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Kola Project products fall under one or more of our sustainability values

 

Natural Materials

 

A natural material is any product or physical matter that comes from plants, animals, or the ground. Minerals and the metals that can be extracted from them (without further modification) are also considered to belong into this category. Natural materials are used as building materials and clothing.

Types include:

  • Biotic materials
    • Wood (rattan, bamboo, bark, etc.)
    • Natural fiber (silk, wool, cotton, flax, hemp, jute, kapok, kenaf, moss, etc.)
  • Inorganic material
    • Stone (flint, granite, obsidian, sandstone, sand, gems, glass, etc.)
    • Native metal (copper, iron, gold, silver, etc.)
    • Composites (clay, plasticine, etc.)
  • Other natural materials.
    • Soil

 

Recycled Materials

 

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, batteries, and electronics. The composting and other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food and garden waste—is also a form of recycling. Materials for recycling are either delivered to a household recycling center or picked up from curbside bins, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials for manufacturing new products.

In ideal implementations, recycling a material produces a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper, and used polystyrene foam into new polystyrene. Some types of materials, such as metal cans, can be remanufactured again and again, indefinitely, without losing its purity. With other materials, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so “recycling” of many products and materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (for example, paperboard). Another form of recycling is the salvage of constituent materials from complex products, due to either their intrinsic value (such as lead from car batteries and gold from printed circuit boards), or their hazardous nature (e.g. removal and reuse of mercury from thermometers and thermostats).

 

Circular Economy

 

A circular economy (also referred to as “circularity”) is an economic system that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.

Most linear economy businesses take a natural resource and turn it into a product which is ultimately destined to become waste because of the way it has been designed and made. This process is often summarised by “take, make, waste”. By contrast, a circular economy employs reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The circular economy aims to keep products, materials, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources. Waste materials and energy should become input for other processes through waste valorization: either as a component or recovered resource for another industrial process or as regenerative resources for nature (e.g., compost). This regenerative approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a “take, make, dispose” model of production.

 

Biofabrication

 

Biofabrication is a new frontier of sustainable design and it’s a fascinating meeting of design, science and technology.

Biofabricated materials have extremely wide applications. They are beautiful and their technical features make them a viable alternative to the materials we’re used to.

  • MUSHROOMS’ MYCELIUM – Mycelium is the technical name of mushrooms’ roots. It has an intricate branch-like structure that can act as a natural glue.
  • SEAWEEDS – The textile industry is one of the most unsustainable; it creates a lot of waste and it’s very polluting. A bio-based solution could come from seaweeds. The cellulose extracted from algae can indeed be turned into a yarn that is incredibly soft and breathable. Additionally, seaweeds can work as a natural dye, allowing for a surprisingly wide range of colours from green to pink.
  • BACTERIA – Bacteria reproduce very fast, which makes them an ideal candidate for biofabrication.

 

 

Better Supply Chains

 

Sustainable supply chain management involves integrating environmentally and financially viable practices into the complete supply chain lifecycle, from product design and development, to material selection, (including raw material extraction or agricultural production), manufacturing, packaging, transportation, warehousing, distribution, consumption, return and disposal. Environmentally sustainable supply chain management and practices can assist organizations in not only reducing their total carbon footprint, but also in optimizing their end-to-end operations to achieve greater cost savings and profitability. All supply chains can be optimized using sustainable practices.

Sustainability in the supply chain encapsulates a number of different priorities:

  • Environmental stewardship
  • Conservation of resources
  • Reduction of carbon footprint
  • Financial savings and viability
  • Social responsibility

 

Supply chain sustainability practices, in order to succeed, must deliver improved environmental performance within a financially viable operating construct.

 

Handmade

 

A wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by one’s hand or by using only simple, non-automated related tools like scissors, carving implements, or hooks. It is a traditional main sector of craft making and applies to a wide range of creative and design activities that are related to making things with one’s hands and skill, including work with textiles, moldable and rigid materials, paper, plant fibers,clay etc.

 

Community Support

 

Products whose manufacturing helps people living in disadvantaged situations to achieve a better lifestyle for themselves, their families and communities.

 

Traditional Crafts

 

Traditional crafts and the knowledge hidden within them are under threat of extinction. The technological changes sweeping the country in the last hundred years have resulted in the disappearance of customs, traditions and work practices, some of which existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years prior to these changes. There is little documentation of these crafts and where it does exist, it refers to “what was done” and not to the actual method of production. Therefore, the technical details about the materials, the tools and the precise method of work, have hardly been documented and are preserved only in the memories of a handful of older persons. As the number of elders who remember a reality where self-sufficient production was the main component in providing for life’s needs dwindles, we become more pressed for time. Living knowledge has no substitute, as these elders are the only link to practical skills, The next generations have been brought up in a different reality, and their practical knowledge is usually limited or missing,

 

Biodiversity Protection

 

Biodiversity (short for “biological diversity”) refers to the number, variety, and variability of all living things. Biodiversity is the variety of life in an area, which can range from life in a pool of water that collects between the leaves of a plant to the all-encompassing biosphere.

There are many levels of organization that identifies biodiversity. These include the genetic diversity of populations, the number and types of species, the distribution and abundance of species communities and ecosystems, and the interactions between organisms with their physical environment.

 

Certifications

 

Sustainability standards and certifications are voluntary guidelines used by producers, manufacturers, traders, retailers, and service providers to demonstrate their commitment to good environmental, social, ethical, and food safety practices.

The basic premise of sustainability standards is twofold. Firstly, they emerged in areas where national and global legislation was weak but where the consumer and NGO movements around the globe demanded action. For example, campaigns by Global Exchange and other NGOs against the purchase of goods from “sweatshop” factories by the likes of Nike, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co. and other leading brands led to the emergence of social welfare standards like the SA8000 and others. Secondly, leading brands selling to both consumers and to the B2B supply chain may wish to demonstrate the environmental or organic merits of their products, which has led to the emergence of hundreds of ecolabels, organic and other standards. A leading example of a consumer standard is the Fairtrade movement, administered by FLO International and exhibiting huge sales growth around the world for ethically sourced produce. An example of a B2B standard which has grown tremendously in the last few years is the Forest Stewardship Council’s standard (FSC) for forest products made from sustainable harvested trees.

 

Biophilic Design

 

Biophilic design aims at improving human wellbeing through design. And it does so by creating interiors that take inspiration from features of the natural world that have proven to be beneficial to us.

Biophilic design looks at nature in its entirety and – from space planning to the selection of materials – it reproduces indoors the many elements of nature that are beneficial to our wellbeing.

This is what makes biophilic interiors not only beautiful, but also engaging and ultimately healthy!

 

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