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Products in our Future: Bamboo Knives and Cork Yoga Mats

2/15/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tags: bamboo, yoga, cork, Ambiente 2011

A 100 percent bamboo knife that can be sharpened with sandpaper. Cast-iron cookware with non-stick, 100 percent porcelain coating that can be passed down through multiple generations. Washable cleaning cloths made from Austrian-grown cellulose (from sustainable tree farms) that replace paper towels. Cork yoga mats.

These are just a few of the ideas that my boss, Mother Earth News and Natural Home publisher Bryan Welch, has unearthed at the world’s most important consumer-goods fair, Ambiente 2011, taking place in Frankfurt, Germany, this week. A showplace for the latest products and innovations in the tableware, kitchen, household, home, furnishing and giving sectors, Ambiente features 4.383 exhibitors from 86 countries. As Ogden Publishing continues to look for the smartest, most environmentally friendly products to recommend to and possibly provide for our readers, Bryan’s in the right place.

Also reporting from the show, WGSN-homebuildlife today cited three emerging trends:

1. Tactile serveware
Manufacturers are moving away from ceramics and into tactile and natural materials, including cork, oiled wood and beaten metal.

2. Gold decorative detail
Gold is showing up in tableware.

3. Wrapped
Wound up or loosely wrapped cables are being used as decoration in lighting. Tightly wrapped yarn is showing up instead of bolts and screws to fix joints and connections.

I look forward to seeing what Bryan brings home from the show. I’ve already offered to test the cork yoga mat.


Oiled wood is a hot trend in serveware at Ambiente 2011 in Frankfurt. Photo courtesy Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Thomas Fedra 

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