Durability and anti-trend: the new sustainability

One of the big themes at this year's Milan Furniture Fair seemed to be sustainability. No surprise there; "greenwashing" is all the rage, with seemingly everything being promoted as "made from recycled", and firms and products broadcasting their carbon footprint to the world.

But a more intriguing angle is the sustainability of timeless, durable, and anti-trend goods which last, in terms of use and relevance, for decades. What's more green? Buying 5 different sofas made of "environmentally responsible" materials over the course of a decade, or a single piece that may not have a LEED pedigree, but that the owner uses throughout a lifetime? We'll never make a real impact on our consumptive ways until we get past our fickle, trend-obsessed, everything-is-ultimately-disposible attitudes and behaviors.

How did this manifest itself in Milan? Tom Dixon's self-described "plain" designs, Thomas Eyck's collections based on humble, traditional materials such as flax, and Royal Tichelaar Makkum's wonderful, homey cups and dishes that seem optimized for comfort food. Video interviews with each of these designers to be posted soon...