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Designer Spotlight: ply Design

After a week spent talking about flat-pack and pre-fab, it’s only fitting that we dedicate this week’s spotlight on design to another example of the efficient design philosophy. We’re scaling down a bit, though, from entire houses or rooms of furniture, to showcase a slightly smaller, but no less useful, version of flat-pack: it’s ply Design’s [www.plydesign.com] plyFOLD containers.

TreeHugger is always on the lookout for simple, creative solutions to create less waste, use materials more efficiently and incorporate these ideas into our everyday lives. plyFOLD, the handy little tabletop catch-alls from ply Design, are a great example of all three. Made from recycled leather and Climatex Lifecycle Felt (gathered from factory scraps), the containers flatten for wafer-thin packaging & shipping, and are biodegradable (for potential use in your compost pile or bin [www.sundance.tv]) at the end of their useful lives.

They’d be a perfect hall table accountrement; a place to drop your keys, change, phone and whatever else you don’t want to lose, but don’t want to carry with you around the house. Though much smaller, and, you might think, less consequential than something like a house, these containers represent an important green idea: that anything, even something as simple as a textile scrap, can have a second life as something useful, and that there is no reason to waste anything. As we, as a society, continue to get smarter about efficiently using materials, products like this will become more commonplace, replacing waste with substance and cutting out the landfill in the life cycle equation; until that happens, we’ll continue to look toward places like ply Design for their outstanding example. It’s the little things that matter, after all.