London Design Week event - From Concept to Completion: Creating a Narrative through Interior Design
26th September 2019 | Behind the scenes
With a fundamental vision based on the ethos of “trade not aid”, Nature Squared’s unparalleled quality of surface applications have been quietly inspiring and transforming the perception of ethically sourced and sustainable interior design. Their pioneering approach and commitment to environmental, social and economic causes is seeing them go from strength to strength.
Though it may not be a brand you are familiar with, for years, Nature Squared has been quietly creating unimaginably opulent hand-inlaid surfaces on land and sea.
Now with years of unprecedented success behind them, 2018 has seen new collaborations with leading fashion houses, architects, product designers and the world’s biggest global luxury brands including Rolls-Royce, Mont Blanc and BMW.
When it comes to turning natural materials into something eye-wateringly lavish and beautiful, for Nature Squared the sky is the limit. They use everything from seashell and bone and horn to seedpods, bamboo and eggshell to create their bespoke designs. All are humble natural materials in themselves, which are transformed into unique high quality surfaces when set within resins or lacquer. Designs can be uniquely customised to the clients’ own specifications, demonstrated so beautifully in the 1500m2 of fully customised product they recently installed into the worlds largest private yacht.
Launched in 2000 by Paul Hoeve and Lay Koon Tan, Nature Squared was originally created to provide meaningful, sustainable employment in developing countries. At a time of rampant globalisation, the partners wanted to create a firm that went back to basics, using traditional artisanal skills rather than the mass production that saturated the market around them. They never expected the business to grow in such a phenomenal way, but sixteen years on they still pride themselves on the holistic ethos that made them launch the brand in the first place.
As such, many of the natural materials Nature Squared use are by-products from other industries like fishing and farming. For example, abalone shells are sourced from a community-based farm in Asia, eggshells come from hatcheries, mussel shells from a farm to name but a few. This is just one way in which the company proves that sustainability is at its heart.
They never use natural materials that are endangered, protected or threatened or that cannot be found in abundance in their natural environment. To this end they ensure none of their materials are on the CITES list (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Forna and Fauna) and if they suspect that a material not found on the CITES list has been sourced unethically like poaching abalone or shagreen they won’t use it in their designs
They even go as far as to encourage clients to ship their creations by sea freight rather than by plane to cut down on their own carbon footprint. Furthermore, Nature Squared’s designs are also all made in their own premises in the Philippines, allowing local artisan craftsmen to support themselves and provide a better future for their families.
With the unprecedented success, Nature Squared has enjoyed whilst maintaining its ethical credentials, now seems the perfect time for them to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Visit www.naturesquared.com to find further information about the founders and the company alongside updates on the latest collaborations and exciting new design processes and surface applications.