Design Trends at Top Drawer 2020

A review of the leading products and themes spotted at Top Drawer London 2020…

Our trip to Top Drawer London marks the first of many trade show visits and industry events planned for the year ahead. Although the weather outside was a typical January rainy day, inside was a warm, inviting space filled with heaps of colour and creativity.

Our annual visits to different exhibitions worldwide equips us with the necessary product information and inspiration for future projects. We are able to spot the industry innovators, learn of exciting product updates and catch sight of the latest developments within design. Furthermore we can assess and evaluate any trends seen coming into fruition from our previous season forecasts.

Top Drawer is a design-led lifestyle trade show with carefully curated stands displaying unique and exclusive products, they encompass an array of sectors including homewares, gift, stationery, fashion, craft and well-being.

Top Finds at Top Drawer

Arguably, one of the best sectors at the show is the SPOTTED area. This is a showcase of new brands, new designers and emerging talent. Here are our top 3 finds within this sector, and the reason we have chosen them is because they each have a direct link with some of the most prevalent consumer trends shaping today’s society and influencing our future lifestyle aspirations.

Moment Pebble a new tool for modern mindfulness. The moment pebble acts as a physical reminder, encouraging us to ‘take a moment’ during our busy day to slow down and breathe. This tangible device is designed to lower stress levels, while also reducing heart rate and blood pressure. It enables access to a form of meditational practice for every user, offering a moment of reflection and relaxation, helping to tackle anxiety and bring a sense of calm to everyday. (Images – Moment Pebble).

The wellness industry is booming and has found a common place within society; accessible to everyone in some way, shape or form. There is a growing focus on meditation and mindfulness to assist with stress reduction in order to support our physical and emotional wellbeing; adopting healthier lifestyles generally. There has been a steady shift within interior aesthetics with design considerations favouring a palette of soothing colours. A visually understated and relaxed style that is quiet, pared back and simplified; cultivating calmness and improving our overall sense of wellbeing. Similarly we have seen this reflected in lots of products brought to market over the past few years, from CBD skincare to mood boosting essential oils. Virtual wellness is also growing in popularity; with an increase in searches for apps to assist with fitness, breathing and meditation; being readily available anywhere, anytime.

So Immigrant; a start-up company aiming to change today’s immigration perception. They design and make a range of ethically produced, screen printed products in the UK that allow the wearer to make an important statement while also raising awareness of the issue. Each year, SO IMMIGRANT also donates 10% of its sales to Refugee Action ( 

As citizens and designers rise up together, they grasp the opportunities to create new systems, disrupt outdated views and challenge past perceptions. Whether activists of climate change or protesters of established mainstream modes of power, in order to make a difference in this increasingly politicised world we must step out of our comfort zones and stand up for what we believe in. We have previously outlined a design trend that introduces a radical revolution with a rebellious and non-conformist attitude coming to the forefront. With themes of inclusivity and universal design being crucial to adapting a more human-centric approach when considering both interior space planning and product design.

The Kindness Co-op; a brand promoting kindness towards each other, ourselves and the environment. Yet another brand who donate to charity with every purchase, they support the YoungMinds charity; championing the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. Their stationery, fashion pieces and accessories all highlight the importance of being kind to each other, in a world where everyone faces their own mental health challenges and journeys, it’s always important to demonstrate kindness.

As the upset of a politically divided landscape still remains across many societies worldwide, more and more brands are turning to favour positive demonstrations of humanity in a way of promoting and celebrating the act of being kind. An encouragement of Pay it forward, goodwill gestures and random acts of kindness are important as companies focus on ‘social thinking‘. Themes of unity, partnership and togetherness are represented, something we previously highlighted in our 2020 Trend Fellowship. Big brands including McDonalds and TOMs have increased initiatives to helping others, essentially ‘doing good’. Campaigns focus on social responsibility; building community, volunteer work and charity donations. Businesses are engaging, inspiring and educating people on understanding kindness and compassion; back to the very basics of humanity.

2020 Trend confirmations

Last year we focused on the key drivers of The Game Changer Trend, highlighting mindful consumers who are concerned about environmental damage & climate change and who now have a better understanding of how their individual choices, purchases and actions can have an impact on the planet (whether positive or negative). Our theme of recycled materials, plastic waste and products supporting an ecological agenda was showcased across many different sectors including stationery design, kitchenware, and interiors. When visiting the show is was great to see an abundance of brands taking on board the continued desire for brand transparency and ethically considered design. Here we can see a continuation and reinforcement of the issues presented in The Game Changer trend.

Kind Bag London create beautiful reusable shopping bags, each made from 6 recycled water bottles. LIGA Eco Living‘s beach clean table mats and coasters are made from hand harvested cork and recycled EVA plastic saved from our oceans. Milly Green’s ‘Save our Ocean’ collection includes a range of planet friendly bamboo mugs, lunch boxes and coasters as well as drinking bottles made from corn starch.

Innovations in Stationery and gifting also represented a wide range eco-conscious products including Coconut Lane London‘s 100% biodegradable phone case, and Yes Paper Goods statement notebooks made from recycled coffee cups.

Our second trend FELLOWSHIP promotes the power of the Collective – working together to carve out a better future. It has a global outlook; celebrating cultural diversity and placing ethics at the centre of decision making. Collaboration and community are key; it is experimental, colourful and joyous; showcasing a cultural mix of pattern. You can see in our recent blog posts how this trend has been interpreted for Stationery design, Interior decor and Kitchenware. Here is a selection of products spotted at Top Drawer that are in-keeping with this trend’s direction.

Dicky Bird‘s collection of emotive card designs features hand motif’s that quite literally illustrate togetherness and affectionate human connection. While The Basket Room‘s colour block baskets and Jarapa‘s recycled rugs reflect a desirable aesthetic that encompasses craft and culture with ethical considerations. This look is also captured by Liv Interior who use only certified organic cotton in their textiles collection that details patterns of faces. Their lampshades are made using all natural fibre and the rugs are made using recycled cotton, all carry the GoodWill Label which stands for child labour free certified rugs.

Summer Lane Studio and Poet and Painter showcase a translation of this trend through stationery design. Summer Lane studio specialise in recycled wedding stationery that can be planted after use to grow wild flowers, promoting a circular economy. Their ‘Grows’ collection is perfectly suited to this trend with its eco qualities and bold typography style. Poet and Painter on the other hand, draw inspiration from society’s growing vegetarian and vegan eating habits, adopted to help save the planet.

Need more inspiration? You can download our trend report from Decorex International design event in London. This coming year we will be showcasing Trends for 2021 at the Stationery Show London… keep an eye out for future updates on our social media.

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