Michael Hirschhorn and Mona Chun, co-creators of The Circular Design Glossary, introduce the new guide to understanding the future of furniture design. It was developed by Mebl | Transforming Furniture, where Michael and Mona are founder/CEO and chief operating and sustainability officer, respectively, in partnership with the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Our homes are the center of our lives and a primary source of CO2 emissions. The Ellen McArthur Foundation has estimated that 80% of the environmental impact of the way we live can be changed by making better product design decisions. That may make it sound like most choices are out of our hands because we have to rely on manufacturers to choose low-impact materials designed for circularity. Michael and Mona share a variety of examples of sustainable furniture designs from small designers as well as retail giant IKEA. These designs illustrate that these companies are making important changes to their products.
Mona and Michael suggest that “the very first step to a ‘circular future’ is accessible information and awareness” and ask, “How can we transform this throwaway paradigm into a just, regenerative and sustainable system?” That’s a great question to ask when shopping for furniture or any other product or service. Becoming better informed about our home décor and furnishing choices empowers shoppers to exert pressure on manufacturing and services companies to reduce their environmental impact and our own footprint. You can learn more about the Circular Design Glossary at sustainablefurnishings.org/glossary and about Mebl at meblfurniture.com.
Mebl also produced a useful video guide to help New Yorkers find, buy, sell, or dispose of used furniture without sending it to the landfill. Even if you don’t live near the Big Apple, the program will introduce key ideas that can be applied anywhere.