The traditional approach to consumption based on the scheme of “extract, produce, utilize and discard” is more and more in conflict with the values of sustainability and the battle against climate change. In all sectors, including that of décor, it is becoming increasingly necessary to shift towards a circular economy, allowing materials to be reinserted in a cycle of use as completely as possible. One concrete example of this approach is undoubtedly Bolzan, an industrial firm with roots in Gaiarine, a small town halfway between Venice and the forests of the Belluno Prealps, specialized since 1989 in the production of beds.
The company from Veneto, always on the front line of measures for environmental protection, is known for the design of its furnishings to make them easy to regenerate, with the potential for insertion in virtuous systems of recycling and reuse. “We have chosen to work with a short chain of supply and production, collaborating with suppliers and collaborators who believe in the same values,” says Elisabetta Bolzan, at the helm of the family business, flanked since 1995 by her brother Piercarlo, at the head of the R+D division. “Our work ethic is based on our love for this region,” she continues. “In our factory we always seek solutions with low impact, and we have made zero waste into a creative approach that goes beyond finding ways to reduce our ecological footprint.”
Bend-e by Bolzan, design Zanellato/Bortotto
The achievement of a circular economy is now widely understood as an indispensable factor for a sustainable world, ready to meet the challenges of the future, and the company fully embodies this vision. “Inside Bolzan we keep faith with an idea of sustainability that first of all means sustaining others and sustaining ourselves,” Elisabetta Bolzan explains. “We make this commitment every day, so that our employees can work in a healthy place, on a human scale, experiencing the factory or the office as a second home. In 2022 we became a benefit company, and we are working to become a B-Corporation.”
This commitment takes the form of concrete projects, like the program initiated in 2022 with the studio Zanellato/Bortotto to rethink the Bolzan collections by narrating the territory and the local zero-kilometer manufacturers. While industrial evolution has led to the relegation of certain types of craftsmanship to the production of traditional furnishings, as in the case of wrought iron, today Zanellato/Bortotto draws on these techniques to bring new life to the Bend-e bed, whose forms were obtained by hand, working directly with the material. “Together with Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto,” the entrepreneur comments, “we have turned to traditional techniques of workmanship to create a contemporary product, in which age-old manual processes are combined with innovative design, using natural pigmented waxes applied by hand on the iron to generate different colorings.”
The same starting point has led to Jack-e, in 2022, when the fundamental objective was to revitalize the original model in an unexpected version, in which the fabrics, cowhide and wood narrate a spirit of crafted excellence, sourced from some of the finest manufacturers in the territory of Friuli and the Veneto. “This was the beginning,” Elisabetta Bolzan recalls, “of our collaboration with Presot for the cowhide, involving a long natural process of workmanship.
Bend-e by Bolzan, design Zanellato/Bortotto
Bend-e by Bolzan,
Jack-e by Bolzan,
Or our interaction with the artisan Loris Till, who applies strictly natural dyes – made with clay and ground stone, dissolved in boiling water – to wood varieties obtained from certified forests. We also work with Torri Lana, a company that has a surprising textile archive, which has found exceptional solutions for the most prestigious Italian brands, ever since the postwar period.”
Continuing with the artistic direction of Zanellato/Bortotto, Bolzan has developed the Sacile fabric, utilized for the Jack-e bed and composed of hemp (a plant that grows with small amounts of water, and the only one capable of reclaiming land polluted with heavy metals, potentialities that make it a botanical element of great symbolic and pragmatic value) and pre-consumer cotton (a short yarn usually discarded in the production process), again in a sustainable project of respect for the planet.
Jack-e by Bolzan, design Zanellato/Bortotto
Spinapesce by Bolzan,
design Studio Salaris
“This year, together with Alessandra Salaris we have collaborated with Lanificio Bottoli, a case of manufacturing excellence in the Veneto, specializing in fine natural wools using environmentally safe techniques, for the creation of the Spinapesce blanket in light fleece-worked wool obtained from Italian sheep, without the use of artificial dyes, reflecting our values of the circular economy and ecology.” Finally, with the Dominic night tables Bolzan confirms its intention to expand its offerings for the night zone, to include small tables in versions with open compartments, shelves or drawers. To underscore the identity of Bolzan, where the wellness of sleep is increasingly green in spirit.
Photo © Omar Sartor