We believe the Future is Circular.
In our last e-Book about Circular Design: Designing a Circular Future we are sharing the extensive research our editorial team has been doing on the circular economy and circular design.
The e-book features, in more than 150 pages, the key concepts and principles of circular economy, and essential glossary, benefits and strategies for circular design, together with many news and innovations we scouted at the design events around Europe and 15 interviews to designers.
Today I am sharing the interview to Woodio, a Finnish sustainable bathroom design brand which produces a special bio-material wood composite for bathroom fixtures.
About the brand | Woodio Sustainable bathroom design
Woodio is a Finnish design-oriented material technology company with innovative and sustainable designs for bathrooms. Their patented material is the world’s first 100% waterproof wood composite that consists of real wood chips.
Woodio unique material innovation was inspired by an idea of making wooden bathroom tiles, something extremely challenging at first. Woodio currently provides washbasins and bathtubs designs with a unique, minimalistic style, made of this special waterproof wood composite..
When compared to traditional ceramic bathroom products, Woodio design pieces significantly present a lower carbon footprint, throughout the whole product lifecycle. In fact, they claim to have 55kg lower CO2 emissions per unit .* Their products are disposable as energy waste, designed and produced in Finland and their core material, wood aspen, is locally sourced.
* Source: A. Nurmio / Aalto University
Interview | Woodio Sustainable bathroom design
“For us, designers of tangible products, the challenge of large scale production is a big one. How can we design and mass-produce products that are both restorative and regenerative?”
For you, what is the role of a designer in our contemporary world?
Our role as an eco-design company is to also, raise discussion around topics that have an impact on the well-being of our Earth. And the bathroom industry has a lot to improve in this area. We are here to disrupt and change the way people think about bathrooms, and to offer a solution that is less of a burden to the environment.
As a brand, we want to make a difference and help people make sustainable choices by showing that sustainability does not mean a compromise in performance, functionality or design. Our material is the world’s first 100% waterproof solid wood composite made from real wood chips. Its’ carbon footprint is a lot lower than bathroom materials traditionally have.
What do sustainability and circular design mean to you? How important are these concepts to your work?
Sustainability and circular design are in the very core of our company. These values are rooted both in our vision to become the world’s leading eco-design brand as well as our mission to fight climate change with sustainable design and material technology. We live in a world that is facing an ever-increasing global consumption, and there are both environmental as well as socio-economic challenges related. The way we see the world is that the transition towards a circular economy and design is a must.
Last autumn we got Finnish forestry company Metsä Group as a partner. For Woodio, this brings not only financial stability but also a partnership with significant new resources in R&D from Metsä Group’s under-utilised side-streams. This spring we are launching our first collection that gives a new life to Metsä Group’s pulp mill side-stream wood chips that would have otherwise been burned.
Overall, we put a strong focus on making sustainable choices throughout the whole production process – from the material itself to manufacturing. Woodio products have a significantly lower carbon footprint throughout the entire product lifecycle than traditional ceramic bathroom products. Our products are also disposable as energy waste, and this means that they can be burned as energy at the end of their life cycle.
What is the biggest challenge designers face in order to build a circular future?
We are mostly still living in a linear world, where goods are manufactured from raw materials, sold in the largest possible quantities, and eventually discarded. But to make a change, we are now faced with the challenge to research and reinvent materials and also investigate how we can reuse them several times over, while making them long-lasting and creating minimal waste. For us, designers of tangible products, the challenge of large scale production is a big one. How can we design and mass-produce products that are both restorative and regenerative?