During its three decades of existence, Decorex has become the most anticipated design, decor and lifestyle show in South Africa, offering a platform for businesses to sell to and connect with the general public. It has also, over this period, encouraged creatives to reimagine their effect on the environment and find innovative modes of production that better respect the planet. This year’s 30th-anniversary show will shine an even brighter spotlight on sustainability, with plans to create a prototype of a light-footprint exhibition stand and exhibit a medley of chairs made using low-impact methods.
In The State of the Industry Report released by Decorex at the end of 2022, for which it interviewed various players in the local decor, design and interiors industry, the message was clear: creative professionals are increasingly being influenced by sustainability in their businesses, with key focus areas being recycled materials, and local production and sourcing to reduce their carbon footprint. Design companies are recognising their role in positively shaping people’s choices by educating them about conscious consumption. “This is us saying, as an industry, that we’re no longer going to let change happen to us,” says Bielle Bellingham, Creative Director of Decorex Africa. “We’re going to choose the change that we’d like to happen.”
We’ve rounded up seven of the exhibitors who will bring their sustainable vision to Decorex 2023.
Re-Create by Incanda is a range of design-driven products crafted from offcut materials that come from Incanda’s furniture-manufacturing factory. Leftover pieces of leather, fabric, wood and steel are developed into functional items such as tissue-box covers, placemats, laptop stands and more, reducing the waste that would normally go to landfill.
LTT Fragrances was started by three friends who began experimenting with budget-friendly scents for the home. By creating hand-poured scented candles from pure soy wax, they discovered that nature is the greatest purveyor of materials. Using natural soybeans and only the finest fragrance oils, they manufacture candles that burn clearer, last longer and hold more fragrance than those containing chemicals.
A far cry from mass-produced surface coverings, Akashic Tiles’s modern and vintage-style ceramic tiles are individually crafted by hand in its Knysna studio. Whether glazed in colour or left as raw terracotta clay, each statement-making tile has the personal imprint of an artisan.
Staying abreast with the times, Plascon’s range of eco-conscious paints include Africa’s first roof paints that are entirely free of APEO chemicals, Velvaglo water-based paints that reduce the negative impact on human and environmental well-being, and a paint with air-purifying technology. Look out for Plascon’s black buckets – they are made from up to 70% upcycled material.
Bloom Space has dedicated its business to the floral artform of ‘forever flowers’, aka preserved flora. Where fresh cuts require constant watering and sometimes only last a few days, dried blooms and foliage require no maintenance, offering a colourful sustainable alternative that includes everything from pampas to hydrangeas.
“How we create matters” is one of Entrawood’s business slogans. That’s why the office-furniture company ensures that at least 90% of the raw materials used to produce its desks, chairs, storage, screen dividers and more come from South Africa, with everything manufactured locally at its factory in Harrismith.
Producing some of the world’s leading surface solutions, Spanish company Cosentino maintains a strong philosophy around sustainability. The Cosentino Industrial Park, where its factories are situated, has a water-recovery plant, uses solar energy and has developed a greenbelt around the property to protect the surrounding natural environment.
Decorex Cape Town, 22-25 June, CTICC
Decorex Joburg, 3-6 August, Sandton Convention Centre
Decorex Africa, along with its partner shows 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg, will host the first-ever Decor and Design Week in both CT and JHB in the week leading up to the shows.