Putting Responsible Design into Practice: 6 Sustainable Brands for 2021

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Sustainable design. Responsible design. These terms are consistently used amongst design professionals, but what do they really mean? As attitudes towards design continue to change, we in the industry must adopt healthier practices and smarter ways of creating beautiful interiors that cause as little impact to the planet as possible. Decorex have handpicked 6 sustainable design brands for 2021 who are proving that sustainable design needn’t skimp on quality or aesthetic.    

Jennifer Manners | /re/PURPOSE Collection
Jennifer Manners | /re/PURPOSE Collection

Plus, to celebrate the premiere month of The Edit by Decorex – our new hub for creative professionals to learn, upskill, source and network – we’ll be delving into the tactics business can harness to be kinder to the planet with 4 useful tips. Susutainability is The Edit’s theme for April, with new monthly focuses throughout the remainder of 2021 including Biophilia, British design, timeless interiors and much more.  

6 sustainable brands for 2021  

  1. Angus Ross 

Angus Ross
Angus Ross | Unstable Stool

Winner of the Decorex Virtual Awards 2020 for the category of Sustainable Product, and we are still consistently surprised by their commitment to the cause. Discover their Prism Stool and other stunning designs via their website.  

  1. Bethan Gray 

Bethan Gray
Bethan Gray Collections

Bethan Gray has made tremendous efforts to go green her Exploring Eden collection – a partnership with Square Space. In it they combine discarded seashells and waste feathers to create the most gorgeous furniture pieces.  

  1. Farrow & Ball 

Farrow & Ball | Paint Collections
Farrow & Ball | Paint Collections

If you are in search for a trusted paint brand that considers sustainability, then Farrow & Ball should be at the top of your list. Their rich pigments are water based, made with responsible practices and eco-friendly formulas.  

  1. Another Country 

Another Country | Hardy Collection
Another Country | Hardy Collection

Using sustainably sourced timber, all-natural fibres, and managing to be carbon neutral, Another Country’s a fantastic brand to follow. Their Hardy collection contains smooth lines and beautiful wood, for a stunning finish.  

  1. Anna Glover 

Anna Glover | Wallpaper Silk Road Collection
Anna Glover | Wallpaper Silk Road Collection

Anna Glover’s unique wallpaper designs aren’t just striking but are also perfect for the eco-conscious luxury consumer. Recognising the negatives in using vinyl for her prints, the award-winning designer has experimented with recycled and biosynthetic fibres to create masterpieces for the home.

  1. Jennifer Manners  

Jennifer Manners | Edinburgh Rug
Jennifer Manners | Edinburgh Rug

Jennifer Manners has made a commitment to the weaving industry with their /re/PURPOSE Collection, comprised of uniquely treated recycled plastic. These hand-knotted rugs are a luxurious yet eco-conscious home accessory.  

The Edit: April's focus on sustainability

This April marks the launch month of The Edit, a new creative hub by Decorex for design professionals to learn from great content, share inspiration and hone their eye. Offering a mixture of on-demand webinars and themed live events, the first set will take place on the 22nd April focusing on sustainability in design’s future. Hosting our panel talk will be Madelyn Postman and Mark Tremlett. Meanwhile a live business discussion will take place where you can hear from Elspeth Pridham, Bernie de le Cuona, Shalini Misra, and Rodrigo Moreno Masey. Later on, there will also be roundtables to get involved in alongside the likes of Brian Woulfe, Simone Suss, and Geri Carden.  

As a taster for what’s to come, here are 4 tips on how to put responsible design into practice.  

  1. Change your mindset 

According to Hayles, 2015: “Society is beginning to recognise the interconnectedness of buildings, people and community in the creation of an environmentally responsible built environment; clients are beginning to understand their role and impact on the environment. As a result, they are seeking interiors that demonstrate environmentally responsible, sustainable design.” It is true that our collective recognition of the design industry’s environmental impact has been the catalyst for a marked change in attitude and demand. But how might we respond to this?

Anna Glover | Silk Route Garden of Serica in Egyptian Blue
Anna Glover | Silk Route Garden of Serica in Egyptian Blue
  1.  Walk before you can run 

‘Going green’ can be quite daunting, especially for interior design businesses with long-held processes in place. Start by identifying areas of your business that could be improved. Rather than trying to fix everything at once, start small and work your way up to the larger elements. Consider energy saving in your office or showroom – are you being consistent here? What about waste, are you being as vigilant as possible not to throw away spare materials? Consider selling your off-cuts as a way of reducing your impact. These small changes will combine to create a wider, more eco-friendly way of working.  

  1. Implement healthier practices  

There are various ways your business can adopt responsible design practices. A good place to start is sustainable interior design products; you might want to consider adopting energy saving lighting, using reclaimed or recycled materials where possible, using products with safe manufacturing processes or choosing products made from rapidly renewable sources like bamboo. If you aren’t sure how to make your business more sustainable, sign up to The Edit for a day of discussions, business sessions and roundtables on this very topic. Find out more here >>. 

  1. Think about the details 

Think carefully about your suppliers and how they procure their materials. It’s important that you develop strong relationships in these areas so that you understand exactly how every element of your ensemble is being produced. Ensure that your suppliers aren’t using toxic or polluting chemicals to treat their materials or build their overall products. A variety of safe and chemical-free products have become available on the market over the last few years, from organic and hypoallergenic paint to pesticide-free fibres and woods. 

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