‘The notion that something old can become something new again feels really great’

‘The notion that something old can become something new again feels really great’

From residual material to pillows

Reuse and waste prevention are key when it comes to a circular economy. What is better than creating new products from residual waste? Products that – in turn – last for a long time. The Scandinavian-style pillows by fėm interior, which are made out of cutting waste that comes from Gispen, are a classic example of this. Initiator Franca Janse wrote a blog about it.

How it came about

I worked as a management assistant for many years. A job where I couldn’t really express my creative side. In 2015, I changed things around completely. I quit my job and took up a study in interior design. During my studies, I got the idea to make pillows out of residual waste. I wanted to create something that wasn’t around yet. I already had designs in mind: soft plain fabrics in beautiful Scandinavian colours. However, finding these fabrics proved more difficult. I visited many fairs and browsed through many websites. One of my fellow students, who worked in the furniture business, finally presented me with a solution. She brought me a whole stack of residual materials from a design studio. It meant I could get started! Designing, drawing, trying out different colour schemes; first series of pillows hit the market.

Coming onto the market

I received so many positive reactions to my first designs that I decided to release my products on the market under the brand fėm interior. Fėm interior has my initials in it, but it is also Norwegian for five. I added the dot on the e to give my brand a Scandinavian twist. The number five has been incorporated into the designs of my first pillow collection, ‘Fjord’, of which the fronts have five different patches. The colours all come from Norwegian nature, where I got my inspiration from.

Gispen and I

A new project was born! Fuelled by all the positive reactions I received, I approached several furniture manufacturers to obtain cutting waste for my pillow project. I was invited by a number of well-known brands, including Gispen, to come visit their design studios. Like being in the lap of luxury – piles and piles of fabrics that I was allowed to look through for anything that could contribute to my project. Gispen has truly invested in the circular economy, which is something we have in common. We were meant to be working together. Gispen’s people were positive about the sample pillow I made out of their own residual materials. I wrote this blog in return for the materials, and did so with great pleasure!

The designer’s thoughts

‘Colours, fabrics and shapes; interior and architecture have always interested and inspired me. Everything comes together in the pillows I create out of residual waste. I think it’s really special that Gispen has given me the opportunity to create something new out of waste.’

‘The notion that something old can become something new again feels really great’

Franca Janse Designer Fėm interior

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