Having spent some time at a couple of design shows in the last couple of weeks I’m delighted to see so many designers demonstrating ethical and sustainable philosophies. We work with a large number of ethical organisations – NGO, charities, sustainable housing organisations and so on – and we find ourselves increasingly attracted to working with this kind of like-minded client.
I was particularly inspired by a number of organisations I spotted at the London Design Festival that are creating beautiful pieces from recycled materials. The Milan-based designers, Corvasce, are making stunning furniture from recycled corrugated cardboard while Indian designers Urmi are training local women to weave recycled plastic into gorgeous bags.
Decorex is a high-end interiors show so I was more surprised, but very happy, to see a number of innovative NGOs also making a splash at this event. It’s good to see the luxury market embracing the ethical mind set. I particularly enjoyed finding out more about Good Weave – an organisation committed to ending child labour in the rug market – and Fine Cell Work, a charity which trains prisoners in skilled needlework to give them confidence and financial stability before they leave prison.
In the last 12 months we have worked with some pretty inspiring organisations ourselves and I hope that our designs have helped them spread their very important messages. We are particularly proud of our work with Girls Not Brides, an organisation committed to ending child marriage, The Lemon Tree Trust, which brings agriculture and gardening to refugee camps and Chain of Hope, an organisation with a chain of volunteer surgeons and medical teams that provide cardiac care to millions of children overseas.
Design has changed a great deal since I set up Nim Design twenty years ago; I’m pleased to see ethical and sustainable philosophies permeating through design thinking. Great design should make a difference – that’s surely the point – and I like to think, together, we can make a difference all over the world.