CoveringsETC and the Circular Economy


What started out as a glass bottle is now a part of an ecologically intelligent collection of hard surfacing materials. CoveringsETC followed a circular economy model of eliminating excess materials and reusing resources for the launch of their Urban Fossil collection. Shepherding the design and production of sustainable hard surfaces, CoveringsETC is a Miami-based manufacturer of natural and recyclable material concepts for floors, walls, countertops, facades, and more. Their innovative offerings demonstrate the design possibilities of recycled and reclaimed materials.

Circular Materials

Committed to supplying sustainable solutions for designers and architects, CoveringsETC was founded in 1998 by Ofer Mizrahi. Setting new standards for sourcing cradle-to-cradle design elements, CoveringsETC is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council with over two decades of experience and an esteemed reputation as an eco-efficient supplier of biomimetic materials. “Waste is one of the biggest issues relevant to the way society operates today,” says Mizrahi. “Our current linear economy relies on the constant extraction of raw materials needed to manufacture products that we buy, use, and dispose of.” Made entirely out of recycled materials, CoveringsETC offers three product lines that follow the circular economy model: Bio-Glass, Eco-Terr, and Bio-Luminum.

Circular Economy Model

Products that follow a circular economy model can close the loop for both small-scale and large-scale cycles. The goal of a circular economy is to reach Zero Waste through a series of cycles that ensure the reuse of each material,” says Mizrahi “In a linear production model waste is constantly generated through the disposal of objects. On the contrary, in a circular production model products are made with inherent properties that allow them to be recycled, reused, repurposed, or remanufactured. In this way, products have multiple lifecycles, each lifecycle is extended, and waste is ultimately eliminated.” These products are resilient enough to attain an extended lifecycle. When they reach the point of no longer functioning, they can be recycled and reused in the manufacturing of new products, providing new raw materials, while preventing waste.

Urban Fossil Collection

Available in both Bio-Glass and Eco-Terr, the Urban Fossil collection is comprised of a distinct design. In Bio-Glass, its sleek surfaces are characterized by a collage of broken pieces of glass sourced from hand-selected raw materials and recycled glass bottles. Their slivers and shards have been woven together to create a unique patchwork-like, piecemeal pattern of bottles floating within the broken pieces. In Eco-Terr terrazzo stone surfaces, Urban Fossil features a diverse array of small stones peppered across the surface, which all come from recycled origins. Urban Fossil features an alluring appeal while recalling the idea of repurposing a material’s past life and preserved remains. “The name Urban Fossil is derived from the concept that we can create modern impressions of timeless depictions with fossil-like imagery showing what society leaves behind, which can be recycled and redesigned to create beautiful products,” says Mizrahi. “Fossil design leaves traces embedded in the materials.”

CoveringsETC’s Urban Fossil collection follows the tenets of a circular economy model while embracing an approach of finding natural beauty in reclaimed materials. Such acceptance serves to advance sustainability models that can effectively eliminate waste.