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    The Sustainable Specification Guide which I co-wrote with my fellow committee members from the British Institute of Interior Design was launched at the brilliant Planted design show at Kings Cross, London.

    I was so fortunate to have an excellent grounding in sustainable design during my time at The Body Shop HQ for 10 years from the mid nineties. I have loved helping my clients with more conscious specifications for the interiors I have designed for them. In recent years though - I have realised it's my fellow designers who I really want to influence in order to have a real impact for making much needed change in our industry.

    A year and a half ago, past BIID President @HarrietForde invited me to join the Professional Practice Committee for the professional body.

    In that short time - the committee (designers Liz Bell, Anna Whitehead, Simone Suss, Angela Bardino, Brian Woulfe) and the excellent BIID team lead by Katherine Elworthy, have delivered....

    -  updated Code Of Conduct for members - incorporating sustainability and modern slavery

    -  the Sustainability Strategy for the BIID up to 2024

    - Guidance on assessing our practice’s carbon footprint

    -  Guidance on reducing and offsetting our practice’s carbon emissions

    Sustainable Specification Guide - a live document which will be updated yearly

    -  a growing Continuing Professional Development programme to support the new guide


    Sustainability is an inherent part of this excellent professional body - as it should be.

    I’m extremely grateful to BIID past president Lori Pinkerton Rolet for her support during my almost 16 years in business - but mostly for encouraging me to be an active member of this organisation. 

    I think #AnitaRoddick would be delighted to see her influence spreading to other businesses like this. 

    More of this please!


    Download the guide here Sustainable Specification Guide

  2. how many planets pink
    Each year a date is calculated per country and combined to give us a combined Earth Overshoot Day.  This year is was 29th July.  It means it's the point where our use resources and services exceeds what the Earth can provide - so the tipping point where we start to use the resources in defict.   The impact of the pandemic had a smaller impact than hoped.  

    The concerning news is that the UK's Overshoot Day is even earlier in the year at 19th May. 
    Past Earth overshoot days 2021
    This graphic from shows the calulations over my lifetime for Earth Overshoot Day.
    In 1970 we very nearly got to the end of the year, falling short by one day. What are we doing?!  We really need to #movethedate

    What can you do?
    Much is not under our control - but more than you think is.
    Find out your personal footprint using this calculator.  It's very quick to do - all you have to answer are 15 questions.

    We are not looking for perfect.
    Small changes make a difference.
    Once we have this information, we can see where the most impact is - and then make changes.
    The only way to improve our date is to be informed, measure our footprint and do something - however small it might feel.
  3. I have a huge interest in MATERIALS.    So much in fact it influenced how I named my company.

    I studied Furniture & Product Design in the late 80s / early 90s - that was A LOT about materials (and processes). One of my degree projects was a piece of furniture made from a board material called TECTAN which is recycled post consumer Tetra Pak. It was not only about beauty for me even then. The materials needed to be conscious.

    At The Body Shop HQ I was part of the monitoring of materials used in their store design to marry up with their strong ethics and values
    -  avoid PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
    -   avoid formaldehyde
    -   use FSC sustainable timber (Forest Stewardship Council)
    -   avoid animal products and animal tested paint, minimal VOC content
    -  reclaimed, reused and recycled materials
    -  use of Community Trade materials


    We all should have a huge interest in materials and increase our awareness. What we use in our spaces is so important to occupant health (that's human AND animal), those in the extraction and production process, those who install them, the lifecycle - use and end of life - leaching and contamination.

    Alison Mears Parsons

    Powerful quote is from - Alison Mears - Director, Healthy Materials Lab, at Parsons - The New School


    I've still got so much learning to do.   And as I said in my last Journal post - that's not going to stop!

    I've just completed the four courses that make up the HEALTHY MATERIALS AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDING curriculum at Parson's The New School which I've been studying since January. The people behind their EXCELLENT Materials Lab have created this excellent and broad-ranging course for those involved in the Built Environment. It identifies Chemicals and Materials of concern, how to avoid them in clients projects, what tools can be used - certifications and labels, what frameworks exist and the difference between them, how project teams can collaborate and execute healthier projects, how they are maintained and monitored to continue to be healthier and better spaces for our clients.


    My specifications will be improved after this!


    I really recommend it to my industry colleagues.