Consideration to the environmental impact of yachting is growing steadfast and the sustainable design movement is gaining more and more popularity. Future trends show that yacht owners desire a variety of eco options, especially in sustainable décor. At the forefront of the green boating movement, Sunreef Yachts places a prime focus on sustainable yacht design.
Sustainability on all levels
When thinking about sustainable design we have to think globally. Before focusing on the material itself, the origin of a given material or fabric has to be considered. For designers the background of the material is the starting point. Then, other factors come into play: the packaging and transportation. Everything from the design to the manufacturing process has an effect on the carbon footprint, so it is vital to cut down the amount of waste and emissions by, for example by focusing on local resources, because short transport means low carbon footprint.
Focusing on the material itself, one of the most important and underestimated factors is the durability and the quality. Especially for a client building a new yacht, it means that solid materials will last for years and there will be no need to replace them. Sustainable yacht décor should also rely on aesthetics. Timeless designs will not go out of fashion quickly and can remain in use for years.
A responsible material choice also takes future into account. The product’s entire lifecycle plays a fundamental role. Both the designer and customer need to be aware of the ways a given fabric or material can be recycled or reused.
A positive trend
The global request for more sustainable solutions in custom yacht design lends to a very positive trend among clients becoming more and more aware and responsible. They are very curious about eco-materials and rely on yacht designers to advise on what best options are available.
Sunreef Yachts Eco catamarans are hi-tech sustainable boats and their interiors are coherent with the vision of a green yacht. They are green inside and out. This contributes to spreading the vision of eco design to its furthest limits. Customers and designers generate a trend that influences the whole industry. The customers’ role is vital: if the demand for eco materials grows, the producers will respond both in terms of supply and development.
Eco materials: natural & recycled
Eco-materials can be naturally-sourced or recycled. Natural materials like linen, wool and bamboo combine durability with refined aesthetics. On the other hand are recycled materials. This group includes a wide range of fabrics and materials such as ecological suede: made from recycled polyester that ensures a low level of emissions and energy consumption during production. Recycling polyester can reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 80% compared to the traditional petrol-based polyester production process. Polyester derives from polyester fibers (T-shirts, fibres, etc.) and PET (bottles, plastic).
Fabrics that are offered on Sunreef Yachts Eco catamarans have a Life Cycle Assessment analysis (LCA). By reusing discarded goods or components adapted to another function, the material gets a distinct new life cycle (for example plastic used in handbags). Converting old or discarded materials into something useful lets them re-enter the economy. Repurpose enables financial savings through reduced cost of production by obtaining reclaimed material, or the reduction of waste.
Something what could be called a positive or ethical luxury is the quality of the materials considered to be sustainable while also maintaining the highest standards. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish what fabrics are recycled and which are brand new. Nowadays, companies are mastering the quality they provide – so there is no compromise on luxury.
The future of the sustainable yacht design movement. The main goal of sustainable yacht décor is the progressive reduction and hopefully elimination of marine waste – mainly plastic. Luxury brands collaborate with science-based research to empower their high-end standards. They obtain surprising effects so the visual and more importantly functional features are stunning. Hopefully all the materials available on the market will become sustainable, responsibly produced, reused, and eventually eco-décor will become the norm, mainstream and an undeniable quality standard. What can designers do? Educate and influence consumers with a market that cooperates with companies that are transparent about sourcing, manufacturing, and packaging their products. Integrating better practices, behaviors and taking small local steps will increase the global effect.