Going Dutch: Sustainable Design

The 3D-printed Chubby Chair is made from recycled plastic. Designed by Dirk van der Kooij.

The 3D-printed Chubby Chair is made from recycled plastic. Designed by Dirk van der Kooij.

When it comes to treading lightly and minimizing environmental impact, the Dutch are far ahead of most of us. Considering that Holland has more bikes per capita than any other nation—almost one per person—and Amsterdam has 400 kilometers of bike lanes, the Dutch are clearly serious about reducing their carbon footprint.

A pop-up exhibit at the Netherlands Embassy in DC spotlighted many Dutch innovators on the forefront of sustainable design. On view December 15 and 16, “ReUse, ReTouch, ReDutch” presented more than 50 objects designed for everyday use and made out of recycled or re-purposed materials.

At a special event on Monday night, three of the designers shared their insights with members of the design community and press. As curator and designer Leonne Cuppen of Yksi Expo explained, “There is beauty in everything we throw away on a daily basis.”

In case you missed it, a few of the innovative products on view were Healthy Seas Socks, made from abandoned fishing nets; Precious Waste, lovely textiles hand-woven from fibers made with plastic shopping bags; and handsome Kazmok briefcases made from old conveyor belts. —Sharon Jaffe Dan

More highlights are shown below:

These stools and baskets are created from recycled flip-flops found on the beaches of Africa. Designed by Diederik Schneemann.

These stools and baskets are created from recycled flip-flops found on the beaches of Africa. Designed by Diederik Schneemann.

The Soil Clock runs on mud; it uses powered electricity created by the metabolism of organic matter and the chemical reaction of copper and zinc. Designed by Marieke Staps.

The Soil Clock runs on mud; it uses powered electricity created by the metabolism of organic matter and the chemical reaction of copper and zinc. Designed by Marieke Staps.

Bags with a Message are made from used promotional materials. Design by Ellen Willink.

Bags with a Message are made from used promotional materials. Design by Ellen Willink.

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