September 20 2011
Truly successful eco-design should elicit a response of, “Wow, where did you get that?”, followed by appreciation and/or incredulity that the product in question has an environmentally friendly side to it. And that’s why I was excited to discover e-side, an e-tail site launched in November 2010 that sells statement interior design and, as its owner and MD Alessia Civettini puts it, “inspiring, cutting-edge, design-led sustainable furniture and eco-luxury gifts and toys”. It has some plum picks.
E-side’s Collection is where the shopping happens. Choose from eight categories: What’s New?, Fashion, Gifts, Living, Art Prints, Kids, Rugs and Outdoor. As “green” fashion can so often betray its worthiness, that’s where I decide to test the goods, and am surprised to find no garments at all (though this may of course change), but two items of immediate interest: the cool Mini Miles Weekender Bag (first picture, £190) by Katie Bell, which is made from fair trade coffee sack with leather trim and natural hide handles – it may sound unlikely, but take a look – and WeWood’s range of analogue or digital chronometer watches in sustainable or reclaimed wood (£79 each), which have plenty of other eco brownie points, not least that for every watch sold, WeWood plants a tree.
In the Living category, I’m spoilt for choice. My head is turned by Ricrea’s Latex Roll Pouf (£69) – “a seat with a footprint”. It’s a positive, literal footprint: the fun(ky), brightly coloured pouffe (yellow, blue, green, lilac, sand) is a byproduct of the Italian shoe industry, made from a roll of latex from which insoles have been cut. But absolutely top of my list are A4ADesign’s wonderful 100 per cent recycled cardboard offerings: its fabulous Streep 180 Bench (£280) with laminated top, and its bookstacks (first picture, £565.50 and £740), which are light yet sturdy – and, more importantly, look great with books in them.
Oh, I do like to be beside the e-side…