Brightly colored lamps crafted out of recycled record albums, pompom stools made from up-cycled silk saris, and spent bullets soldered into rings. These are just a few of the offerings at the London-headquartered Moorbi.com
, which serves as a clearinghouse for furnishings, housewares, light fixtures, textiles, and accessories that are both sustainable and design forward.
The online marketplace is the brainchild of co-founders Martina Basile, a designer with a background in fashion, and Luca Alice, the team’s online marketing guru. Both women have an appreciation for a well-designed product and respect for the planet; their goal is to provide an outlet for designers to sell their goods online alongside others who share a similar sustainable mindset.
“I can’t say that aesthetic doesn't matter, because it does,” Basile says. “We try to balance sustainability and design, and select designers who will drive the change and save the planet by creating intelligent products. [We look for] designers who think about the whole life cycle of their products and build them to last, which will ensure a decrease of waste ending up in landfills.”
Moorbi.com features designers from around the world, although at this stage of development (the site debuted in October 2012), the founders are focusing on building relationships with designers closer to home in the U.K. “We want to optimize and lower environmental impact on shipping items, while also having the chance to visit their workshops to do a quality check on how they make things,” she says.
New items are constantly being added to the site, including limited edition pieces and one-offs. “Before, buying sustainably seemed to be an activity reserved for tree huggers, while design was for a small elite and niche market,” she says. “This is something we are here to change.”