Do Net Good Sustainability Strategy
No matter what role you play in a project – client, designer, finance, ops – we all have a zone of influence when it comes to making sustainable interior design choices.
The adage that beauty is only skin deep is one to keep in mind when sourcing materials, lighting and furniture with magpie eyes.
The toolkit we have enables us to ask questions and asses the answers in a constructive way giving clients a clear view of the impact their choices will have and of course financial implications.
Some examples that can be considered:
Your zone of influence – think about small, medium and large ways you can impact the choice of products and materials your interior is fitted out with. Is that recycled material actually recyclable again or is a natural material a better choice. As we dig deep in to suppliers claims we start to realise that recycling isn’t always easy and it rarely happens in the UK.
Small, Medium and Large – we often don’t consider the small choices that have big impact. Paint is notorious in our industry for example, after all it’s ‘just paint’ but actually a huge proportion of microplastics in the ocean come from paint accounting for 1.9 million tons which, when we learnt this, was so shocking. Switching to more natural choices such as Graphenstone can be hugely impactful.
Look to certification – certification is a great guide but it can often leave out the smaller, local, community centric supplier who may not be able to afford the process of being certified. A large impact choice can be great here if you’re buying a high volume of flooring for example. In this instance cradle to cradle certification is fantastic way to asses the credentials of a product. If however you’re looking at light fittings, joinery, surface materials then a smaller producer may be the way to go.
Understand trends – it’s human to love new, shiny things. As we’re designing and considering the development of an interiors scheme we think about how we can provide clients with a unique brand position that is of it’s time but with a timeless view. Your brand shouldn’t respond to the latest trends it should reflect who you are now and how you see yourselves growing. Trends we hope will become a dirty word in the future – they are an unsustainable marketing tool to continually driving us to consume.
If you’re interested in sustainability within interior design it’s worth acknowledging no-one has all the answers; we have to keep asking questions and challenge ourselves at on small, medium and large choices. Check out our other article on Sustainability: A Broken Record which showcases a short document Hart Miller Design co-founder John Miller featured in discussing the challenges we all face.