Sweden’s Onmateria Imagines a Future for the Hotel Industry hat’s Lighter on the Planet

Green Box – an innovative biodegradable system of hotel amenities.

As the world continuously evolves towards more sustainable solutions and design that’s better for the planet, we see improvements happening across the board. The hospitality industry has never been known for its eco-friendly practices, but this is changing. 

OnMateria, a Swedish design collective focused on sustainability and founded by product designers Eléa Nouraud, James Dart and Lola Buades in 2019, has just designed an innovative range of biodegradable hotel amenities called Green Box. Green Box was initially prompted by the quantity of plastic pollution found in Lake Geneva.  

“At the time we were studying for our Masters in Product Design at ECAL, École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne. After seeing the amount of single-use plastic items found on the shores of the lake, we decided to act,” states Nouraud. 


As they dug deeper, the team realised there was a definite need to reduce waste in the hotel space. “Looking at where we could make the most impact, we realised that the hospitality industry is a big player in the issue and it is often overlooked,” says Dart. 

The Green Box product range serves to cater for an increased demand for sustainable solutions in the hospitality sector. “Talking to small boutique hotels, we found that their initial hesitation to implement more sustainable practices was the loss of the perception of luxury. But it has been their own guests demanding better solutions that has shifted the momentum. That shows us that, as users, we have great power, and as designers we need to design for an increasing number of environmentally-conscious guests,” adds Buades. 

OnMateria approached the problem holistically - making sure they understood every bit of the process and the value chain. “The result is a circular kit that also integrates a new layer of awareness. We put a lot of attention into engaging the user, to both improve the collection system, and to introduce them to the need for creating disposal flows for new materials,” says Nouraud. Being a circular product, its functionality comes hand in hand with proper collection and treatment in an anaerobic composting plant.

Now in conversations with local partners to set Green Box in motion, OnMateria  has seen a positive response from the industry across continents. “We feel that the users have matured towards circular products in the last few years. This is a great opportunity to reinvent the industry post COVID-19,” says Dart.  

For more information visit onmateria.com.

More on Product Design