Home Pickings And
Our Top Drawer Favourites

On a recent visit to “Home” and “Top Drawer” 2013, at London’s Earls Court, we donned our trekking boots in search of the latest sustainable designs. Home is a design-led interior & home accessories industry show, which took place alongside Top Drawer, a showcase for over 700 British and international retail suppliers.

Here are some of our favourites from the shows:

At All Lovely Stuff loveliness is at the core of whatever they do. They have the ethos that if you really love something you’ll want to hold onto it, which is good for everyone. Each item has an element of character, or humour, which helps to build an emotional connection with the user.

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These delicious flavoured doughnuts are made from beech and are iced in strawberry pink, chocolate brown and sugar white. Designed in conjunction with Michael Marriott.

Since 2010 they’ve been producing practical and affordable products that make those everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable. All are developed and sourced to be high quality and ethically responsible, with packaging that’s recyclable, or compostable.

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Amoosing Coat Rack with the perfect antlers for hanging up coats, umbrellas or scarves.

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This bird sNest box is a home sweet home for fine-feathered friends such as tree sparrows, great tits and pied flycatchers.

And they’re interested in what we all think. If you’d like to contribute by sending them something that you think is lovely, get in touch with them here and you may see it on their blog.

Apple Green Duck are an Australian company who want to make it easy to say “no” to plastic. They aim to break the consumer habit of single-use plastic bags, by getting people to switch to reusable and recyclable alternatives.

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Apple Green Duck were displaying a diverse, bold and vibrant range by Wendy Pollard, designed to create an affordable but fashionable alternative for grocery shopping. Suppliers have been individually selected by the company to meet ethical standards of manufacturing.

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Options include jute shoppers, cotton calico bags, hemp cotton bags, mesh totes & nylon foldable bags, all catering to environment-conscious customers.

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Other items in the Apple Green Duck range include reusable food and wine bags, decorated plant holders, teatowels and aprons.

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The Rice stand was a riot of colour. In fact their intention is to “colour you happy” when you’re washing, cleaning, baking and relaxing in your home. But they’re not just about fun and funkiness, they have a big heart and a strong social ethic too.

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Founded in 1998 by Charlotte and Philippe Hedeman-Gueniau, the company has grown from a small family business to an internationally recognised brand. With headquarters in Odense, Denmark, Rice is now in more than 30 countries.

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They have suppliers in Thailand, India, China, Madagascar, Taiwan and Italy. The suppliers vary for each collection, but all must adhere to the same values, based on the principles of the SA8000 standard, which include safe and healthy working conditions, fair wages, proper working hours, no child, or forced labour and a high regard for human rights. Rice also conforms to the UN Global Compact and use their guidelines in their work.

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And not only that – here are some of the charitable projects Rice has participated in:

  • RICE Campaign to support Japan – Rice raise funds for the Danish Red Cross’ emergency aid to Japan, following the earthquake in March, 2011.
  • Lakshya (Hindi for Goal) Project – Rice produce bags in a small factory run by former street children. The profit helps run a small orphanage in New Delhi.
  • Spoon Full of Hope 08/09 – (With the Danish Refugee Council) Rice donate 24 servings of soup to refugee families in Mogadishu (08), and a cooking set to refugee families in Darfur (09), every time they sell a spoon.
  • Cup Full of Hope – (With the Danish Refugee Council) Rice donate a jerry-can and wash kit to a refugee family in Africa every time they sell a set of cups.
  • Send Me To School Project – (With the Danish Refugee Council) Rice built a school in Burma/Myanmar. Rice donate to help give children an education and a future in the area, damaged by a cyclone in 2008. See the latest updates from Send Me To School Project.

Take a look at the video below to see a Rice project in India.

Qubis Haus, by Amy Whitworth, is a coffee table that doubles as a doll’s house. It was launched, Oct 2012, as part of the Boost project.

(Boost is a mentoring and development scheme whereby six new designers receive industry support and advice – organised and run by Southbank Centre, in partnership with The Observer and Cockpit Arts, London).

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The table is made in the UK from solid birch plywood and has clean modern lines, making it a beautiful, timeless piece of living room furniture, as well as a centre for children to play.

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The doll’s house can be reconfigured with the simple addition of sliding panels, enabling the ‘designer’ to create different room layouts.

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The Qubis toy furniture is made from locally grown sustainable oak and is hand-crafted in Wales, using embedded magnets within wooden building blocks, which magically transform into modern looking beds, tables and chairs, with just a click.

Check out the video below for a quick animation:

recycle-recycle use recycled rice and cement bags, which have been bought from a non-government organisation and remade into boot bags, picnic blankets, plant pots, grow bags, laundry trugs, wash bags…and the list goes on!

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All the items are made in Cambodia, in a Fairtrade organisation working to improve the lives of those they employ. The aim is to meet workers’ needs on a physical, social, and emotional level, enabling them to discover their full potential and self-worth.

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All the profits are ploughed back into the organisation and are used to buy more equipment and provide further employment opportunities for the disadvantaged.

We always keep an eye out for cycling storage solutions, especially when they’re beautifully designed, like the Trophy Wild bicycle holders by Outlineworks, winners of Best Product award at Home London this year.

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The two products are The Trophy Bull and the Trophy Deer, both iconic head silhouettes, crafted in the UK from solid steel. They have a soft touch coating in either short fur or soft touch plastic, which won’t damage the bike. And the great thing is, they look perfectly at home as a piece of art, without the bike!

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And, while we’re talking bikes, here’s a use for those old tyre inner-tubes. These wonderfully robust vases are designed by Moniek VanDen Berghe for Serax Maison D’Etre. Her new ‘Recircled’ collection was inspired by the simple beauty of seemingly worthless waste materials.

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