Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Yi Design Group

Eco-conscious products from recycled ceramics

Property & Construction

The process promotes zero-waste with a minimum of 70 per cent recycled material in each piece

Spotted: Analysts expect the global pottery ceramics market to grow from $10.55 billion (around €9.7 billion) in 2022 to just under $13 billion (around €12 billion) by 2027, with the increase driven largely by increased government investment in infrastructure projects. While good news financially for the companies in the industry, the challenge of decarbonising production processes looms large.

Pursuing circularity as part of a zero-waste approach could be one of the most important decisions organisations make. Yi Design Group, headquartered in Jingdezhen, China, provides premium ceramics made almost entirely from recycled materials. A leading producer of porcelain, Jingdezhen also contends with substantial volumes of ceramic waste.

Yi Design Group co-founders Caroline Cheng and Karl Yin built a dedicated R&D lab and factory to test and produce products. These include: YiBrick Handmade bricks, which are made from 100 per cent recycled material; YiBrick Permeable bricks, containing 90 per cent recycled material; and YiTiles, which are made from at least 70 per cent recycled material. “We can make ceramic production a closed loop system, where all waste can be used as raw material again,” co-founder Cheng told Springwise.

The Group works with architects and interior designers to create both structural and decorative pieces. Ceramics are often used in construction because of their ability to insulate and endure high temperatures without expanding. For every square metre of Yi Design Group tiles used, a project reduces its carbon footprint by half a kilogramme. And as well as being zero waste and fireproof, the upcycled tiles and bricks are up to 30 per cent lighter than traditional versions.

Yi Design Group’s expansion and development plans are sizeable. Goals include collecting ceramic waste from building demolition sites, creating a 3D printing material made of recycled ceramics, and finding ways to incorporate more types of industrial and biomass waste materials into its product lines. 

From fish scales to recycled plastic, innovations in Springwise’s library show a wide range of new materials being turned into sustainable tiles.

Written By: Keely Khoury




Download PDF