To keep alive a traditional craftmanship technique for producing tiles, while making them more sustainable and 100% recyclable.
The idea is to substitute the inorganic pigments used in this industry with organic hemp waste colours making them 100% recyclable, by combining the hemp waste with cement or lime and cold pressing the material. The final product will be an organic tile with high water repellency. The resulting product will be the perfect choice for spas and swimming pools. With this cooperation, the partnership will be the first to combine organic waste, like hemp, in the tile industry.
Recontile is a sleek collection of cement tiles, dyed with agri-food waste. The story of this project started with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of cement tiles. Once we discovered that most pigments used to dye cement tiles are synthetic organic and made from petrochemicals, we wanted to change that. Pigments obtained from petroleum by refining harm the environment. Agrifood waste represented the starting point to increase the sustainability of the cement tiles since these waste materials can be recycled without the need of exploiting virgin resources. The Recontile project aims to open up the path toward new possibilities for cement tiles manufacturing.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
Once the idea started to take shape we started to dig deeper by researching the background of the cement tiles production and the properties of agri-food waste if applied to specific manufacturing processes. We soon realized that to better understand the possibilities and limitations of the project we needed to join forces and put the idea into practice. We wanted to understand what kind of waste material would meet our desired color outcome. With the first try-out, the project was born and ready to be explored further.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Recontile is inspired by the way nature reclaims the space created by humans activity. The concept intends to reconcile humans with nature creating tiles that conciliate healthy and sustainable materials with the manufacturing of cement tiles. At the core of the creative process, we placed in-depth research and development working closely together. We created samples that could help us understand how to develop and further research potential solutions to the issues that presented themselves during the development. Working with a circular and holistic sustainable approach allowed us to discover many additional exciting aspects and opportunities besides the pigments, but we had to stick to one solution at a time.
The interdisciplinary approach of collaborating allowed us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the potentials and limitations of the project. Through the collaboration, we could learn from each other and grow together by driving the development of the tiles towards a scalable product. The partnership showed us how important it is to join forces especially in the case of sustainability.
We will keep on developing the tiles to achieve a market-ready solution. As soon as the tiles will meet the market requirement we aim to broaden the color options, shapes, and design. In the future, we hope to develop the project and improve sustainability even further.
We need to go the extra mile to find solutions with the least compromise.