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Cult joins the circular economy with sustainability initiative

In the fight for sustainability, Cult Design has announced the launch of its in-house initiative, Cultivated, which offers buy back, refurbishment and recycling services for well-loved items of authentic design.

Each year in Australia, the equivalent of 800,000 three-seater sofas, 1.65 million dining tables or 3.4 million coffee tables are discarded. Tossed to the streets, from where with any luck they’ll capture the eye of some passerby or, if not, be destined for council collection. To date, the best antidote to this wasteful lifestyle and economy that we know of is to produce and purchase things that last. 

Though the price-tags might be worthy of a wince at the point of purchase, quality designer furniture boasts longevity that can’t be beat. This is now truer than ever, thanks to the launch of Cult’s in-house sustainability program, Cultivated. 

Refurbishment of a 10-year old Fritz Hansen Series 7 chair from the Art Gallery of NSW – a skilled team of carpenters sand back the aged lacquer before re-surfacing and re-painting.

Refurbishment of a 10-year old Fritz Hansen Series 7 chair from the Art Gallery of NSW – a skilled team of carpenters sand back the aged lacquer before re-surfacing and re-painting.

New lacquer is applied carefully and evenly to the refurbished Series 7 chair using a spray gun.

New lacquer is applied carefully and evenly to the refurbished Series 7 chair using a spray gun.

Officially launching at Melbourne Design Week in 2021, Cultivated is a sustainability program that has been 8 years in the making, now complete with buy back, refurbishment and recycling services offered by Cult Design for aged or end-of-life authentic design. Whether dealing with a single lounge chair in need of repair or an entire office space of worn and torn seating, Cultivated works with local manufacturers and craftspeople to restore, reinvigorate or recycle items of original design.

The initiative endeavours to create a sustainable circular economy for authentic furniture and lighting, with the more measurable aims to minimise the use of finite resources and the extraction of raw materials, reduce landfill and incineration waste, avoid unnecessary pollution and reduce emissions.

Coinciding auspiciously with the happenings of Melbourne Design Week 2021, Cult plans to officially initiate Cultivated to the design community with an exhibition, showcasing at Cult Design Melbourne between Friday 26 March and Saturday 3 April.

Refurbishment of a 1990 Erik Joergensen Corona chair – the aged upholstery is stripped prior to re-upholstery.

Refurbishment of a 1990 Erik Joergensen Corona chair – the aged upholstery is stripped prior to re-upholstery.

Mapping the life cycle of considered design pieces through ideation, raw material extraction, manufacture and beyond, the exhibition showcases the role that the Cultivated program plays in the circular economy of authentic designer furniture. Screening alongside the exhibition is Sustainability Stories, a short film comprising a series of mini interviews with design industry professionals — from designers, architects and business owners, to editors, advocates and advisors. Sharing anecdotes, case studies and advice, Sustainability Stories offers a glimpse into the vast arena of sustainability, providing insight into the overarching question…

 

What can sustainability in the design industry look like?

 

Refurbishment of a 1990 Erik Joergensen Corona chair – once re-upholstered, each cushion is re-attached to the original frame by hand.

Refurbishment of a 1990 Erik Joergensen Corona chair – once re-upholstered, each cushion is re-attached to the original frame by hand.

More about the Cultivated event can be found here.

 

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