Whether a single design object or 1,000 lamps, each piece is always handmade. We’re talking about the young German company “lumbono”.
Lumbono stands for high-quality lamps and design objects in the upcycling style. Sails, which do not flutter over the seas, discarded parcel and coffee bags, are transformed by lumbono to timelessly beautiful lighting designs. Individually, changeable and sustainable, produced with ecological responsibility and in cooperation with social projects.
The customizability makes it possible to adapt or even change colors and look to fit different furnishing styles. Thanks to the easy replacable shades of the design lamps, it’s also very quick. With this business concept, the design duo had made it into the finals of the economic district of Starnberg, Germany in 2016. We interviewed Mrs Flotzinger and Mrs Drummer.
Mrs. Flotzinger and Mrs. Drummer, how did you come up with the name “lumbono”?
We’ve been thinking about a name for a long time. It was not easy to find a company name that was not already taken and suited us. Lumbono is composed of “lumens” for light and “bono” for beautiful. Which fits with us in a double sense, with our lamps you are presented in good light and they also give a good light.
Is lumbono your first company or were you previously self-employed?
We started with an upcycling company for fashion, bags and accessories about 10 years ago. Under the company name Zick + Zack GbR, we began to produce the first unique pieces made of textiles.
How did you come up with the idea for your first lighting design?
A project manager from a large construction company was amazed by our bags made of sails and was looking for a fresh, innovative idea for wall lights designed for their exclusive student residences. 800 of the wall lamps made of canvas with the beautiful name “Heimathafen” now hang in their houses in Darmstadt and Frankfurt. This was the birth of today’s lumbono GmbH and other lighting models.
If I bring you my wedding dress, will you make me lamps out of it?
We gladly use your wedding dress to make a lamp. Many textiles, which have played a meaning in our life, we can process. We just have to check from case to case which textiles are usable.
Meanwhile besides canvas and coffee bags, there are lumbono lamps made of sport jerseys, curtains from the 60s, sleeping suits and surf sails. No photo, no print, but genuine authentic materials that make a statement, whether it’s about the resident or the visitor, like a trophy or memento that’s lying at the windowsill. Individual memorabilia can also be made as lamps.
Upcycling is one of the interior trends of recent years. Have you ever thought about designing something other than lighting?
We are always open to new projects, but we are concentrating on lighting design for now. We are currently developing a lumbono table lamp to expand our range of suspension, floor and wall lamps.
Your concept includes the guideline that all required materials are produced in Germany and are “fair” or ecologically sustainable. But this also challenges you to reject orders if there is not enough or adequate material available for a desired project of the customer. When do you reject a project?
We try to fulfill every order, the customers are always in the first place. If there is insufficient or adequate material available, we are looking for alternatives. So far we have always managed to find a solution and have never had to reject a project. A respectful approach to humans and the environment is the basic principle of our work and also of our partners. Fair production in Germany and economic success are not mutually exclusive, we are convinced of this. We are passionate about our products, which are particularly beautiful because of their exciting stories.
We’re impressed that you’ve also found a company that produces LED lamps in Germany at acceptable prices. How long did it take and how does a search for e.g. coffee bags look like?
It is not always the easiest way to find companies that share our values. We were attracted to the company Carus by the ECO design prize and then visited them at the Light+Building fair. Chemistry was immediately right and they share our values. Some materials are brought to us, others we must actively seek. First we are looking for material in the region, if we’re unsuccessful, we expand our search all over Germany. In doing so, we use different channels from existing contacts through recommendations and internet search.
We would like to thank Mrs. Flotzinger and Mrs. Drummer for the nice interview and look forward to future upcycling ideas.