People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has created the Vegan Homeware Awards, an event celebrating the products, brands and designers making a difference. Jo Weaden finds that the 2019 list of winners is no exception.
Alternatives to materials such as leather, feathers, wool and silk are becoming increasingly available. “It’s easier than ever for compassionate consumers to adorn their abodes with beautiful, cruelty-free homeware,” says Elisa Allen, PETA UK’s director. The UK-based charity dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals has announced the winners for its third annual awards, recognising designs that steer clear of any animal involvement – whether it is through cruelty-free testing that does not use animals, creating leather alternatives or producing down-free bedding. “PETA is delighted to honour the forward-thinking companies that are meeting the booming demand for vegan decor with fashionable and functional pieces that are sure to make every space shine,” Allen says.
The collaboration award has been presented to Cassina and Philippe Starck for the 16-piece collection for Cassina’s Croque La Pomme installation. Each piece of furniture uses Apple Ten Lork, an alternative to leather, the material has been made from apple cores and skins, a waste product of the apple industry. The Volage EX-S sofa, now featuring a thinner armrest, along with the Privè collection and Caprice and Passion chairs, designed by Starck for Cassina, have all been reinvented with this innovative material available in white, orange and black. “A leather sofa is beautiful and comfortable, but why stop there? We pretend not to hear the question but we really need to find other solutions. Today, perhaps apples can give us the beginning of the answer,” says Philippe Starck.
Dutch designer Tjeerd Veenhoven has won this year’s innovation award for his experiments using vegan leather made from palm leaves. Veenhoven’s range of palm leather rugs present a sustainable alternative to animal skins and use only 5% of the water that would be required in the production of animal-derived leather.
The Fine Bedding Company has created the Smartdown duvet and pillow, which have won the brand the best down-free bedding award. The products use recycled plastic bottles to create a filling that mimics the sensation and properties of goose down, which is then wrapped in a sustainably sourced cotton cover. Weaver Green has also been awarded for its use of recycled plastic within its furniture, using 100% recycled plastic bottles to create a material that looks and feels like wool.
Other winners include House of Kind for the best wool-free blanket award for its handcrafted Polku throw and Hetty + Sam who won the accolade for best feather-free cushion.