Biohm, a London biotech and biomanufacturing startup, has created a line of sustainable lampshades called Obscure that are made of 100% coffee chaff and orange peel. Biohm has become an example of what’s possible in development and bio-manufacturing of natural materials for the built environment. They regularly use excess resources/wastes and byproducts, aiming to reduce use of plastics by replacing them in various products they create.
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Biohm is working to address several planetary challenges at once: the climate crisis, waste crisis and social injustice. Their approach is to apply principles of biomimetics, or systematically applying the ecological laws of nature, to create products and manufacturing approaches that innovate across the entire manufacturing life cycle. And, therefore, to create ethically-sourced and locally-fabricated high-performance sustainable products.
“There has never been a more critical time to be doing the work we do at Biohm,” said Ehab Sayed, founder and director of innovation at Biohm. “Recent events have emphasized how our economies and systems are flawed and unsustainable, and that we need to immediately implement radical and regenerative biotechnologies delivered through equitable and compassionate business models to make leaps in the fight against the climate crisis.”
For these lampshades, Biohm has used a material they call Orb, or organic refuse biocompound, to combine food and agricultural bioproducts with a plant-based binder. Orb can be molded or formed into sheets to create products such as lampshades. Obscure Lampshades are handmade on demand at Biohm headquarters in London. The production process has been designed to be closed loop with no waste streams or byproducts and will operate on demand to avoid additional waste from overproduction.
Images via Biohm