Recycling…

It was great to see that the the main focus across the show was on sustainability, recycling and protecting the environment.

My main focus at the show was on textiles and, in particular, I was keen to understand more about how suppliers were approaching it and the processes they used.

The process of making fabrics from old unloved clothes, revolves around reducing the clothing fibres down, sorted into colour groups and then woven together. An example of the new fabrics using this process is the new Earthly range from Chieftain Fabrics.

However, the process is not restricted to recycling fabric, the same approach can be achieved using recycled plastics! An example is Oceanic from Camira Fabrics, each metre of which contains the equivalent of 23 plastic bottles taken from both land and sea.

Reduce waste and upcycle

But it doesn’t stop there. As you would expect, all companies are now looking at how to reduce their waste and upcycle.

Kvadrat have developed a new range of products, under the name Really, that upcycle textiles to table-tops, hard board and acoustic materials.

The products are high-quality engineered materials made from end-of-life cotton and wool sourced from fashion and textile industries, industrial laundries and cut offs from Kvadrat products.

The emergence of textiles created from recycled materials offers designers and architects a genuine chance to rethink their designs and developments with a focus on creating environmentally climate friendly spaces.

New fabrics from recycled PET bottles

Vescom is another company that were promoting their new fabrics: Wilson, Avon, Norfolk and Harding. Each of these are made from a sustainable polyester FR upholstery fabric, using 100% recycled PET bottles.

Each range displays patterns using contrasting colours and different weave patterns, they have also chosen a more subtle/earthly colour palette.

Beyond fabric

It was not only fabrics that where highlighting the importance of sustainability and recyclability, as I came across other aspects at Clerkenwell Design Week including:

  • Universal Fibres. Thrive Matter – World’s first carbon negative nylon fibre
  • Less is Better. Hive – Acoustic wall tiles made from 93% industrial wood waste
  • Allsfar. Sustainable Acoustics – All their products are made with at least 60% recycled PET from post-consumer waste. PET is a plastic but compared to other common acoustic materials, it has a much better environmental profile and can also be recycled at its end of life.
  • Decoupage. Upcycling workshop by Kata Roberts – this was showcasing the art of upcycling old and unloved pieces of furniture and giving them a new life, whilst maintaining the sustainability and recyclability aspect.

Mosaics and Fresco

One of the fun aspects of attending a show, are the workshops where you can turn your hand at various skills.  I took the opportunity this year at the Knauf workshops:

  • Mosaic Workshop – Create a mosaic
  • Fresco Workshop – Create an abstract fresco with Aster Muro

Both workshops where really interesting and enjoyable. It was a great opportunity to learn about Knauf, network with designers, architects, students etc (it was also a place to relax and let your artistic nature come out!).

Office chairs, pods, tables…

Of course Clerkenwell Design Week is also an opportunity for us to keep my eye out for new products that would appeal to our clients including office chairs, pods, tables or bespoke.

As in keeping with the theme there was a noticeable difference where chrome frames had reduced in numbers and in had come the RAL painted frames.

Similarly, there was a trend of changing the way the furniture was upholstered to try and make recycling and re-using more easier for the customer.

Check out some of the images below for products that caught my attention.

About Chairplan

A family-run business that was founded in 1996, Chairplan is a leading UK based designer and manufacturer of ESD chairs and soft furnishings for offices and businesses. More about us»

From our Royston, Hertfordshire, factory our specialist team are able to provide a wide range of chair and seating furniture solutions as well as design, build and manufacture bespoke items. Find out more…contact us on 01763 244 112.