top of page
  • Writer's pictureJillian Stern

Sustainability in Design

We’re living in a world where we cannot act without our environment in mind. Every direction we turn, there’s a reminder of sustainability, going green, energy saving, and more. Think about your typical day … Maybe it starts with a neighborhood run or walk and you pass a house with solar panels. Then, you head to the coffee shop where you’re handed a paper straw (if you request one). Our local Starbucks happens to have electric car chargers in the shopping center, so add that to the list. Then, you run to the store for something and can’t forget that reusable bag (keep in mind, I live in New York so it’s one of the states that charges if you need one).

Our everyday decisions, no matter how small they seem, add up to impact our planet. But it doesn’t stop there. What happens when you arrive at the office?

When two of elite|studio e’s Project Designers, Samantha Colon and Alexa Astacio, traveled to Chicago in June for the annual NeoCon show, they took note of the latest sustainable options in design and companies as a whole (check out their recap). From fabrics to flooring, they saw a plethora of environmentally conscious product lines.

Photos from Patcraft Exhibit

Sam and Alexa were particularly impressed by the display by Patcraft. For those of you who don’t know, PatCraft is a commercial brand of Shaw Industries, providing flooring solutions. Not only did they have their products in an aesthetically pleasing layout, but the company also perfectly showcased a specific aspect to their designs that our team was drawn to. They had vertical glass structures that exhibit exactly what their products are made from. Talk about showing your true colors! Their website tells us that, “At Patcraft, we approach sustainability and product design from the inside out, connecting our inner spaces with our outer world. Inside-out design lets us create spaces that mimic the outdoors in aesthetics, sustainable materials, light, texture, and flow, leading us to design products that combine transparent materiality and inner beauty while enhancing our world”.

Patcraft’s ingredients to their figurative recipe includes items like plastic water bottles and recycled carpet. The company has repurposed almost one billion pounds of carpet since 2006! (For the record, I tried to find something comparable to that size. If what I found is accurate and my math is right, that’s about 19 Titanics!)

They produce a variety of types of flooring options that make for trendy, stylish designs, perfect for any space, especially one aiming to achieve LEED certification. Since 2010, PatCraft has decreased its carbon emissions by more than 50% and the team continues to brainstorm new ways to bring that number down even more. Their products can be implemented in projects from higher education, workplace, retail healthcare, government, K -12, to name a few.

Patcraft even uses Declare, a platform where manufacturers can choose to be completely transparent about what goes into their products. It's something any manufacturer can use to share their dedication to healthy materials! Declare’s growing online database has 800-plus labels, and it’s growing. Muuto, Knoll and Herman Miller are among the design companies represented.

Sustainability at NeoCon didn’t end there! According to Nick Noever from Design Well, “NeoCon featured by far some of the most innovative and inspiring solutions I’ve seen on the road yet”. From the use of sustainable textiles at Mayer Fabrics and Wolf-Gordon, to Carbon Negative chairs from collaborations with Humanscale and Todd Bracher Studio, and even Spanish Stackable Sustainability furniture from Andreu World.

Every day we attach more and more importance to caring for the environment in order to avoid further deterioration of our planet. For this reason, we are concerned about recycling, consuming ecologically or, in the case of office and even residential design, we make sure that the eco-friendly materials and the furniture we use are as sustainable as possible. Whether you have LEED certification in mind, or are just implementing sustainability as a mindful choice, the elite|studio e team is equipped with education, exposure, and experience to help you achieve your projects goals.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page