Raw material is the main building block of any design process, but often aesthetics don't go well with sustainable products.
This is why more and more companies are trying to create products based on natural raw materials reused in an innovative and elegant way.
One designer in particular, Gaurav MK Wali, shows an example of his work processes using tree pruning waste, to be precise pine needles, as a 100% bio (and biodegradable, of course) material to be incorporated into a huge variety of products.
Cheer Project, this is the name of the initiative, is the result of Wali's desire to solve a fire problem in his homeland. The northern region of India is a huge cradle for pine trees. Large forests cover a lot of territory between the (unpronounceable) provinces of Himachal and Uttarakhand, but the states in question suffer from the presence of tons and tons of dry pine needles. A very real danger of fires, which becomes catastrophic only if we think it would affect a forest area of over 40 square kilometers.
Converting pine needles into a stable and durable material begins by breaking them into smaller components. The addition of natural waxes and binders (vegetable resins) helps to create a composite material. The material can then be mixed with natural colors obtained from spices and vegetables, finally proceeding to the realization of forms obtained from special molds.
The production process of the Cheer Project products does not produce waste, waste or pollution of any kind.
All stages of the process are natural and contribute to the creation of a biodegradable, fireproof, waterproof and recyclable material. Most importantly, the process includes materials that are not only otherwise unused, but even potentially harmful.
Cheer Project is in fact the attempt, I believe successful, to find a sustainable and alternative material and process to plastic, while improving the economy of the rural areas of Himachal.
“It's an experiment to understand the potential of a sustainable material,” says Wali. “The final project merges craftsmanship, conversion, use and the recycling of a natural material present in abundance: pine needles can become green gold ".