What is regenerative manufacturing?
What if you could freely 3D print art, products and objects for any number of uses, in collaboration with nature, with devices that are easy to use, open source in design, able to be modified as you wish, and use materials that are far lighter on and even regenerative to the environment? Here at Junai, we believe the time has come for regenerative manufacturing, and have many ways to help strongly support you doing it, enjoyably, flexibly, easily, with confidence.

But first, let's explore. What is regenerative manufacturing, how is it relevant to you, and what are its broader benefits? It’s important to note that the criteria below are a goal to strive for. It's difficult, especially in the current way our economy is defined, to adhere to all aspects. That said, they should give you a strong sense of how we approach it at Junai and how you can score your own products and materials against these aspects.

Now let’s dig in

Regenerative materials, as we see them, all share these attributes

Designed to be home compostable. Most importantly, regenerative materials remain part of a natural lifecycle throughout their use. They remain so because there are no chemical modification to their base structure. Being home compostable means that no matter the facilities available in your part of the world, they can decompose, contributing to soil and ultimately ecosystem restoration, in both marine and land-based environments. Unlike bioplastics, such as PLA, that are chemically modified and require industrial composting

Optimize waste sources. While the advent of bioplastics has on the surface sounded like a boon to the environment,replacing petroleum-based plastics with natural sources, it too has had a negative impact. The primary sources are typically existing of chemically altered food crops such as corn and sugarcane, which have their own set of environmental issues. Rather than go down that path, regenerative materials are derived from abundant resources that are not part of the food chain for humans or animals. How? Typically it comes from unavoidable organic waste (Think discarded olive pits, Oyster shells etcetera),that would otherwise be disposed of.

Responsibly sourced to avoid causing damage to natural environments. Many status quo materials can cause damage to the natural environment, whether through mining, industrial farming or resource depleting monoculture forestry. These processes can become quite extractive and harm local biodiversity. Regenerative materials are either waste based or are grown using non-extractive farming (such as regenerative algea farms) 

Every material used is specifically chosen to be life friendly.
What do we mean by that? Simply put, it doesn’t contain harmful toxins, minerals or chemicals. This eliminates the direct or follow on impact on people, animals and the environment. All materials, including the additives, are derived from natural resources and contain no additional chemicals that could be harmful (in small or large amounts) in natural ecosystems.

Low energy. Further, and this is a key aspect that many would be eco alternative materials fall short - The refining, purification and production processes does not rely on significant energy inputs. Processing these materials does not require a large amount of heat, as it can happen at ambient temperature, or via pressing Furthermore processing these materials does not require a large amount of heat, they can be processed using pressing or ambient temperatures.

Reusable without any loss in quality. Too often, something being recyclable ultimately means downcycling, the material not able to be put to identical use the next time. Regenerative materials can be reused indefinitely without a loss of key characteristics.  This allows for rapid prototyping without waste. You can generally add water to the materials and return them back into a production resource.

Bioregionally sourced and produced. we believe that ideally, though not necessarily, the materials have the possibility to be manufactured and processed on a small scale and a distributed manner, supporting local production and reducing logistical impacts.This too is a detail that stands to create significant change, enabling bioregional regenerative manufacturing.

So, what is regenerative manufacturing?

On a basic level, regenerative manufacturing is production using regenerative materials. But it goes much further than that. The way we see it, the following elements contribute to an overall healthy ecosystem, and thus a more regenerative way of producing and working

Open Source Share your work openly and encourage others to build and expand on it. In doing so, you encourage transparency, transparency, collaboration, and sharing of knowledge, designs, and technologies to foster innovation and empower communities.

Localised manufacturing Prioritising local production and distribution networks reduces your carbon footprint, supports local economies and strengthens community ties.

Socially Just. How and who we work with is just as important as what we work with. This can be done by ensuring fair and equitable treatment, promoting inclusivity, diversity, and ethical labor practices throughout the manufacturing and supply process.

Limit energy use and use Renewable Energy. By limiting energy use and embracing clean and sustainable energy sources to power your manufacturing operations, you reduce reliance on fossil fuels, thereby minimising your environmental impact

What are some examples of regenerative materials and manufacturing?

Below some examples of what we believe to be companies and projects working along regenerative lines

Domingo Club

Domingo Club is an initiative led by Maud Bausier and Antoine Jaunard, a creative duo from Belgium with complementary expertise, currently based in Barcelona, Spain.Their diverse backgrounds encompass design, digital fabrication, electronics, programming, biohacking, and a shared passion for fermentation and the fascinating realm of fungi. In 2021, they founded Domingo Club as a response to the urgent need to address climate challenges.

Since its inception, Domingo Club has been dedicated to designing, fermenting, creating, growing, observing, and sharing. Their focus is on leveraging these practices for the betterment of individual health, community well-being, and the preservation of the planet.

Omlab, circular biobased design studio and rethink tank, develops examples for a nature-friendly built environment. Consider a swallow's nest and bat box as a temporary starter home and biodegradable slope tiles for construction and infrastructure.

The studio is an expert in biocircular printing with local raw materials that are already in circulation. Such as flushed toilet paper from sewage treatment plants.Omlab collaborates with construction, governments and educational and research institutions.


A research and design practice exploring the roles of manufacturing and crafts in creating a non-linear, post-consumerism, and anti-alienation economy.

By The End Of May challenges conventional manufacturing paradigms. Embracing an era of open-source sharing, they explore reshaping production methods by harnessing local resources within urban landscapes, redefining the concept of factories. Their ethos revolves around a fundamental shift from materialism to designs imbued with care and humility, moving away from fostering vulnerability and addiction.

Under their flagship initiatives—Post Paper Studio, The Organic Laboratory, Gentler Futures Festival and House of Future Making'—the company has undertaken a series of impactful research and design projects since its inception.

Koen Meerkerk (29) and Hugo de Boon (29) represent a designer duo based in Rotterdam, both graduates from the Willem de Kooning Academy in the same city.Driven by a commitment to infuse value into discarded items within today's circular economy, the duo actively engages with challenges, providing solutions through a designer's lens.

Leveraging their expertise in spatial design, their primary focus revolves around material development.Their initiative, Fruitleather Rotterdam, breathes new life into discarded mangoes. Employing a transformative process, they convert mango fibers into a vegan leather-like material, subsequently distributed to designers worldwide.

Products featured in images are by bowen li studio (chair) and Adam otlewski (Lamp)

Whats the ultimate impact of switching to regenerative materials?

Regenerative manufacturing empowers you to significantly reduce plastic waste by enabling you to replace it as a source material, using organic, home compostable products. They require far less energy to build with, as they need not be melted before being put into use. You can personally play a part on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by actively sequestering short-carbon cycle CO2 within your products. What a powerful way to make a difference! Ready to dive in?

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Paul smith
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