Published on September 12, 2021

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Courtesy of Nature Squared

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. 

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Courtesy of Nature Squared

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. 

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Courtesy of Nature Squared
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Courtesy of Nature Squared

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.