LIVING IN AV: Danielle Ruttenberg

Danielle Ruttenberg of Remark Glass wearing the Renata Washable Silk Blouse. The fabric is sourced from a fully traceable, eco-friendly organic farm and is available in five unique prints.

The Philidelphia-based glassblower turned sustainable CEO breathes new life into recycled glass, one bottle at a time.

AMOUR VERT: As the CEO of Remark Glass and a founding board member of Bottle Underground, how did you get into glass blowing?

DANIELLE RUTTENBERG: I started blowing glass at Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. I didn't know anything about glass-blowing until I saw red, hot, juicy lava one day and was mesmerized.

Fast forward to 2015, when my business partners Rebecca, Mark, and I founded Remark Glass. The idea was to use recycled material to create something beautiful from what would otherwise be waste.

AV: What made you want to work with recycled glass?

DR: The industry as a whole produces a lot of waste, and silica, used to make glass, is growing scarce. From an economic standpoint, the cost of the glass supply itself keeps rising, and using bottle glass used to have a bad reputation because it presented challenges. We were determined to change that perception and explore its potential, taking the opportunity to design with a material that can be ever-lasting and continuously recycled.

Remark Glass Co-Founder Rebecca Davies and Danielle Ruttenberg and at work in their studio.

AV: What are the challenges of working with recycled glass?

DR: Recycled glass was initially created for mass manufacturing purposes. It heats up nicely, but it cools really quickly, which makes it challenging to transform within a limited time frame. It has different characteristics than the soft glass used in traditional glass blowing.

AV: How does Remark Glass contribute to sustainability in the glass industry?

DR: We use at least 20% of the recycled material in the hot glass-blowing studio. The rest is used in various recirculation projects that benefit small businesses and local infrastructure projects. Our goal is to repurpose glass, reduce waste, and contribute to a more sustainable future.



AV: Any tips for individuals looking to incorporate sustainability into their lives?

DR: Embrace the three R's – reduce, reuse, and recycle. I really stand by the idea of reduction. See what you can do about reducing your home and business purchases. Just look at your day-to-day life and try to do a little bit better.

AV: How can individuals contribute to glass recycling beyond standard recycling bins?

DR: Explore local glass recyclers and understand recycling options in your community. Seek out businesses supporting bottle-to-bottle recycling like Bottle Underground, a recycling program we started here in Philidelphia. Then, consider other local opportunities. Does your florist take vases back? Is there a refill station at your neighborhood market? Get creative, I love using jars for everything from vases to storage vessels.



AV: What are some of your favorite pieces from Remark?

DR: I love our pint glasses. They're easy to hold, and the thumb holes look great. Designing our lighting projects is another passion. It's amazing to infuse the client’s stories into home features, especially when clients provide bottles with personal histories, like from a wedding. We turn those bottles into standout design elements, challenging the idea of beauty and functionality. We believe in making things both beautiful and practical.

AV: How do you envision the future of sustainability in the glass industry, and what role can individuals play in fostering positive change?

DR: The future lies in embracing circularity. That means hyper-local models and designing productsfrom wastematerials becoming a new norm. Individuals can contribute by making informed choices, supporting businesses with sustainable practices, and advocating for initiatives that prioritize reducing, reusing, and recycling glass.s.

All photos courtesy of Danielle Ruttenberg and Remark Glass.

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