IWD: Six Women working in design that you need to know.

From cosmetics, to interiors, to fashion, a new wave of female designers have been harnessing the potentials of circularity within their work. At the heart of circular design, lay the core principles of finding new ways to reuse, recycle, and rethink the materials we have at our disposal. These 6 female designers are placing sustainability and innovation at the forefront of their projects, and the results are paving the way for a future of female lead circular design.

We have already learned, that planet Earth is round.
Now we must start to design for natural and circular systems.”
Bonnie Hvillum, founder and CEO of the Natural Material Studio
1.Nina Hopkins East London based fashion designer, Nina Hopkins, first founded her brand jakke in 2015. Nina’s collections focus entirely on vegan and cruelty free design, offering a colorful take on faux furs, wools, and puffer jackets without compromising on style. Nina’s sustainable garments are crafted with longevity, circularity, and sustainability in mind. Through her innovative take on ethical fabrics, 45% of jakke’s collection was designed using recycled plastic bottles, with the intention to increase this percentage with the release of each new collection. Nina and the jakke’s capsule collections offer a chic solution to animal cruelty, plastic waste, and fast fashion culture, through a circular design initiative that gives a second life to non-biodegradable materials.

2.Charlotte Kidger Led by her use of industrial waste materials, London based Charlotte Kidger explores how discarded resources can be reprocessed and transformed into sculptural and functional objects. Her hands on craft focuses predominantly on the usage of waste PU foam dust frm CNC factories that produce 3D models. Charlotte advocates for larger companies and factories to view their waste as a potential resource to artists and designers like herself, and to take responsibility for the ways in which they be circular in their disposal of waste. In 2020 she partnered with Browns to showcase her work in a display alongside brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent.

3. Poppy Lawman Oslo based, Lawman is recognised for her part sculptural, part-utilitarian designs. Her practice is rooted in bio-material and slow design, and she places particular emphasis on circularity in her spruce paper structures. At the core of her work is a strive towards environmental wellbeing through promoting positive consumer behavior and sustainable living. In particular the project Papirstein, cherishes the concept of circularity, specifically in Norwegian design, through its playful use of a widely accessible biodegradable material. By transforming paper in its fragile state into a durable furniture design, the Papirstein chair rather embodies the beauty of circularity.

4. Tess Silva Brazilian-British visual artist and designer, Silva explores societies relationship to materials from an anthropological standpoint. Her body of work ‘Feminised Protein’ uses surplus milk sourced from the farming industry as a material exploration of circularity and femininity. Her designs are aimed to generate a dialogue around excess waste in the farming industry as well as a wider cultural relationship to waste and materials. The projects delves into the inherently feminine ties between circularity in materials and the cyclical nature of female reproduction in the food industries. Tessa transforms the discarded liquid waste to produce sculptures that celebrate femininity in its physical expressions.

5. Jo Barnard. Jo is the founder and creative director of Morrama, an industrial design and innovation studio that works alongside companies to design products ranging from technology to cosmetics. Morrama, founded in 2014, places storytelling and sustainability at the forefront of its design philosophy. Through her work, Jo highlights the critical role of circularity and sustainability in contemporary industrial design, all the way through manufacturing, distribution, and usage. Alongside this, Jo stands as a prominent figure in pushing dialogues around female empowerment within the industrial design industries.

You can read more about Jo in our profile of her here >>

6. Júlia Roca Vera Spanish designer, Roca Vera, demonstrates circularity in the creation of her cosmetics line that uses fruit discarded from supermarkets for aesthetic imperfections. The range titled ‘Lleig’, being the Catalan word for ‘ugly’, is designed to encourage a reframing of societal perceptions of waste, as well as to highlight the beauty in otherwise imperfect materials. She uses the fruit, discarded from supermarkets for failing to comply with aesthetic quality regulations, and extracts their oils and flesh to produce moisturizers and soaps. Each of the products is packaged in beautiful ceramic container which was designed to be refilled or repurposed once the product has finished. Through her designs, Júlia Roca Vera displays the fruitful possibilities from giving food waste streams a new purpose.