Examples of Today’s Most Popular Sustainable Art Forms

Sustainability in art began decades ago and swayed public opinions in ways that dramatically broadened the field to include various forms of sustainable art.

Brief Background about the Sustainability Movement


In 1983 the World Commission on Environment and Development, which was later renamed as the Brundtland Commission, was the first organization to define sustainable development. Its sub-organizations came out with guidelines in 1987 for different industries to follow when making environmentally conscious decisions.

Subsequently in the year 2015, the United Nations published the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which stated 17 key goals applicable to different categories to make the world become an environmentally friendly place. Among these goals, the most applicable in the art industry is goal 12, which focuses on responsible production and consumption.

Yet the policies have been constantly evolving, while the idea of applying sustainability concepts affected the work and livelihood of many artists. After all, sustainable art is not the most profitable if compared to other traditional art forms.

Nevertheless, it found support among many well established artists who helped raise awareness on issues, suggested probable solutions, and at the same time created perspectives on the planet’s condition through their artworks.

Numerous conventional art schools also gave their support by including courses that implement sustainable practice into their curriculum. Eventually, artists from all over the world have propagated the sustainability movement in the art world through various forms of sustainable art,

Examples of the Most Popular Sustainable Art Forms

There are different forms of sustainable art, and each type depends on its purpose and the materials used to create the artwork. Some examples of the most popular sustainable art forms include:

Ecological Art

Ecological artworks make a statement not just to convey support for ecological movement, but also on social injustices, ethics, and civic responsibility, as these issues likewise contribute to the sustainable development and wellbeing of every society.

Land Art

This type of sustainable art is also called Earth Art, Earth Works and sometimes Eco Art when it utilized materials that come from nature. It’s greater distinction as a sustainable art form is that the artworks are usually installed in remote locations to highlight the beauty of nature. This movement is became popular as a method of raising environmental awareness among members of the greater public as not everyone cannot afford to visit museums and art galleries.



The goal of this sustainable art form is to create pieces of artworks, crafts, functional and decorative items like home decors, mats, bags and clothing articles, by using materials considered unwanted, broken, or unusable. Upcycling has gained considerable popularity as a sustainable solution to the world’s growing accumulation of non-biodegradable wastes polluting landfills and bodies of water.

Renewable Energy Sculptures

This art tackles providing renewable energy to communities using creative and artistic methods. The creation of sculptures combines science with art, to produce movement and renewable energy derived from hydroelectric, tidal, wind, solar, and geothermal resources.

Closed-Loop Fashion

This form of sustainable art utilizes clothes that are usually at the end of their lifecycle and are made into something new by transforming, reusing, or reverting them back to their original form. Clothing brands bring sustainability and eco-friendly aspects in both the manufacturing and fashion industry, selling them at a much more affordable price.