2023 Product Design Award: Livwell by Natasha Baradaran


It is no secret that the interior design and development industries are often the most detrimental to the health of our planet. However, there are a handful of visionary thinkers working tirelessly to combat the excessive wastefulness by developing products that protect what we have left. That group includes L.A.-based multihyphenate design studio Natasha Baradaran, which recently introduced Livwell—the industry’s first vegan leather collection made from cactus, for luxury interiors. “My daughters have inspired me to be more sustainably conscious as a human being,” says founder Natasha Baradaran. “I think about the world my children and grandchildren will inherit.”

This prolific new alternative to animal leather is sourced from an organic ranch in Central Mexico and grown free of any pesticides and herbicides. Additionally, the products are biodegradable, free of toxic chemicals and comply with the USDA Organic certification, and they are also a PETA-approved material. “While the flat version of cactus leathers are used in other industries, like apparel and automotive, what we have brought to interiors is the embossing and tipping element, which has transformed a fairly generic material,” says Baradaran. “These additional processes are what make it feel appropriate for interiors, and as a luxury product. Adapting and pushing the design and hand of the material to the needs of the design trade has been challenging, but in my opinion, worth it!”

Livwell Ophelia cactus leather shown in Desert. Photo courtesy of Natasha Bardaran.

Even though the Livwell collection is free of chemicals, it does not lack style. Baradaran applied her signature laid-back luxurious aesthetic while honoring the intention of the process. “We launched Livwell cactus leather with a nature-inspired pastel palette,” she notes. “It was a thoughtful move to not try to mimic conventional colors of animal leather. I hope that interior designers and their clients will see Livwell as its own product and appreciate its beauty without comparing it to animal leather. We were intentional about calling it leather not to confuse, but to expand the definition of the word today.”

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