Green Leap is Monmade’s product development program fostering sustainable products for the built environment. Throughout our 9-month-long curriculum, participants of all experience levels explore the research, design, and launch stages of developing market-driven, sustainable products that are ready to be specified in design and development projects. Debuting at our design industry event in April 2023, our Green Leap products will showcase a creatively diverse collection of sustainable lighting, furniture, and wall systems.
Our inaugural cohort includes artists, craftspeople, and micro-manufacturers who have all taken steps to create exciting new designs that are highly sustainable. Here we’re sharing an update on their progress through our program, highlighting the sustainability practices implemented in their business operations, processes, and product development.
About the Program
Throughout 2022, our Green Leap cohort has attended sessions where they’ve connected with sustainability, product design, marketing, and industry experts. They’ve learned how their products can add value to design and development projects, fill market needs, be holistically sustainable, and leverage this information as a foundation for their business growth.
Using our sustainablyMonmade assessment to understand their business operations, processes, and product development, each producer has made declarations toward increasing their positive environmental and social impacts.
Green Leap is supported by the S. Kent Rockwell Foundation and Heinz Foundation.
Green Leap 2022 Cohort
Following an open call for applications last winter, nine producers were selected for Green Leap, including Camp Copeland Studio, Emmanuelle Ceramics, Jessica Alpern Brown, OtherWondersMFG, Reimagined Recycling, Safran Everyday, SPACAPAN, Temper and Grit, and Tenderwerks.
Camp Copeland Studio
Alyssa and Drew Kail founded Camp Copeland Studio in 2015 to improve everyday lives through considered design and intentional living. Inspired by Japanese minimalism, Scandinavian design, and the Swedish concept of “lagom” (meaning “just enough”), Camp Copeland handcrafts mindful home goods and decor in kiln-formed glass and wool. Through the Green Leap program, they are incorporating reclaimed textile and material waste for a system of sound-dampening decorative wall art panels.
Since 2020, Monmade has featured Emmanuelle Wambach’s everyday collection of ceramic dinnerware and homeware featuring lace motifs. Inspired by her mother’s love of flowers and gardening, Emmanuelle combines different texturing, carving, glazing, and under-glazing techniques to create slab-built pieces. Now with Green Leap, Monmade launches Emmanuelle’s first lighting products featuring natural textures and shapes. Through her latest designs, Emmanuelle embraces biophilic design principles—our inherent need to bring nature into the modern built environment.
Jessica Alpern Brown
Jessica Alpern Brown’s primary work as a paper cutter now informs her multidisciplinary art and design practice and exploration of interior design products. Her current work features a variety of materials from found objects and organic matter to resin and acrylic, including her Contour Discs which premiered with our Monmade x CDCP Collection in 2021. Jessica’s inherently sustainable mindset informs her newest Light Lines pendants developed through Green Leap. The colorful creations maximize material use and minimize waste by using cut-offs from her Contour Discs.
OtherWondersMFG is a design and fabrication studio with a focus on sustainability. Owner Carl Bajandas works with wood, metal, and other materials to create custom railings, panels, and much more. Using digital design and fabrication techniques, Carl now expands his practice and is focused on the production of his line of studio furniture. The collection explores intentional design and simplicity through functional, durable pieces, including seating and tables.
Reimagined Recycling is a Pittsburgh-based program and creative studio that collects #4 and #5 plastics for shredding and repurposing into new plastic products including home and design goods. Established and operated by Ashley McFarland, this non-profit organization processes and reuses materials that would otherwise be excluded from mainstream recycling programs and destined for the landfill. With Green Leap, Ashley is experimenting with larger products suited for the built environment like floating shelving in assorted colorways.
Safran Everyday was created out of artist Maia Leppo’s desire to provide simple, beautiful, functional objects including jewelry and homewares. Inspired by botanicals and architecture, Maia brings her fresh sense of design to expand into homeware like plant holders, towel holders, and hooks. With Green Leap, she expands Safran Everyday’s product offering with a modular green wall system featuring bold shapes made from powder-coated steel, the same inherently sustainable materials used throughout her existing collection.
SPACAPAN is a woman-owned and operated artisanal glass company. With repeating forms designed to make a subtle statement, SPACAPAN lighting reflects the minimalism of artist Margaret Spacapan’s fine art sculpture. SPACAPAN’s assortment of glass pendants and custom chandeliers are hand-blown, cut, ground, and polished for long-lasting beauty and durability. With Monmade Margaret launched the Wallace Pendant, and now with Green Leap she introduces Reilluminate, a collection of minimalist pendants made from reimagined recycled glass bottles.
Temper and Grit
Temper and Grit is a multimodal design and fabrication studio specializing in creating custom solutions for the built environment. From furniture to fixtures, Temper and Grit’s thoughtfully executed and well-made products adorn residential and commercial spaces throughout Pittsburgh, including the TRYP Hotel Lawrenceville. Designer Nicholas Volpe combines woodworking, metalworking, and blacksmithing to create innovative designs with integrity. Now with Green Leap, Nick introduces a standardized contemporary wall cabinet sustainably made from Bamboo plywood and manufactured by regional partner Eisenwood.
Pati Beachley is a Pittsburgh-based, non-binary sculptor. Her work mixes masculine and feminine attributes forcing a dialogue into gendered text and imagery—she adds a queer narrative by casting carpet and fibrous materials. As owner and designer of Tenderwerks, her Pittsburgh-based studio and foundry, Pati creates pieces celebrating the pleasure of everyday, useful objects that transcend the ordinary. With Green Leap, Pati applies her unique aesthetic to functional, sustainable products. She is developing collections of artful hardware featuring repurposed carpet textures cast from recycled aluminum truck components.