TDF Design Awards

11 Australian Sustainable Designs To Inspire

In the past two months, the world experienced the single hottest month ever recorded, Iceland mourned disappeared glaciers with we-know-what-is-happening plaques, and Australia’s ‘recycling’ was continuing to be dumped into landfill.

The flailing light (renewable-powered at least in SA!) at the end of this gloomy tunnel is that 5% of Australian City Councils – including Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, and Darwin – have all declared a Climate Emergency.

From 28 entries, we’re further inspired by the 11 glimmering eco-conscious innovators in the running for the TDF Design Awards Sustainable Design Award. We hope this shortlist, from functional products to architectural and industrial design projects, can inspire and empower others to embark on creating the vital tools and solutions we are all going to need!

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Mercedes me Melbourne

Sophie Gandar, Milou Milou. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling – Nat Turnbull. 

Seljak Brand, Closed Loop Merino Blanket. Photo – Jorge Serra.

Lucy Feagins
2nd of September 2019

Sophie Gandar – Milou Milou

An alternative to fast-fashion, this vibrant though minimalist bedlinen is fully custom (colours/sizes). It is created from durable 100% flax linen, much of which is ‘dead stock’ over-ordered by global corporate fashion brands.

Seljak Brand – Closed Loop Merino Wool Blanket

A closed-loop, recycled merino wool blanket made from off-cut materials bound for landfill, which is also recyclable at the end of its life. They are made at Australia’s oldest and last fully-integrated wool mill.

Contain Design Studio, Milk In Glass. Photo – Gareth Sobey. Styling – Melinda King.

LEFT: Champ Designs, Puzzle Placemats. Photo – Rémi Chauvin. RIGHT: Better Packaging, comPOST packs. Photo – Better Packaging Co.

Contain Design Studio – Milk In Glass

Tackling the war on waste by bringing back the returnable 1L glass bottles of the past, this world-first, crowdfunded design encourages “drink, return, refill, repeat”. Ergonomic in form, it features an FSC recycled paper collar for essential information and incorporates brand glass mould of the dairy’s logo, eliminating non-recyclable labelling.

Champ Design – Puzzle Placements

This interactive tableware is manufactured in Melbourne from recycled tyres and new durable rubber, using low-emission techniques. Practical yet playful, the designs protect and prolong the life of surfaces.

The Better Packaging Co. – comPOST Packs

The rise of e-commerce has resulted in increased plastic postage packaging, which horrified the designers and compelled them to design a sustainable (yet fit-for-purpose) courier satchel. Certified home compostable as well as being partly made from renewable plants, their design, in seven sizes, is distinguishable in its bold, opaque black, with distinctive slogans like ‘I’m a Real Dirt Bag’.


LEFT: Candice Choma, Eyre Cup.  Photo – Candice Choma. RIGHT: Beetbox, Glass Lunch Bowl. Photo – Albert Comper.

LEFT: NRN Architects, Walkerville POD House. Photo – Tatjana Plitt. RIGHT: Seed & Sprout, Fresh Food Storage Bundle. Photo – Little Light Studis

Candice Choma, Eyre Cup

A utilitarian ‘eco-preneurial’ response to throw-away culture, particularly at festivals, this collapsible cup is made from soft food-grade silicone. It also featured a handy D loop for attachment, promoting every day, all-day use.

BeetBox – BeetBox Glass Lunch Bowl

This reusable and 100% recyclable bold three-piece design features strong tempered glass yet is featherlight, with a unique membrane seal (air/liquid-tight). It fosters pack-a-lunch culture, minimising waste and improving user health.

NRN Architects – Walkerville POD HouseTwo

A home created from existing prefabricated pod structures, that have been ‘stitched together’ to create a comfortable holiday home that maximises rainwater collection, solar energy generation, natural light and outdoor space.

Seed & Sprout – Fresh Food Storage Bundle

Everything you need to eliminate plastic form your fridge and freezer, all the while keeping food fresher. This storage bundle of silicone solutions is plastic free, toxic-free and air-tight.


Carter Williamson, GRID Education. Photo – Ben Guthrie.

Trias, Three Piece House. Photo – Benjamin Hosking.

Lucy Feagins
2nd of September 2019

Carter Williamson – GRID Education

Created as part of a school STEM program, this pre-fabricated, modular, sustainable housing solution is highly adaptable, suitable for residential or commercial applications to disaster zone deployment.

Trias – Three Piece House

Designed for a downsizing retiring couple, this sustainable design for a modest two-bedroom home and studio balances its compact footprint with height, light, and volume.

The Sustainable Design Award is supported by Mercedes me store Melbourne.

Mercedes me is a certified carbon neutral café and event space, a hub of creativity where contemporary café culture meets Mercedes-Benz lifestyle. A vibrant concept space where art meets innovation, design meets entrepreneurship and sport meets community leadership. A place to build new relationships and experience great events. Created to connect, designed to share, made to inspire.

Recent TDF Design Awards