As an architectural interior designer and developer, Oliver Burns is endeavouring to merge the two, but as Perez explains, the challenge is the limited sourcebook of sustainable luxury products. Interior designers have to prioritise quality and design absolutely, which at the highest echelon of the market entails luxurious finishes such as marble, natural stone and tropical hardwoods. At the top end of the market in which Oliver Burns works, clients want the best; and with sustainable products lacking in terms of quality and design, it becomes difficult to integrate them into schemes successfully.
There are still challenges holding back the change in behaviour, which need to be realised before the two can work together. The main obstacle is the distinct lack of product with sustainable criteria at the top end of the market. Whilst other sectors are blazing a trail with sustainability initiatives, the luxury industry has a way to go.
“There are some trailblazers, though these are few and far between” says Perez. She mentions Maya Romanoff’s ethically sourced Capiz Shell wallcovering, which the practice used as a backdrop to a vanity unit in a bathroom of a recent project, and Alulife’s recycled aluminium wall tiles. In another project, the practice specified a decorative panel of mosaics from Domus Tiles’ Eco collection made of 98% recycled material.