Who are the designers behind the project and what is their point of view on the collaboration with TreCe and design in general?
The two designers, Thomas Bernstrand and Stefan Borselius, have worked together for 8 years, but both have been in the industry considerably longer. They first met at Konstfack, The university for arts, crafts and design in Stockholm, but it was until 2015 during a design project for Blå Station that they began working together. As the project progressed, they both felt that they were a good team and this led them to collaborate more and more.
Bernstrand and Borselius have been running their own design studios for over 20 years, specialising in furniture and interior design. Bernstrand in Stockholm and Borselius in southernmost Skåne. Over the years, they have worked with several prestigious companies as a team as well as separately. Last year, they started a joint collaboration with TreCe.
From the first time we met Anders and Åsa at TreCe, we felt that they had the drive and desire to create a unique, well-designed and environmentally sustainable product. We’ve been following the company for a long time and felt that this was a company we’d like to work with. Partly for their innovative products and the way they work with respect to the environment and sustainability. Another important reason is the level of quality, in terms of products, their design, choice of materials and environmental approach. All of these aspects are highly valued by TreCe, which sets a high standard for the entire product range. It’s also a timely company where we saw an opportunity to contribute. TreCe operates in a niche that has a promising future. In March 2022, we met with TreCe and got a proper presentation of the company’s thoughts and ideas for the new project.
During the course of our work, we (Bernstrand and Borselius) have on several occasions chosen to travel and meet in inspiring places to discuss different solutions, concepts and ideas. We usually do this when we have an assignment and are in the initial sketching phase. Meeting face-to-face and discussing and sketching in peace and quiet is usually crucial for coming up with new ideas.
A product idea begins to take shape
When we sketched out a recycling unit for TreCe, we wanted to make a bin that would take up as little floor space as possible. That way it would easily find its place in workplaces, hotels, schools, libraries, etc. We started working from scratch, analysing and questioning the common way of solving the problem. The solution was to build upwards in storeys, stacking the units on top of each other in etages.
We chose to give the bin two different heights so that several Etage can create a dynamic recycling station together. The lower model of Etage has a bigger compartment so that you can choose different volumes for different purposes. To optimise the recycling flow, Etage is available with double inlets, either with full or half containers and with dividers in between. The round and friendly shape is easy to place, fits well in the middle of a room and can conveniently be placed in a corner.
As the demand for recycling is increasing around the world, it can be challenging to integrate ugly and bulky containers. At the same time, many workplaces don’t want to hide their recycling, but rather highlight their company’s environmental ambitions. A beautiful recycling station can be placed in more accessible areas instead of being stashed away.
Our choice of materials
That’s why we chose to be careful with the choice of materials and the meetings between them. Etage has a beautiful oak veneer frame that gives the column extra life. The oak comes in three different finishes; natural, brown black oak and white stained. In contrast to the wood and to make it easy to clean, the holes around the inlets are made of moulded bioplastic, available in white or black. The inlet is angled inwards to help guide the waste into the right container. On the larger angled surface, we have placed symbols to clarify what should be thrown into this particular bin. Inside the doors of Etage, we’ve formed a holder to keep the bags in place, while the container keeps the beautiful column free of dripping or leaking bags.