The "Trash" We Can't Get Enough Of

Retailing Reuse

Environmentally conscious designers and clients are eager to reclaim resources for their embodied energies and histories.

224200547_RetailingReuse_04_tcm131-1982741Not too long ago, structures slated for demolition inevitably found their demise in a landfill. Now, their chance to find second life as a source of design inspiration for architects and their clients is substantial. Exterior wood shingles, for instance, can become flooring with an authentic weathered finish, and a sturdy maple floor can make for a shelf or cutting board with a compelling backstory.

While furniture made from reclaimed materials may retail higher than a piece made from virgin materials, the story can become a key selling point. Combine that with a 25 percent increase in the volume of material flowing through debris-diversion businesses since 2008—thanks, in part, to the recovering economy—and designers incorporating reclaimed materials may be at the start of a golden era.

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