UK design festival showcases palm leather, potato plastic


In Shoreditch, a popular design festival has named biomaterials as a key innovation, awarding the entire category its 2019 Material of the Year and including numerous biobased products among its exihibitions. London Design Fair organizers say they aim to raise awareness of the versatility of renewable ingredients.

“We have a massive captive audience of decision-makers that both exhibit and visit the fair,” Jimmy MacDonald, the founder and director of London Design Fair, tells Forbes.  “By showing what is possible and new with Bio-Materials for example, we can influence which materials designers choose to use and expose our audience to new options they should be looking for in their next purchase.”

Exhibitors include Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven, which has created PalmLeather from areca palm with local manufacturing in India, Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka; Fernando Laposse, who has invented Totomoxtle, a veneer made corn husks, a by-product of food production in Tonahuixtla, Mexico; and High Society, an Italian design brand using hemp and tobacco waste to create home lighting solutions.

Chip(s) Board, a UK-based studio, will also exhibit its Parblex Plastics, made from potato waste sourced from McCain, the world’s largest frozen potato product maker.

The exhibition will run September 18-22nd at Old Truman Brewery.