Sustainable design: eco-friendly wallpaper - Misc. AU
Sustainable design: eco-friendly wallpaper

Sustainable design: eco-friendly wallpaper

Adorning walls with environmentally friendly wallpaper is now easier than ever with the diverse range of green designer wallpaper from Icon Textiles & Wallcoverings.

Words by IconRadford

In the small city of Borås in the south of Sweden, temperatures plummet well below zero for many months of the year. It’s so cold that a web of underground hot water pipes heat the cobblestoned streets in the central city.

Borås is also an important manufacturing centre in Sweden, and has a long history of manufacturing innovation. However, it’s where the manufacturing facilities and the city council converge that is of global interest.

One of Borås’ claims to fame is a giant ‘thermos’ - an 80-metre high energy storage reservoir that cuts the city’s emissions by more than 5,000 metric tonnes every year. Installed in 2010, it is the contents of this thermos that have a surprising link to the production of wallpaper.

Wallvision Group, one of Europe’s largest wallpaper manufacturers, has its premises in Borås and it is arguably the most environmentally friendly wallpaper manufacturer on the planet.

All waste created during the manufacturing of its papers is transported into central Borås where it is combined with waste from other local manufacturers and used by the council to generate energy. In summer, it is stored in the giant ‘thermos’. In winter, this energy supplies the city’s heating network, and allows for a zero waste manufacturing process for Wallvision Group and a cohort of other manufacturers based in the area.

“Traditionally, the textile and wallpaper manufacturing process has been quite noxious in terms of emissions,” Icon Textiles’ Claire Drake says. “While, for example, cotton and linen are natural materials, the processing they go through can be a significant cause of pollution. The same can be said for some wallpapers.

“It’s for these reasons that it is particularly important to us to ensure we partner with manufacturers such as Wallvision Group that have environmental certifications. Our collections include wallpapers from Cole & Son, Boras Tarpeter, Engblad & Co and Mr Perswall, all of which are made in Borås by Wallvision Group,” Claire says.

“Wallvision Group has European certification for its production processes that complies with the European Union’s directive on emissions, formaldehyde and other hazardous substances,” Claire says.

However, the wallpaper manufactured by Wallvision Group goes further in terms of its environmental footprint, with the company only sourcing paper that originates in the world’s most environmentally friendly forest plantations. All inks and dyes used are water based, and, Claire says, Wallvision Group has its own on site water treatment plant in Borås where the water is treated and reused in the manufacturing process.

Choosing environmentally friendly wallpaper

“It’s not always easy to tell which wallpapers are certified and made sustainably so the most important thing to do is to ask your designer or retailer to search for papers that have valid certifications and origins and provide evidence of those,” Claire says.

“All our wallpapers that are made by Wallvision Group have certifications that we provide to our customers.”

While the demand for environmentally friendly wallpapers is still not significant, for Claire and the team at Icon Textiles, it’s a core focus and they now stock a large and diverse range of papers made in this manner.

“The great thing about these wallpapers is that they are not cost prohibitive. In fact, they are very middle-range in price so they are accessible and a viable option for many people.”

Icon Textiles stocks the largest range of designer wallpapers and coverings in New Zealand, with extensive ranges from some of the world’s most well known designers and manufacturers. Make sure you pop into one of their showrooms or visit them on ArchiPro here to peruse the latest in designer and environmentally conscious wall coverings and textiles.

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