26 October 2023
Italian design and architecture firm Pulina Exclusive Interiors is developing innovative new materials that have a lower impact on the environment than traditional yacht interiors.
On the sidelines of the Monaco Yacht Show 2023, which took place in September, Pulina Exclusive Interiors presented fresh innovations in using sustainable materials for yacht interior design, developed using biotechnology.
Tuscan architect Alessandro Pulina, founder of Pulina Exclusive Interiors, in conjunction with the Sant’Anna Institute in Pisa through LAB11, has developed the Aligned with Sustainability project, to promote the use of modern materials developed through biotechnology research.
The project comprises five Italian companies, all aiming for responsible and realistic sustainable solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the yacht industry – Artep, which produces made-to-measure rugs using natural materials; Ohoskin, a Sicilian company that transforms orange and prickly pear sub-products into leather alternatives; Rada, a Forlì-based company that produces fabrics with natural fibres and recycled materials; and VGHN (Very Genuine Hemp Nature), the Florentine hemp processing company.
“The yachting industry is making great strides in this direction. It is a challenge that requires a major effort, and the only goal must be to protect the planet,” says Pulina. “This is our contribution – we have finally found a way to make a difference in an area in which there is much research and many promises are made, but still nothing revolutionary.
“With the collaboration of LAB11, we are conducting a market research project in Italy that aims to identify businesses with an interest in the use of biotechnology materials in the yachting industry, and now, with them, we are introducing solutions on board that will finally represent a green breakthrough”.
The event was promoted by Cantalupi Light Engineering, the storied Tuscan company that has made sustainability one of its core values since pivoting exclusively to LED lighting in 2012.
“We aim for concrete sustainability that doesn’t focus exclusively on consumption but refers to a much broader vision,” says Alessandro Bedini, head of marketing and communications at Cantalupi.
“[This vision] encompasses packaging, the use of fine materials for production, the circular economy, integration with automation systems, and the positive impact of work on the community. Our LEDs, which have a very high CRI (Colour Rendering Index), make it possible to reduce the number of lighting units on board; to monitor the heat produced and reduce its impact with the cooling system; to control the temperature according to the light outside; and to optimise the light by means of volume sensors.
“The focus on sustainability can also be seen in Cantalupi’s signature timeless design, ensuring that product have a long life by not chasing after fashion trends. We are truly more than happy to be able to support Alessandro Pulina in this project that is perfectly in line with our strategic plan”.
“It is important to raise awareness in the yachting industry about the need to return to artisan products made with highly sustainable new generation or natural materials,” Artep CEO Riccardo Meglioranzi says. “We use materials that require less water in the dyeing process, don’t release microplastics during washing, and are biodegradable.
“They are joined by new generation materials such as certified Tencel, a fibre obtained from eucalyptus wood pulp, and materials such as Sari Silk, a silk recycled from waste fabric produced in the process of making saris, the traditional garments worn by Indian women.
In addition to this, we use high-performance yarns recycled from plastic, which have particularly interesting applications in the yacht industry because they have perfect properties for outdoor use.”
His words are echoed by Davide Ravaglioli, general manager of Rada, a Brianza-based company that supplies leading brands such as Cassina, Flexform and Kartell. “At this event [in Monaco], we presented Reviva, a project that uses recycled plastic to produce high-quality fabrics with characteristics suited above all to outdoor applications and therefore ideal in yachting,” Ravaglioli recalls. “And we will soon present Orange Fiber, another ambitious project to produce fabrics from orange waste.”
Finally, VGHN (Very Genuine Hemp Nature) founder Paolo Quirici explains the advantages of his company’s products. “Above all, healthy and safe products are made from hemp mulch, a material that saves a considerable amount of water during cultivation and requires no pesticides,” he says.
“When you remember that a hectare of land planted with hemp produces as much oxygen as 25 hectares of forest, you realise the importance of this plant that regenerates the soil by aligning all the natural minerals, is antibacterial, antifungal and fireproof, and shields against electromagnetic waves,” he continues. “We are enthusiastic about this collaboration, which promises to herald in important new products.”
The event was attended by international journalists and industry experts, who were reportedly enthusiastic about the ideas that Pulina Exclusive Interiors will be applying to upcoming yacht interior design projects.