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  • Writer's picturePaul Boutilly


Eco leather, recycled plastic, natural pigments and many others; the new ecological, sustainable and recyclable materials are becoming more and more adapted to design and thus meet the demands of brands and their customers.

Eco leather, recycled plastic

Sensitive to the environment and their image, brands wishing to reduce the environmental footprint of their products are increasingly turning to eco-responsible materials. In order to meet this growing demand, the Iconia Group draws on its material library, which is constantly being enriched with innovative materials. “In general, we always encourage our customers to use sustainable and ecological materials. As soon as we spot new and innovative materials, we test them internally andpass the information on to all the teams in the group”. explains Jonathan Zanotta, Designer at Iconia. More than 3,000 references make up the material library. It is regularly developed in line with technological innovations, particularly with recycled and biosourced materials. To this end, Iconia collaborates with the O’Matério agency, which offers an international monitoring service on material innovations.

plastic in microscope

The use of plastic, for example, has been in the midst of a revolution for several years. Will recycled plastic be the eco-material of tomorrow? Recycled directly from the oceans, it has a new life cycle. Other forms of bio-based plastics are replacing petrochemical plastics, such as polymer materials made from natural fibres (castor beans, reed fibres, oyster shells, etc.). Iconia, in direct contact with the producers of these eco-responsible materials, then imagines their application in the production of accessories or packaging. This is how a watch case was created for a prestigious watch brand, made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Another innovative example is the transformation of fishing nets, recycled into granules and then into fibres, to make office carpets. Tested and approved, Iconia has installed this ethical and aesthetic carpet in one of its meeting rooms.

a watch case was created for a prestigious watch brand, made entirely from recycled plastic bottles

While the ecological dimension is important for the use of materials in design, it should not overshadow the ethical and responsible aspect. Most brands are now integrating these environmental and social values into their strategy. Shorter supply chains, local rather than global suppliers, the whole value chain is impacted. On each project, Iconia studies local supply channels, taking into account sources, transport, costs, carbon footprint, etc. “We study the properties of the materials, their durability over time, to source ethically and ensure the true sustainability of the products”. says Jonathan. The Villars Palace renovation project is perfectly in line with this objective. Using sustainable materials, in line with Swiss interior design codes, the wood used was sourced and processed locally. The designers also ensured the durability of the materials. Whether for interior design, furniture, wallpaper, lighting or floors, there are many solutions for finding the right ecological and sustainable materials. Responsible design, a strong value of the Iconia Group, is an integral part of the overall design in each project.

sustainable materials


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