10.78 tons

are discarded annually in Europe.

7 billion people on our planet use a huge amount of products every day. To keep making all these products day in and day out, an unimaginable amount of raw materials and energy is needed.

Raw materials are being depleted and heaps of waste are growing. A major problem for our environment and that also means a major problem for our future.

Het goede nieuws is dat er een oplossing is voor beide problemen: een circulaire economie. Om een circulaire economie te laten werken is het van groot belang dat we gemotiveerd zijn om duurzamere keuzes te maken.

Furniture is a temporary function of valuable raw materials

More and more companies are concerned with sustainability and the demand for a circular design is increasing. At Zwartwoud, we acquired the knowledge early and continue to delve into the subject of circularity and the opportunities it offers. Today, we can call ourselves at the forefront of developing circular custom interiors.

For us, it started in 2007, with seeing the documentary “Afval is voedsel”. It opened eyes: if we want our next generations to enjoy our world as much as we do, things have to be different. David Attenborough's 2020 film “A life on our planet” reinforced that feeling worldwide.

Zwartwoud develops custom interiors with a vision of the future, for organizations with sustainable ambitions.

A circular mindset and a systematic process

Logic takes you from A to B, but imagination takes you everywhere (- Albert Einstein). This is also the case with circularity: there is no single method. It's about the ability to allow innovation and creativity into the process. At Zwartwoud, we work with three principles, which we combine.


De R-ladder

De circulaire R-ladder geeft de mate van circulariteit aan. Hoe hoger op de R-ladder, hoe meer grondstoffen er worden bespaard.

R1: Refuse en rethink - Afzien van producten of producten intensiever gebruiken
R2: Reduce - Producten efficiënter fabriceren of efficiënter maken in gebruik
R3: Reuse - Hergebruik van een product
R4: Repair, refurbish, remanufacturing en repurpose - Reparatie en hergebruik van productonderdelen
R5: Recycling - Verwerken en hergebruiken van materialen
R6: Recover - Energie terugwinnen uit materialen

[ Bron: RVO]


Cradle to Cradle

Volgens het Cradle to Cradle (C2C) principe staat afval gelijk aan voedsel: elke grondstof, elk materiaal, moet volledig kunnen worden hergebruikt zonder dat het zijn waarde verliest.

Binnen het systeem worden twee kringlopen onderscheiden. In de biologische kringloop kunnen materialen uiteindelijk weer veilig terug in de biosfeer (natuur) worden opgenomen en zo nieuwe voedingsbodem worden voor een nieuwe grondstof. In de technische kringloop, bestaande uit eindige grondstoffen, zorgen we ervoor dat deze altijd in de gebruikersketen blijven. Door de twee kringlopen niet permanent met elkaar te verbinden, maar hun eigen kringloop te respecteren, kan een optimale circulaire economie worden ingericht.

Als onderdeel van dit systeem checken we altijd de List of Banned Chemicals die bij een materiaal wordt aangeleverd.



De CO2-balans van materialen is voor ons een belangrijk aspect om te bepalen of we een product gebruiken voor een project.

We vragen een Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) op, waarop we producten beoordelen. Daarnaast zijn we FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) gecertificeerd.


The R ladder

The circular R ladder indicates the degree of circularity. The higher up the R ladder, the more resources are saved. Zwartwoud looks at which of the 6 steps of the R ladder we can operate on.


Cradle to Cradle

According to the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) principle, waste equals food: every raw material, every material, must be able to be fully reused without losing its value.


CO2 balance

The CO2 balance of materials is an important aspect for us in determining whether we use a product for a project.

How does that work in practice?

First, an inventory is made of the existing situation to see if and where reuse is possible. This often happens together with the architect. We use our knowledge of the three principles mentioned above to list the available, usable furniture.

Based on this inventory, a layout plan will be made. What can we reuse and what can we restore? For the materials that we cannot put in the new interior, we look for a nice destination and ensure that they do not have to end up in the incinerator. And where no recycled materials are available, we use sustainable materials. During this process, it's all about working with the architect.

The + of Zwartwoud

Above average project management

Monitor the planning and budget, manage the logistical organization, overcome bottlenecks on time: leave that to our project teams.

Full control within construction teams

From assembling furniture to floor and wall finishing, wallpapering and flooring. Our project teams take full control within construction teams.

The added value of product development

A circular interior requires smart design. Our engineers develop products with a vision for the future.

Material independent

Zwartwoud has in-house production facilities, but operates independently of materials. We have a large network of specialized partners. For special custom solutions, large series or sustainable materials.

Creating added value from circularity

We research, design and develop innovative interior concepts. We bring sustainable design to a circular interior.

A vision of blended spaces

Not only furniture has a temporary, fixed shape, the same goes for spaces. From the office, to the meeting place, to the living room.

Proud of our cooperation with, among others:

21 miljoen stoelen

3 miljoen keukens

7,2 miljoen tafels

12 miljoen kasten