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Ideas and Inspiration

Feb 28, 2019


The Story of Varaluz and Their Eco-Friendly Lighting

You carry a reusable water bottle and a canvas tote for groceries. You recycle everything you can. You even compost leftover foods (when you remember). You might be wondering what more you can do to reduce waste, not just in your own household, but all over the world.

Have you considered eco-friendly lighting? After all, the furnishings and fixtures in your home are made from many different materials – and if even just a small fraction of those materials came from recycled or upcycled sources, it could add up to a big (positive) impact on the planet!

Enter Varaluz. This dynamic company is changing the landscape of the lighting and home furnishing industry every day with their products and practices. They’re committed to reducing waste by utilizing recycled, reclaimed, natural and sustainable materials to create their products – and in doing so, they’re doing their part to help protect the planet.

Handmade by a team of talented and passionate artisans in the Philippines, Varaluz products are unique in inspiration, appearance and origin. Many items are made from 100% recycled glass, as well as steel that contains at least 70% recycled content. You know what they say: one man’s leftover steel is another’s eco-friendly chandelier!

Why is Eco-Friendly Lighting Important?

“There’s such a need to change the things that are currently going on with our environment,” explains Ashlen Barry, Marketing Manager at Varaluz.

In fact, the company’s founder, Ron Henderson, was originally inspired to start the company as a way to keep waste out of the world’s oceans, and out of frustration for the amount of waste he witnessed in the industry. The thought was, why not use materials that would typically be discarded to create something both beautiful and functional instead?

According to Barry, “It’s important for everyone to do their part and feel inspired by it. Varaluz tries to inspire people to understand more of the issues going on in the world and create art from it.”

What’s Unique About Varaluz?

Preventing the pollution of the world’s oceans may seem like a lofty goal, but Varaluz simply sees it as a core part of their mission, and it has been so since the company’s beginning (as in, it’s not just an Earth Day project). Each piece they create is eco-friendly, inspired and lightly twisted – in other words, a “green,” playful and artistic spin on handmade lighting design.

On the eco-friendly front, their impact is measurable. In 2017, the company used 66.5 tons (that’s equal to the weight of 16 full-grown elephants!) of recycled steel and 19.5 tons of recycled glass sourced from the Philippines to create thousands of products. They even used low to no-VOC finishes in all products to protect indoor air quality.

Compared to other manufacturers, they consistently utilize 45% less packaging material to ship their products. It doesn’t stop there – the company is committed to move forward and progress toward an even more eco-friendly future.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that each handmade “green” lighting fixture from Varaluz is also dazzlingly beautiful and sure to be a statement piece in any home. From modern mini pendants to mid-century-inspired mosaic chandeliers, Henderson finds inspiration from many different sources to design unique features that you won’t find in conventional fixtures. In order to capture Henderson’s intended whimsy the company’s team of artisans handcraft each piece with the utmost care.

Get to Know Varaluz Fixtures

Each of the company’s products belongs to a “family” of handmade light fixtures, and Henderson has a unique story for each family that brings their individual features to life. To find the right fixture for your eco-friendly home, we’ve put together a few of our favorites and the stories behind their creation.

Varaluz Lofty 6-Light Chandelier

Varaluz Lofty 24-Inch 6-Light Chandelier | Capitol Lighting

Wood chandeliers are trending this year, so if you’re looking for the perfect piece, check out the Lofty family of fixtures. This collection features designs motivated by the funky textiles of the 1960s and 1970s. This particular, industrial-inspired fixture mixes hand-forged, recycled steel and neutral-toned grey wood. It’s the perfect piece to hang in a vaulted entryway or above the dining room table. For larger spaces, consider its grander cousin, the Varaluz Lofty 8-Light Linear Suspension.

Varaluz Matrix 9-Light Pendant

Varaluz Matrix 9-Light Pendant | Capitol Lighting

Eco-friendly lighting doesn’t have to be without glitz or glam – this pendant proves that. Inspired by the dramatic lights, sounds and features of Studio 54, it provides shimmer with a little bit of edge. Each rod of recycled flute glass is a varied length and hangs from hand-hammered, aged gold metal. Add this one-of-a-kind piece in the center of your most-social room to keep the conversation going.

Varaluz Orbital 20-Light Chandelier

Varaluz Orbital 48-Inch 20-Light Pendant | Capitol Lighting

Look up and take a trip to outer space with the Orbital collection, inspired by equal parts science fiction and mid-century modern design. Out from the metallic center bursts a star-shaped feature made from a galaxy of crystals. Expect lots of extra shimmer and sparkle in the room where you hang this statement fixture.

Watson 3-Light Chandelier

Varaluz Watson 21-Inch 3-Light Pendant | Capitol Lighting

The simple sophistication of textured, recycled glass globes and hand-worked, recycled steel is elementary, really. But there’s nothing ordinary about this mini chandelier, especially when it comes to style. The Watson combines art deco and modern casual in a way that’ll blend with your home’s personality while still standing out.

Metropolis 6-Light Pendant

Varaluz 26-Inch 6-Light Pendant

Henderson was inspired by the breezy, art deco vibes of South Beach when visualizing this pointy and poignant piece, made from recycled metal and finished with a complementary combination of sophisticated antique gold and rustic bronze. It’s the perfect finishing touch for a vintage or modern kitchen or dining area.

Ready to turn your cozy castle into an eco-friendly home? Consider choosing a uniquely beautiful, handmade light fixture from Varaluz for your next home lighting upgrade and help them on their quest to keep the oceans free from pollution and waste. Oh, and while you’re on an eco-streak, don’t forget to switch to LED lighting, too!