Image: Jake Phipps
January 04 2011
Eco design might have shed its hairshirt image in recent years, but according to Simeon Scott, founder of new eco e-commerce site Greener Abode, it could try harder to be good-looking and seductive. His own route into the design field was unusual: “I used to be an electrician installing solar energy in people’s homes,” he recalls. “I realised after a while that their interiors often lacked any sense of design, which inspired me to sell eco homeware.”
Greener Abode’s broad repertoire of products – from solar-powered fairy lights in blue, yellow or white (from £29.99 for 50) to a garden loveseat in oak (first picture, £1,675) – are made from sustainable, reclaimed, recycled or recyclable products. But for Scott, who sources pieces from design exhibitions and small, independent companies, such green credentials, though admirable, aren’t enough: “Many of our products are handmade by inventive, talented designers,” he insists. “What differentiates them from other eco stores is that they’re unusual – most have a story to tell.”
Given their slick appearance, it’s not obvious with most pieces that they’re made of sustainable or recycled materials – a good example being a lantern-like lampshade in a delicious blackcurrant-fool shade (second picture, £975.49), a labour-intensive piece handmade from shredded PET bottle waste compressed into felt, hence the price tag.
But this website’s true forte is its ability to source eco furniture that looks confidently theatrical rather than homespun in a mousy way. Take its reclaimed neo-baroque Louis chair upholstered with offcuts from Liberty, Designers Guild, Malabar, Romo, Nina Campbell, Sanderson and Harlequin (£484.95); the Annie chair made from a discarded shopping trolley in funky peppermint green (£549.99); an idiosyncratic desk modelled from a recycled aeroplane wing (£1,989.99); or a bathtub recast as a chaise longue (third picture, £1,849.99).
Finding new contexts and functions for apparently mundane objects, Greener Abode’s wares are both green and imaginative.