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Sustainable Design Materials for Wayfinding

Looking to source innovative sustainable materials for your wayfinding project? The Velvet Principle are constantly on the look out for more sustainable options for fabricating signs. Rather than keep them to ourselves we thought we’d share some of the interesting products we’ve come across.

NB Inclusion on this list should not be taken as a recommendation – it is intended as a reference source for likeminded people to check out for themselves.

Do you know of other suitable candidates to add to the list? Please do get in touch with further details

sustainable design materials from recycled paper
Richlite Paper Composite

Developed over 70 years ago, Richlite is made from compressing layers of paper with a thermosetting resin. The result is a durable, nonporous, heat and water resistant material that’s suitable for a range of applications. At least 65% of the material comes from FSC certified or recycled paper sources and the company claims to have designed their manufacturing processes to minimise energy use and waste. The natural fibres of the paper and amber colour of the resin, are reflected in the warm, textured look of the material.

Decorative panels made from recycled waste
Decorative Panels from Recycled Plastic Packaging

Smile Plastics, design and manufacture decorative panels from recycled waste. Waste is sourced from a range of applications from yoghurt pots, plastic bottles and packaging to coffee grounds. The materials are arranged before pressing, to deliver a hand-designed product. As well as offering a standard range they will also design bespoke panels to meet specific colour or performance requirements. If you’re prepared to wait, they will even examine your own plastic waste to design somethings truly unique to you.

Board made from recycled plastic
Recycled Plastic

Provided by Second Life Products Wales, this material is made from 100% waste plastic material, which again is recyclable. There is very little information on their website about where and how they source the waste material and process it. Or whether they have  procedures in place for end of life repatriation for reprocessing. Although the applications showcased are predominantly large outdoor furniture items, there is reference to uses in signs.

Really Board material made from recycled textiles
Recycled Textiles

Subsidiary of the Danish textile design company Kvadrat, Really takes end of life wool and cotton from the fashion and textile industries, industrial laundries, as well as cut offs from their own production, to produce solid board and acoustic felt. Their process uses no dyes, toxic chemicals or even water and generates only recyclable waste. In a demonstration of true circularity, they will take back used products, recycle them into new materials and return them back to the client. 

Image of green cast acrylic
Greencast Acrylic

Developed by Italian Company Madreperla, Greencast is a cast acrylic material made from recycled PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate). They’ve developed a technique for recycling acrylic without losing any of the optical, thermal and mechanical properties that for many years have made acrylic an ideal material. The product is available in a wide range of colours and finishes. There are a number of distributors available, to facilitate circular economy principles, check whether the suppliers will collect used materials to feedback into the system.

Ecocrylic -70% recycled acrylic
Ecocrylic 70% Recycled Clear Acrylic

Produced by Pyrasied in the Netherlands, Ecocrylic is an extruded acrylic made from 70% recycled pre and post consumer acrylic and 30% virgin stock. The waste material is sourced from LCD screens and production waste. It is available as clear sheets in a range of thicknesses from 2mm to 6mm.  The material can be recycled and the company website indicates that they will take back the material after use to recycle it

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