Designers display wide range of biobased innovations at home goods show


In Germany, a recent trade show has illustrated how “all in” the home goods is on incorporating renewable materials into products. Heimtextil 2020, held in pre-pandemic Frankfurt, featured products manufactured using everything from banana waste to fig bark.

Qwstion, headquartered Switzerland, showcased cloth totes made with its Banatex-brand banana-plant fiber, while the Netherland’s Nienk Hoogvliet exhibited rugs, chairs, and tables made from seaweed. Germany’s Barktex displayed a leather-like material made from mutuba fig bark sourced from East Africa, and Kenya’s Green-Nettle Textile included a fabric similar to linen made from the marginal crop nettles.

Hailing from Latvia, Sarmite Polakova showcased PineSkins, a leather-like material made from tree bark of harvested timber that would otherwise be waste. “This project gives the bark new purpose,” Polakova tells the Associated Press. “It becomes a living extension of the tree long after the wood has been cut in pieces.”

Other displays included fibers made from pineapple leaves; furniture made from corn and wheat sourced from Mexico; light fixtures made of mushrooms; and lampshades made of mycelium and red cabbage leaves. Bio-laminates were also ubiquitous in furniture displays.