American designers share their best eco-innovations, from trays inspired by topographical maps to place mats made from leftover industrial felt.

March 01, 2010

Susan Dwyer of Up in the Air Somewhere gilds paper bowls.

Photo © Antonis Achilleos

1. Golden Bowls

Susan Dwyer of Chicago's Up in the Air Somewhere hand-molds clay and recycled paper into food-safe bowls and vases. She enhances the organic shapes of some pieces by covering them with ethereal gold leaf.Domestic Aesthetic sells contoured sushi trays.

Photo © James Ransom

2. Bamboo Trays

Diane Ruengsorn of Domestic Aesthetic in Brooklyn, New York, creates contoured tabletop pieces—such as a topography-inspired sushi tray—from sustainable woods like bamboo. She's now working with a sawmill collective in Mozambique to produce stunning wooden platters from fallen trees.Eco-friendly place mats are made of excess industrial felt.

Photo © Antonis Achilleos

3. Felt Mats

California designer and felt fanatic Josh Jakus, renowned for his woolly handbags and wine carriers, recently launched Fuz, a line of playful tabletop items made from excess industrial felt and recycled rubber. Each Hug set has four place mats—two with "boy" napkin-ring cutouts and two with "girls."Designer Emily Sugihara carries her nylon Baggu bag.

Photo © Dan Martensen

4. Reusable Bags

Emily Sugihara of Brooklyn- and California-based Baggu is known for the range of vibrant colors and patterns on her nylon shopping totes. New to her collection: sturdy Duck Bags made from durable recycled canvas.Plover Organic's Blue Ottoman and Teal Squares patterns.

Photo © Antonis Achilleos

5. Calico Napkins

In Portland, Oregon, Plover Organic designers Marisa Kula Mercer, Sheila Mulvihill and Julia Wilbur produce luxurious table and bed linens from 100 percent certified-organic and fair-trade cotton. The patterns are block-printed by hand with low-impact dyes.Eco-Style Favorites

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