Alessandro Pulina (below), founder of Pulina Exclusive Interiors, isn’t just interested in eco-friendly materials. He joined forces with a research university in his native Italy to promote using new responsible, realistic sustainable materials. Through biotechnological research, Pulina Exclusive Interiors and a handful of Italian décor suppliers are offering owners better-informed choices. “We have finally found the way to make a difference in an area in which there is much research and many promises are made, but still nothing revolutionary,” Pulina says.
The collaborative effort is the “Aligned With Sustainability project.” The décor companies span a range of specialties, from fabrics to flooring. Firstly, there’s Artep, a custom, all-natural rug manufacturer. Next is Ohoskin, which makes faux leather from orange peels and prickly pear remnants. Yet another participating company is Rada, which employs natural fibers and recycled materials for its fabrics. Finally, VGHN, a hemp-processing company, is involved.
Representatives from the four companies gathered with Pulina Exclusive Interiors during the Monaco Yacht Show to share why they joined the research project. “It is important to raise awareness in the yachting industry about the need for a return to artisan products made with highly sustainable new generation or natural materials,” asserts Riccardo Meglioranzi, Artep’s CEO. He further explains that Artep ensures its products (top) don’t release microplastics when washing and are biodegradable. Equally important, they require using less water when dyeing. Artep makes everything in house, too. It also leverages the advantages of Tencel where eucalyptus wood pulp is a primary component. Furthermore, it uses Sari Silk, which recycles waste silk fabric from Indian sari manufacturing.
Although Ohoskin is just four years old, the company “started with the idea of using a patented circular economy,” according to Alessandro Scuderi, its CMO. Recycled plastics mix with the prickly pear and orange waste products (above). “We use only regenerated products, resulting in a fully recyclable material,” he says. Furthermore, yachts are already using Ohoskin’s leather alternatives.
Similarly, Rada is in the midst of using orange waste to produce fabrics. For now, it has a fabric with recycled plastic and natural materials that is durable enough for yachting needs.
Finally, VGHN founder Paolo Quirici echoed Artep’s Meglioranzi in mentioning water conservation. VGHN uses hemp mulch, “a material that saves a considerable amount of water during cultivation and requires no pesticides,” he explains. He adds that one hectare of hemp, or about two and a half acres, produces the same oxygen as 25 hectares of forest.
Although it’s not part of the university project, the lighting company Cantalupi was on hand, too. It’s been using LEDs exclusively since 2012, first employing them in 2005. What’s more, the company focuses on the circular economy, paying attention to packaging and positive community impact.
While Pulina notes that the superyacht industry is heading in the right direction, he says, “it is a challenge that requires a major effort.” Pulina Exclusive Interiors and the décor companies collaborating with the research university are pushing to go farther. “We are introducing solutions onboard that will finally represent a green breakthrough,” he concludes.
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