Malmö Upcycling Service: Challenging the design industry to work in a more sustainable and circular way

Malmö Upcycling Service has set out to challenge and encourage the design industry to work in a more sustainable manner, as well as create conditions for circular manufacturing.

The Sweden-based design collective work mainly with local manufacturers from the country’s south region, using their waste material to create new products and change the perception of waste from trash to resource.

For their latest initiative, Malmö Upcycling Service created a new collection of chairs and stools made from repurposed materials including canvas and vinyl from boat covers, discarded joist and plywood from the construction industry, leather from a closed shoe workshop, and foam material used in beds and sofas.

The collection, which was designed with a red and white colour scheme, was showcased at last month’s Stockholm Furniture Fair. In a bid to get the furniture industry to really examine its own production from a sustainability standpoint, Malmö Upcycling Service’s exhibition concept stated to fair goers: “You can’t sit with us! Unless…You also work towards circular solutions in your business.”

At the fair, Malmö Upcycling Service also conducted a survey by asking companies to rate how high their ambitions are in regards to sustainable production.

Malmö Upcycling Service was formed by industrial designers Emilia Borgvall, Britt Jönsson, Anna Gudmundsdottir and Pauline Matika after they graduated from Lund University in Sweden.

Anna Gudmundsdottir, co-founder of Malmö Upcycling Service, told Dezeen: “The initiative [Malmö Upcycling Service] aims at generating new ideas about how to shape and produce in a more sustainable manner as well as create the conditions for circular manufacturing. We continuously visit local manufacturers to find what waste is left over when they produce other products.”

“Often it takes a lot of energy to produce the material itself and when its thrown away without having had the chance to be a product, we feel that it’s the most wasteful way to use this planet’s resources.”

Malmö Upcycling Service

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at 


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