Is Veganism the Future of Design?
More and more consumers are looking for cruelty-free products for their lives and homes. Is this the future of décor?
Likewise, a study carried out by Lantern, a Spanish consultancy firm specialising in the food market, notes that more than 3.6 million Spaniards consider themselves flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan, while the number of vegetarian or vegan businesses in Spain has doubled to almost 800 over the past five years. These consumers drive a market that will grow to around £3.9 billion (€4.4 billion) globally by 2020, according to the study.
Vegan homes, too, are a healthy, ethical and booming trend that’s opening a potential market for interiors professionals. At a panel at the Madrid Design Festival, trend guru Lidewij Edelkoort suggested that veganism is one of the keys to décor in 2019. We explore what this means for professionals and consumers.
The association has already brought together firms and professionals from more than 60 countries, offering online training courses for those involved in ethical interior design.
While veganism has boomed in recent years, as Emily Turnbull of British studio Can-Can said in an interview with Dezeen, design is still far behind the food industry when it comes to the vegan movement. But maybe that’s about to change.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, went for a vegan paint to decorate her first child’s room, and many magazines in the interiors sector have echoed this.
As a result, adding vegan interiors to a professional’s list of services is starting to be a good business call. “If you have a client with allergies … vegan alternatives are ideal,” DiMare says. “A project doesn’t have to be 100% vegan; it can be vegan only in those aspects where the client needs it to be.”
DiMare’s courses on vegan interior design are a success among traditional design professionals who want to add a new type of service to their business.
The main reasons are a respect for animal life, concern for personal health, and a growing awareness of sustainability. The warning issued by the UN in October 2018 – that we have only 12 years to limit the effects of climate change – has begun to permeate all industries. We feel good if we choose products that respect the environment.
On the other hand, vegan, cruelty-free homes also feature special interior design that allows the pets of the house to enjoy the place just as much as their owners. The Pets and the Home survey Houzz Spain carried out among its users revealed that 46% of households have a pet.
“Once I made the decision to go vegan, I felt like an immense weight slid off my shoulders,” she says. “Finally, my actions had begun to adhere to my ethics. I love being surrounded by beautiful things that are not made of animals. My next goal is to make sure my purchases are not only vegan, but also fair trade and organic.”
For now, it’s mostly people who are already aware who are creating vegan homes. But it’s time to think about the flip side of the coin: can sitting on a vegan sofa encourage someone to make their own home cruelty-free?
“That’s our wish and our goal,” says Víctor Portavella of the Spanish firm Atemporal Home Interiors, which makes vegan sofas (pictured). One of their three-seater sofas costs around £1,594 (€1,800).
A vegan designer uses products, materials and fabrics that don’t contain, damage, torture or exploit any part of any living being and do not damage our planet. A cruelty-free product is one that does not use any part of any living being, and has not been tested on animals. This description is based on the definition drawn up by The Vegan Society, which was founded in 1944 in the UK and is the oldest vegan association in the world.
Proponents of cruelty-free projects point out that animal skins used for furniture are treated with toxic products and chemical substances. There is another way. “Feather fillings are unnecessary. We can achieve the same comfort with fibres. This also prevents respiratory diseases and allergies,” Portavella says.
“It’s about opening customers’ eyes. We have to protect those who can’t protect themselves: animals and people forced to work in terrible conditions. Being ethical in the furniture we buy benefits our health and saves lives, human and otherwise, and is good for the planet. These are all advantages,” DiMare says.
Last year, DiMare published her book, Vegan Interiors, and several readers have already written to tell her that they made the decision to turn their homes vegan after reading the book.
Find an interior designer to help you refresh your home in the Houzz Professionals Directory.
Saunders, who has more than 40,000 followers on Instagram, was a winner of PETA’s Vegan Homeware Awards 2018, which gives prizes for vegan décor items. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a British charity organisation dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals.
Thankfully, there are more and more suitable options. Zara Home, a Spanish interiors brand, is becoming increasingly committed to 100% ecological and natural materials. Its latest collection, for example, makes use of bamboo
Are you tempted to use more vegan products in your home? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.