Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 583

4 4 6 J ANUARY 202 2 Home WEEKENDING You’ll be aware of the growing range of vegan products to eat and drink. But what about furnishing your home too? Design expert and TV presenter Michelle Ogundehin looks at ways to make a house both ecofriendly and stylish Go plant-based with interiors It’s all change for the home as plants are coming o our shelves and into our products. Under the banner of sustainability, we’ve seen organic cotton, hemp, linen and even clothmade frombamboo take over the fashion catwalks. Add in the horror of plastic pollution and the way was set for the emergence of a new breed of ‘biofabricated’ materials which are not only sustainable – good for planet as well as people – but also often use things that would usually be thrown away. Think pineapple leaves and apple cores, cactus plants, co ee grounds and even used tea leaves! Themost popular so far is probably Piñatex. Made frompineapple leaves which would otherwise be burnt after the fruit is harvested, this leather substitute is created by washing and drying the pineapple fibres before weaving them into a lightweight fabric that’s water resistant and durable. The brainchild of Spanish fashion entrepreneur Dr CarmenHijosa, it was conceived as a response to the toxicity of the tanning industry. Nowmanufactured for clients all over the world fromher base in the Philippines it’s creating jobs, o setting carbon, saving cows and utilising waste. It’s so compelling that fashion supremo and long-termvegetarian StellaMcCartney uses it for many of her bags and accessories. British furniture designer Tamasine Osher upholsters her signature lounge chairs in thematerial, and US designer DrewVeloric uses it to update classic mid-century modern seating. And if you fancied a fully immersive pineapple ‘leather’ experience, you can check into the world’s first vegan suite at the Hilton London Bankside Hotel, with chairs, cushions and a headboard all covered with Piñatex. But pineapples aren’t the only fruit on the plant-poweredmenu. Frenchman Philippe Starck (he of that 80s lemon juicer), recently used amaterial called Apple Ten Lork to upholster a show-stopping but limitededition collection of chairs and sofas for Italian furniture giant Cassina. It’s made from the cores, peel and seeds of apples left over from the fruit juice industry, perfect for conversion because they’re high in cellulose which is what paper is made from. The only caveat is that Apple Ten Lork has to bemixed with some polyurethane tomake it last. In contrast, Desserto is an all organic, chemical-free and partially biodegradable plant-based ‘leather’ made from the pulp of theMexicanNopal cactus plant. The thick fleshy leaves are cleaned, mashed, dried in the sun then coloured using natural dyes and directly processed into cloth. It was the result of two years of dedicated research and development byMexican-born Adrián López Velarde andMarte Cázarez. What’s more, the cacti grow abundantly, need no water, and as onlymature leaves are used, the rest of the plant is kept for the future. Soft enough to use for clothing, accessories, upholstery and even car interiors, Desserto’s credentials will mean it won’t be ALL CHANGE Dr Carmen Hijosa ( left); Nike’s Happy Pineapple range, made using Piñatex (right); an antique brass chair from Tamasine Osher’s Purton collection ( far right) long before it goes mainstream. Another material that you’ll hear more about is eucalyptus silk aka Lyocell Tencel. Branches of the eucalyptus tree are cut and converted, in a similar process to Desserto, into a sumptuously soft fabric that’s naturally antibacterial, dust resistant, durable and temperature regulating. Incredibly, its manufacture also uses 95% less water