Two years ago we posed this question: What comes after terrazzo? Designers such as Kip & Co.’s Alex McCabe and New York–based interior designer Jessie Schuster offered up ideas that spanned from zellige to colored concrete. But we never expected that eggshells would surface as a cool alternative—we have Nature Squared to thank for that happy surprise.
With British-Chinese textile designer and weaver Elaine Yan Ling Ng at the helm of the Swiss-based brand as its chief innovator, the company figured out how to turn chicken eggshell waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill into Carrelé, a sustainable collection of wall tiles that have the chic, speckled appearance of terrazzo. “Although we tend to associate them with fragility, [eggshells are] actually very strong and naturally UV-resistant,” says Ng.
Handmade in the Philippines, the eco-friendly tiles start out as organic white eggshells from local bakeries and kitchens. Then the pieces are cleaned and crushed into different sizes and sanded to 3-millimeter fragments. Natural dyes are added to achieve the natural tones before the speckled composite is toasted.
Carrelé comes in lightweight square, rectangular, and triangular shapes, as well as four colorways. The easy-to-clean tiles can be applied to walls, including wet areas in bathrooms and kitchens, and there are plans to extend the product to flooring. Even better: They’re recyclable, so if you decide to swap them out for something else 20 years from now, you don’t have to feel guilty about it.