When The Social Hub (TSH) company embarked on their fifteenth hotel based in Delft, the Netherlands, they decided it was time to do something different.

The Social Hub has always been a hotel for travellers, a home for next-gen students and professionals, a coworking space, and a meeting place. For their newest location in Delft, they decided to take their design to the next level and incorporate circular design principles.

Starting with ‘designing for good’ is the most impactful way to create a circular economy. Designing waste out, using circular materials and regenerating where possible. This is exactly the approach TSH took by collaborating with multiple sustainable partners from designers and architects to lighting specialists and materials suppliers.

Their aim was to create an environment where their community can work, stay, learn and play – all while ensuring every detail had been thoughtfully crafted with sustainability and circular principles in mind.

Much of the furniture and fixtures within TSH Delft are made from recycled or repurposed materials, materials that can be recycled, and engineered in a circular manner so parts are ready for simple deconstruction and recycling.

During TSH’s early exploration for sustainable partners they discovered ELeather, who became an integral collaborator on their hospitality areas for furniture upholstery.

Karl Hartung, Business Development Manager at ELeather for public spaces projects said: “We were delighted to be contacted by The Social Hub as part of this brand new approach they were taking to their hotel designs.  Designing for good, from the start is something we strongly believe in but don’t see enough of in these type of projects.  They understood the impact of every material they were selecting and were really excited to have found an upholstery material that could still give the quality look and feel of leather but with a fraction of the environmental impact.”

The ELeather material chosen by TSH is made from recycled waste leather that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.  By taking that waste and turning it into something valuable, ELeather save carbon emissions and water waste as well as recycling thousands of tonnes of unused leather.

Hartung continues: “All the vibrant and modern seating you can see in the bar and restaurant areas of TSH Delft are upholstered in ELeather material, containing up to 57% recycled leather and reduce CO2 by over 60% compared to the use of traditional leather.”

Interior Design Photo Shoot of The Student Hotel Delft | TSH Delft – Official Images by Sal Marston Photography


Amber Westerborg, Director of Sustainability & Impact The Social Hub quote: “In a city known for its bright minds and technological innovations, we wanted to bring something new. We see TSH Delft as our testing ground for the circular economy. Here, we can learn more about how to put circularity into practice and test what works and maybe doesn’t. Our partnership with ELeather is one of those new products that we wanted to experiment with and it worked out great.”

The hotel opened in 2020 and quickly became a unique hubspot in the heart of Delft. It has given innovators, creators and the climate conscious a place to work and play.  During a survey carried out by The Social Hub in 2021, students rated sustainability as 3.15 out of 5, demonstrating the importance of the subject to the younger generation, as well as their appreciation for TSH’s contribution in this area.

Hartung concludes: “The Social Hub has been a real leader in circularity and sustainable collaboration, and we hope to be part of many more projects with them as they continue this journey.”