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Design for the future

As we enter a new decade, operating against a turbulent, global backdrop, optimism on all fronts is important. We hit the twenty-first-century twenties with the power and motivation to rouse and reset the status quo. The importance of taking responsibility for what we make, and how we make it, is fast becoming an essential component of business.

Debates around the development of a circular economy and closed-loop design as mechanisms to implement real progress towards a sustainable future are climbing the global agenda.  The time has come to acknowledge that achieving business success and safeguarding the planet do not have to be mutually exclusive.

The concept of closed-loop design, whereby materials used in products are infinitely reusable, is infiltrating manufacturing as a viable business option. Developing closed-loop products is seen as a key step towards turning the global economy into a circular one, in which waste and pollution are eliminated while natural systems are restored.

Progress is emerging on ‘big-brand’ scale. Adidas now has a ‘Future Team’ dedicated to identifying trends and investigating new materials and technologies for its products. This team introduced their fully recyclable sneaker in June 2019, made of a single recyclable material, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), meaning that at the end of its life the plastic can be ground up into pellets and reused. “So you make something, someone uses it and brings it back somehow. And that is turned into a new product: a new shoe or whatever. It just makes sense. It’s common sense to the industry and us. That’s how we envisage the future.

Meanwhile, Ellen MacArthur, the British former round-the-world sailor and founder of circular-economy charity¬†Ellen MacArthur Foundation, has been championing the cause for the last thirteen years. She gave up her record-breaking solo sailing career to launch her foundation after she drew the disparate worlds of sailing and global economics together:¬†“In the Southern Ocean, you’re 2,500 miles away from the nearest town. What you have is all you have. And this sowed an unexpected seed. When I got off the boat at the end, I started to translate that understanding of what “finite” means for the global economy. I understand what “finite” is for me: when I run out, I run out. I restock at the end. But actually, [the world] can’t.”

MacArthur has called upon architects and designers to join her fight to eradicate industrial waste and pollution, claiming it is vital to get designers and architects on board to ensure that products and buildings are designed to help regenerate the planet, rather than exploit it. “Can you design for the future, design for recovery, to deliver even more value in the future?

Design-led sustainability

We are passionate advocates of the power of good design combined with sustainable materials to bring about change and contribute positively to the world around us. We believe good design within our interior spaces and homes has the power to ease, soothe and infinitely improve our wellbeing on a daily basis, helping to equip us to deal with the challenges at large.

Our focus brings together a strong design philosophy with a conscious effort to avoid and minimise any adverse impact on society. We consider it to be a crucial coalescence. In order for sustainable design to become a viable business option and enter the mainstream, environmentally-friendly products must be well designed and bring beauty in their form. They need to be more desirable than their less ethical competitors to win the mass-market over. Carefully considered, well-designed products with proud green credentials that we can all be glad to invest in, both financially and with integrity.

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Categories:Interiors & Lifestyle