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12 Sustainable Australian Products Changing The Way We Live

TDF Design Awards

With every year that passes, sustainable design becomes more and more urgent. Just this week we saw the release of a major new United Nations scientific report, which revealed the Earth could be just 10 years from heating by more than 1.5 degrees celsius. 

Designers are responding to this challenge by developing solutions to minimise waste and change consumer habits. The TDF + Laminex Design Awards represents the very best of these local innovations with the power to change the way we clean, cook, dress, style our homes and more.

Take a closer look at the shortlisted projects in the Sustainable Design or Initiative category, proudly supported by Country Road.

12th August, 2021

Photo – Pier Carthew. Art Direction – Thalia Economo.

Photo – Cubed Studios

Photo – Annette O’Brien. Styling – Ruth Welsby 

Other Matter, Algae Bioplastic Vessels

Other Matter is the multifaceted studio of experimental designer Jessie French, exploring the creation of seaweed-based bioplastics. Jessie’ Melbourne based design studio is the first in the world to offer custom-made, algae-based bioplastic designs, resulting in aesthetically striking pieces reminiscent of glass that are recyclable, biodegradable, and can be composted in a home system.

Other Matter supports Jessie’s vision for a ‘post-petrochemical’ world: an economic model that substitutes plastic products made from mined petroleum with biodegradable ‘plastic’ made from biological substances.

Great Wrap, The only Australian-made compostable cling wrap

Recognising the waste created by conventional cling wrap, an architect and a natural winemaker teamed up to create Great Wrap. This certified home-compostable cling wrap performs exactly like conventional cling wrap, except it breaks down into carbon and water in less than 180 days when composted.

Great Wrap is made from potato waste and a mix of other compostable biopolymers, and manufactured for home and industrial use at a solar powered factory on the Mornington Peninsula.

Ettitude, CleanBamboo

While many companies offer bamboo bedding using toxic rayon or viscose technology, ettitude spent years refining and testing its signature CleanBamboo textile to create a bamboo fabric that is 100% biodegradable and produced in a closed-loop system. The 100% bamboo lyocell has a sateen weave that provides its signature silky-soft feel, and is only available through ettitude.

Compared to cotton, one set of CleanBamboo ettitude sheets requires just one tenth of the water to manufacture. The brand’s technology reuses water up to 200 times, recycling 98% of water in the process.

Photo Render – 3d2d.

Pleasant State + Pop & Pac, Pleasant State – Drop into the Revolution

With the objective of reducing Australia’s single-use plastics, Pleasant State developed Australia’s first just-add-water cleaning products. Simply fill their reusable 500ml glass bottle with warm water, drop in the concentrated cleaning bar, wait for it to dissolve, then get cleaning. The product is zero waste, non-toxic, effective and stylish to encourage consumers to make the switch.

Since August 2020, Pleasant State estimated they’ve saved over 20,000 plastic cleaning bottles from landfill.

Use Daily, Various Origins

Believe it or not, Use Daily’s stylish bags are made from discarded outdoor materials such as awnings, tents and tarps all sourced in Melbourne from roadsides, demolitions and secondhand. Recognising the further potential of these durable and water-resistant materials, they have been transformed into practical, functional bags designed to be used daily.

The sustainable accessory label was founded in 2020 by multidisciplinary designers Cleo Coppinger and Joshua Anderson, with bags made in Fitzroy North by local maker Vanessa Flynn. Use Daily challenges perceptions of what is considered valuable, and the current model of mass production and mass waste.

Photo Render – 3d2d. Art Direction – Date of Birth.

ROCC Naturals, Sustainable Oral Care

Every year an estimated 1,500,000,000 toothpaste tubes enter landfill, all of which live there for 500+ years. Responding to this major problem, ROCC Naturals launched Australia’s first biodegradable toothpaste tube. Each tube breaks down in landfill in as little as six years and is engineered in a way to not break into microplastics.

ROCC Naturals’ brand identity designed by Date of Birth agency differs from other natural toothpastes in the market to offer a visual identity that’s both nostalgic and brand new at the same time. The design-inspired toothpaste is intended to sit proudly on your sink, not in your drawer.

The Better Uniforms Co., Sustainable Better Uniforms

The Better Uniforms Co. was created to fulfil a gap in the market for sustainable, premium and fashion-led uniforms. Their minimal, aesthetic uniforms are made-to-order using organic fabrics and ethical manufacturing, resulting in durable uniforms delivered in four to six weeks.

The company uses GOTS certified organic cotton from fair-trade certified farms, which means less damage to the soil, less impact on the air, less water, less energy and more support for the farmers and their communities. The company’s dye process is also certified to OEKO TEX 100 standards. Items are long lasting and competitively priced compared among leading Australian industry suppliers.

Convolo Design, H_Station

Hydrogen Fuels Australia are providing a revolutionary alternative to fossil fuels, and seeking to reimagine the future of vehicle design and mobility. In response, designer Sarah Ceravolo imagined H_Station – a hydrogen refuelling station for the future. H_Station is a modular construction with a light footprint on the land it resides on, and therefore can be easily and delicately relocated, preserving natural ecosystems. The site is planned for its first stage of construction to be completed in February 2022 in Truganina, Melbourne.

Photo – Fiona Susanto

3D render – Josh Howard

Cultivated (by Cult Design), Cultivated

Cultivated is Cult Design’s in-house program that provides buy back, refurbishment, and recycling services for authentic designer furniture. From a single lounge chair in need of re-upholstering, to an entire office space of worn-out seating, Cultivated works with local manufacturers and craftspeople to restore, reinvigorate or recycle original design, creating a sustainable circular economy for authentic furniture and lighting.

Cultivated is a standalone program, but also closely integrated into the Cult sales process. All commercial projects receive a Cultivated guarantee, ensuring that end of life furniture will be brought back to be refurbished or recycled.

Single Use Ain’t Sexy, Dissolvable Hand Soap Tablet

Australians reportedly each use 130kg of plastic every year, less than 12% of which gets recycled. Single Use Ain’t Sexy set out to create a stylish solution to save single-use plastic soap bottles from landfill, leading to the creation of Australia’s first dissolvable hand soap tablet. Just add water into their reusable glass bottle, and wash your hands – without plastic waste.

Single Use Ain’t Sexy has now saved up to 125,000 single-use plastic bottles from landfill!

Photo – Christopher Tovo

Nobody Denim and GEORGE, Woven Bag

The objective of this project was to reduce Nobody Denim’s footprint and reimagine commercial textile waste. Cut offs otherwise destined for landfill were gathered from the denim label’s cutting room floor, and rerouted into the hands of weaver and designer, Georgina Whigham. In her Canberra studio, on behalf of her eponymous label GEORGE, Georgina wove this series of truly unique one of a kind recycled denim hats and bags.

Revival Projects, Zero Footprint Repurposing initiative at Ferrars Street

On half a South Melbourne block demolished to make way for new development, Revival Projects have salvaged over 2000 lineal metres of timber beams, and are using them to manufacture furniture and joinery. This manufacturing is being completed entirely in a workshop on site, and items will feature in the eventual development. The workshop will be demolished upon the initiative’s completion, effectively leaving zero footprint.

The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2021 Sustainable Design or Initiative category award is presented by Country Road. 

Country Road is an iconic Australian fashion lifestyle brand for women, men, children and home. Focusing on style, quality and versatility, Country Road delivers modern Australian design for effortless living, every day.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.