And we can help you with yours.
Want to explore
more sustainable materials?
We can help.
Have sustainability goals
or targets to reach?
We can help.
Interested in circularity?
Where nothing is wasted?
We can help.
Big leaps or small changes.
Revolution or evolution.
Education or implementation.
That is how we help.
We work with consumer brands, governments,
schools and manufacturers in four key ways to become
more sustainable and future-proof.
We offer Life Cycle
identifying the highest
impacts through processing, manufacturing, distribution,
use and end-of-life.
We also create custom calculators to quantify
material inputs and impacts, helping you focus your sustainability actions.
We partner with some of the world’s leading organisations.
We’re proud of the difference we’ve made so far.
Need help with your material and sustainability challenges?
Help a global cosmetic company to put its “golden rules of sustainability” into practice by making sustainability easy to understand and exciting to act upon.
Created a practical set of guidelines to inform and educate global design teams on how to evaluate and choose more sustainable materials.
Education is key to improving sustainability. These guidelines are an easy-to-understand tool designed to inform better material and process choices at every level of the organisation.
To assess the ‘sustainability’ of materials being used industry-wide for Sanitary Pads and Tampons. Research and identify a range of more sustainable materials and processes.
We analyzed our client’s and competitor’s materials to uncover any ‘greenwashing’ claims and substances of concern. Then compiled a detailed report of the materials, processes or partners in that could enable impact reduction. And made final recommendations and facilitated introductions to suppliers for prototyping alternatives.
Our research gave our client a picture of their current sustainability attributes and identified alternatives that could reduce waste, at a local and global scale. Our research then became the basis for a range of more sustainable design concepts.
Identify zero-waste materials as an alternative to current single-use plastic packaging. Develop more sustainable design concepts without compromising the size, shape, material performance and manufacturing method of the packaging.
We curated a selection of materials that were recyclable, compostable or monomaterial. Develop preliminary concepts inspired by these materials. We evaluated each concept and its supporting materials according to commercial viability, the path to market and the level of differentiation. A final design concept was detailed that kept the existing form but eliminated single-use plastic.
We turned their single-use FMCG packaging into a compostable solution that would comply with Government single-use plastic policies.
Further develop a Reuse Impact Calculator for an NYC Government agency to quantify the effect of keeping donated clothing or household goods in reuse or recycling rather than landfill.
A simple-to-use online tool that measures how much material has been diverted from landfill. By categorising and classifying the donation data from a range of partner organisations, this tool provides supporting evidence for continued reuse programming.
The software tool we developed helps more people to understand the significant difference reuse and recycling programs make in reducing landfill, and supporting the circular economy.
Meet our team.
New York, USA
New York, USA
Get inside our minds
Hylohisms are articles created by our co-founders which act as the foundation or ethos of hyloh. But be warned, these philosophies challenge conventional notions that exist about sustainability and share our, rather proactive perspective when it comes to the circular economy.
Materials and people are alike. They come in many shapes and sizes. Their diversity makes for the richness of their realm, and reducing them to one attribute by applying a label is likely a hasty conclusion. No one is forever kind nor beautiful. Neither can we say that materials are undoubtedly healthy or smart. Relativizing is essential: it depends on the context and any generalisation and shortcut is detrimental to reaching our goals with care and honesty (see Transparency Is The New Green).
When it comes to sustainability, we, at Hyloh, strongly believe that there are NO sustainable materials. There are sustainable attributes that can be assigned to materials and their use — in context — that can lead us toward a lesser environmental (and/or social) footprint than others.
Everything is made from something. Materials form us, as well as the world we see and feel around us: our flesh from water and tissues, our clothing from fibers, our furniture from wood, our plates from ceramic, our windows from glass, our homes from concrete, even the batteries that power our digital world. Given the physical nature of materials, they are central to many fields of science such as ecology, physics, geology and archaeology where whole periods in history have been named after them: Stone, Bronze, Iron!
At their most basic level, materials are matter: chemical elements organised in the periodic table, some of which are yet to be discovered… Each material has unique chemical and physical attributes which determine their performance and contribute to our perception of them. Materials are the common thread that connects design, engineering, manufacturing, sourcing, marketing, retailers and people.
As awareness and importance grows around climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, human and resource exploitation, and the circular economy, we are no longer accepting loose environmental claims and empty promises from corporations and governments.
Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how environmentally sound a company’s products or services are. This term greenwashing was coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986, back when consumers were only able to receive news from television, radio and print media — the same outlets that corporations regularly flooded with a wave of highly-priced, slickly-produced commercials and print ads. They often presented themselves as caring environmental stewards, even as they were engaging in environmentally unsustainable practices.
Our collective efforts to be more sustainable have not (yet?) been effective in minimising climate change. Nor have they reduced inequality. Are we missing something? Should the People-Planet-Profit trifecta be challenged? Prosperity has been suggested as a replacement for ‘profit’, as well as a fourth concept proposed by academics and experts: Purpose, or by humanitarians: Peace and Partnerships. As creatives, we decided to get more alliteratively poetic and add one more P word to the definition of sustainability: Pleasure — satisfaction, delight or joy.
Firstly because sustainability is often anticipated as some kind of constraint, a request to be better with less — without additional time, resources or budget.
Sustainability is about making sure that future generations have what they need.
Our current practices of design and consumption, as well as population growth and widespread urbanization, have resulted in a depletion of resources, climate change and excessive amounts of waste. We lost our balance long ago. Humans looked at Nature as a bottomless reservoir, and kept on taking and taking.
We, at Hyloh, want to remain positive about what can still be done. We believe humanity is on the verge of unprecedented paradigm shifts (see Culture Shifts Create New Material Codes), and hope to modestly contribute to change and be able to witness it in full swing.
The phrase “think globally, source locally” was first used for economic reasons: used in relation to establishing localized supply chains, manufacturing and sales when entering international markets because it is cost-prohibitive to ship finished goods internationally. This is essentially advocating for the duplication of operations in each locale. Even though Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) does not indicate that transportation accounts for the most impact in relation to a product, a shift away from shipping globally by sourcing locally, should ideally not result in impact transfer. The outcomes of engaging locally however can be very positive.
Increased international travel as well as the internet, both synonymous with globalization, expose people to new ideas and ways of life, promoting empathy, inclusivity and an appreciation for diversity. Globalization has also encouraged an exchange of foods, resources, design, language, materials and culture.
As new generations emerge and we see social, cultural, and technology shifts, it is inevitable that our perception of materials will evolve in parallel.
Materials are everywhere, transformed into the products and spaces that surround us, and enabling the experiences of modern life. A material’s purpose is often two-fold; the first is the functionality, performance and capabilities of the composition and form. The second is the aesthetic and sensorial aspects, which convey the subjective by engaging our senses (sight, smell, sound, touch and taste.)
The material codes that exist in our past, present and future are a combination of technology advancements and cultural shifts. Let’s take plastic for example. What an amazing invention it was, providing new capabilities, characteristics and methods for manufacturing, changing the face of many industries, and enabling many more.
From aerogel to zirconium get the lowdown on traditional and new and unexpected materials. What are their advantages and disadvantages… What material terms in product design, architecture and interior design do you need to know…
All are alphabetically ordered and cross-referenced to make it your go-to guide.
We’d really love to help!
Contact us for a friendly and free chat.