We visited Formex, which was held on January 14-17, 2020 at Stockholmsmässan. The challenges of retailing have been the focus at the trade fair, as the international trend and content agency Carlin occupied the Stockholm Exhibition Hall with its exhibition Retail Hub. The purpose was to both inspire and offer new insights for exhibitors and visitors by highlighting high-level retail themes; such as sustainability, the growing e-commerce progress and the interior design industry’s need for change. In addition, Formex started celebrating its 60 years as the Nordic region’s largest meeting place for interior design.
“Hållbart” (sustainable) was THE one word that we heard a lot at this year’s Formex, bringing up important discussions such as long-living products and intelligent purchases. The market is no longer for fast buying but buying more consciously, considering the purchases long before they’re done. The industry must therefore provide products made with a quality that will last a lifetime. Think about how we furnish our homes now. We no longer want the mass-produced, the I-have-the-same-one-at-home items. We also go for the items that represent us, our lifestyle, our love and passions, things that stick out and make us want to keep forever, because we know we’re not buying for the season. We meditate on our decisions and when we finally make a purchase, we embrace it.
Formex is all about the love of design and what is beautiful. Of course, you can add many different values into it. Today it is about sustainability and products that are really needed, but also about meeting people, and how to do business. Trade shows are a fantastic forum offering so much under one roof. At the same time, Formex acts as a meeting place for innovation.
So during our visit to Formex, we kept our eyes peeled for everything that offered just that… innovation, practical solutions, sustainability and of course beauty, and this is what we found:
We were very pleased to see that more and more brands are staying away from the excessive use of plastic, especially in kitchen appliances and tableware.
The use of raw materials where the original pattern from the material itself is left seen as part of the design was very present.
The strong tonalities of the season were definitely all things pastel.
Speaking about products that last a lifetime, a design that really caught our attention was that of the lamps designed by Jan Klingler, Formex Nova award nominee in 2020. He combines industrial design and microbiology into innovative design that highlights a highly personalised content: bacteria. This is how he does it: he takes a sample from the surface of the skin of a person, he then grows this bacteria in the lab and crystallises it. He sort of creates a fossil out of it, he then places it inside a laboratory style jar and creates a lamp. Now talk about an item you wouldn’t let go so easily, like, you wouldn’t throw away your best friend or your grandmother or whoever you had the lamp created after.
Like most things with Scandinavian design, functionality is king.
We found delight in the popularity of inviting spaces, with soft surfaces and tender textures.
Nature-inspired designs are also part of the season’s favourites.
And last but not least here are a few brands to keep an eye on this year, as their new collections are really inspiring, focusing on sustainability, wise use of materials, functionality and of course, beauty. First we have CEANNIS, their spring and summer collection is looking brilliant, we’re loving their colour palette and the beautiful, inviting materials they’re using in which leisureness is not compromised for functionality.
We then have KLINTA. Their whole range of aromatic candle lights, fragrance sticks, oils, creams, soaps, etc. are produced from vegan and responsible sources. The packaging they use is 50% recycled and easy to reuse and recycle. But also their aromas are perhaps the most varied and delicious in the market. We also love how creative their products are, from the line Bara Någonting Litet – just a little something, where you can pick one of their aromatic candles with sweet messages on them to give away to a loved one, instead of a plain cardboard card that most likely would just end up thrown away. There is also the aromatherapy line, in which every aroma gives you what your body and soul requires depending on the time of the day, the day of the week or the month of the year. Or you can simply choose an aroma that gives you the energy or the calmness you deserve.
Another of our favourites is Aveva, and we have already mentioned them before from previous Formex editions, but they just don’t cease to impress us. We like how they inject that load of colour a Scandinavian home needs with their products. The materials they use are mostly recycled and so resilient they will last you a lifetime. Here are just a few of this season’s novelties.