“Salone del Mobile.Milano” 2023, keyword: eco-sustainability

The latest edition of the most anticipated design and furniture event focused on important issues related to reuse and the circular economy

Salone del Mobile: entrance
The 2023 edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano recorded over 300.000 visitors from 181 countries (Photo: Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano – AR AM DR LF LM RS/ Federlegno Arredo – FR)

In one sentence: it is one of the most important events in the world of design and furniture.

Il Salone del Mobile.Milano, founded in 1961, is held every year during the month of April at the Rho exhibition center, a few kilometers from the city centre. Every year thousands of visitors, including industry professionals, designers, architects, journalists and enthusiasts, travel to Milan to discover the latest products and trends in the world of furniture and design: furniture, lighting, fabrics, floors and home accessories. 'furniture.

The fair also hosts events and conferences on design and architecture, as well as art exhibitions and installations. It also represents an important opportunity for manufacturers and designers to present their latest creations to an international audience. This year, the watchword was "eco-sustainability". Let's go deeper.

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Salone del Mobile: natural materials
Natural and low environmental impact materials were the protagonists of the Salone (Photo: Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano – AR AM DR LF LM RS/ Federlegno Arredo – FR)

In Lombardy, a truly all-green edition

Just take a look at the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023 website to realize how much this year's edition has decided to focus on green themes. 

The organizers have adopted sustainability certifications such as ISO 20121 (the Show is the first trade fair in the sector to obtain it) and adhered to the United Nations Global Compact, while the exhibitors presented innovative andtechnology. The stand arrangements have become light, modular and reusable, made with materials such as wood and recycled cardboard.

This year the Salone opened its doors to 1.962 exhibitors, including over 550 young talents under 35 and 27 design schools. In reality, six events were held under the same brand: the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, Workplace3.0, S.Project, Euroluce, the SaloneSatellite.

“One of the characteristics of the Salone del Mobile is its ability to evolve to respond to the most urgent challenges of the contemporary world. We did it in 2021 by inventing Supersalone, the first global event after the very tough months of the pandemic, with last June's edition, when we returned to the traditional format by accepting the challenge of sustainability, and we continue to do so with the 2023 edition", declared Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.

The 2023 edition closed on April 23, with a positive balance of +15 percent in attendance (over 300.000) from 181 countries and an impressive 65 percent of foreign operators, presenting many products and materials that aim to minimizeimpact on the environment.

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Salone del Mobile: showroom
The Salone del Mobile.Milano is the first trade fair in the sector to obtain ISO 20121 sustainability certification (Photo: Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano – AR AM DR LF LM RS/ Federlegno Arredo – FR)

Circular economy and reuse at the center of the Salone

Among the new products presented at the Salone del Mobile.Milano there are recycled and reusable materials, such as the Aava 02 chair by Arper in post-consumer recycled polypropylene combined with virgin material and the Soffio seating system by Lema with padding in recycled fibre. Caimi, on the other hand, presented the first fabric in ECONYL® that can be regenerated indefinitely, created using nylon waste such as fishing nets.

LAGO has decided to reuse its multi-year Good House stand, which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 87 percent. Even Pedrali, a company that has always been sensitive to sustainability theme, presented itself with an installation made of raw and easily disassembled materials as part of the #PedraliBacktoNature project.

Il sustainability concept has been interpreted in a diversified way by the various realities of the sector. For example, the Porro company uses only selected raw materials to minimize waste and consumption, but also thinks about people's well-being with work environments surrounded by greenery and windows to work with natural light.

Euroluce, the biennial event dedicated to lighting, is also back with important innovations, including increasingly efficient LED sources and low-impact raw materials. Companies in the lighting sector, such as Artemide and Flos, are working to reduce materials, weight and packaging, maximizing luminous flux and energy savings. Finally, the Formafantasma duo created the Costellazioni display system, made up of removable and reusable modules in paper and wood, which hosted the exhibitions curated by Beppe Finessi.

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Euroluce was one of the complementary events at the Salone del Mobile.Milano (Photo: Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano – AR AM DR LF LM RS/ Federlegno Arredo – FR)

Winning the challenge of sustainability, together

The words of the president Maria Porro represent a perfect gloss to reflect on sustainability concept at 360 degrees.

“We have learned several important lessons from this edition: we have learned that a huge event like the Salone can be redesigned to take it into the future, that the sustainability match can be won when the whole system remains cohesive, that new contents can be imagined and used to generate knowledge, growth, value”.

The future of design and furnishings passes through the environmental protection and the promotion of aeconomy circular and the Salone del Mobile.Milano was a virtuous example of how industry can do its part to achieve this goal. 

La sustainability it represents a collective effort involving all sectors of society, from businesses to governments, from local communities to civil society. A concept that is also well known to New Chemical, a leading company in surface treatment, which for many years has stood out for its approach focused on product ethics and green chemistry. New Chemical focuses on research and innovation, not only with regard to product formulations but also in the choice of packaging, reducing the plastic used in production and packaging processes by over 30%.

From design to the chemistry, there are many sectors that are moving towards a model of more sustainable development, adopting a holistic view that takes into account the social implications, economic e environmental of design choices, to promote virtuous practices and embrace a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

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The highlights of the 2023 edition of the "Salone del Mobile.Milano"

The opening event of the 2023 edition of the "Salone del Mobile.Milano"

The exhibition of the Euroluce biennial at the "Salone del Mobile.Milano" 2023

The talk "Sustainability, lighting and design" at the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023

Salone del Mobile.Milano: sustainability
In every sector, the development model of the future must promote virtuous practices (Photo: Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milan - AR AM DR LF LM RS/ Federlegno Arredo - FR)