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Category: Being an ethical business

  1. It’s my company's birthday, Materialise Interiors is 17!

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    Giving back 1 

    It’s my company's birthday, Materialise Interiors is 17!   I'm hugely grafeful to have been in business for so long and to all who have supported my business.  THANK YOU!

    I review my company giving each year on my company birthday and at the financial year end (Earth Day 22nd April). 

    This post is a form of public reporing of progress on the handprint of the company.



    Last financial year decided to increase donations by switching from donating 5% of profit a year, instead to 5% of gross sales (turnover) a year.    You can read more about who I support on my Ethics Statement



    For many years I’ve enjoyed helping micro-finance loans to small businesses in developing countries via Lend With Care and am now up to 45 loans (total was 37 loan this time last year).



    • COOKSTOVES  Offsetting carbon emissions is important, but addressing reduction of them is vital. I love planting trees but have learnt there’s other excellent ways to offset carbon - including providing cookstoves to developing countries.  Cookstoves are more efficient and safer to use than burning wood.  They decrease the use of wood by around 70%.  This reduces carbon emissions by around 2 tonnes per family per year and also leads to reduced smoke & an improved living environment.  In this way, forest areas are protected and women spend less time & energy collecting wood. 


    I'm glad to report so far this financial tear my donations this year so far have offset 10 tonnes of Co2. (total was 7 tonnes of Co2 this time last year).


    • TREES    I've loved supporting Jane Goodall's project with OneTree Planted. But as we don't have time for trees to grow to absorb CO2, I've shifted to planting much faster growing mangroves  which are planted to protect coastlines and riverbanks, restore biodiversity in ecosystems - and store 5 to 10 times more carbon than land ecosystems. 


    This year my total is 3,002  (total was 1,992 trees this time last year).  NB. These are still counted as part ot the MILLION TREE PLEDGE.  This pledge is proof that micro companies like mine can make a difference.  The small action of joining together has a significant group impact.  I’m in great company - here’s the other Pledgers in the group.  Let me know if you want to join up too!


    My ongoing tree donation commitment… 

    -  At least 25 trees are planted for each new full project - and 25 more upon completion 

    -  25 trees are planted for every successful client referral 

    -   10 trees are planted each consultation.



    I donate time to pro bono work for charities, volunteering, charity and fundraising projects, running of Interior Design Declares and mentoring two designers.  To date 467 hours.

    As well as actively being part of INTERIOR DESIGN DECLARES steering group and BUSINESS DECLARES, I have just signed up to the Design Council's DESIGN DECLARES as well.  I believe collaboration and sharing knowledge is vital to improving the impact businesses have on people, planet and animals.

    Read the Declaration and Action Plan  here.  


    Next reporting will be Earth Day 2023, 22nd April 


  2. Anita Roddick 80

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    It would have been #AnitaRoddick s 80th birthday today.

    I’ve been re-reading her company biography ‘Business As Unusual’. Wow, what a remarkable path she trod for other businesses to follow. As part of Natura The Body Shop are part of the world’s largest B Corp UK. She was a real pioneer in ethical business.

    My experience of the company has had a huge impact on my life and upon my own company I created after leaving nearly 17 years ago. From meeting my best friend; to my wonderful secondment in Melbourne to working at the two global head offices in the UK - making life long friends along the way.

    How grateful I am to Anita (well, probably Karen, her PA!} for responding to my desperate letter asking for work in my early 20’s.

    She went way too soon. But what a legacy she left us.
    Thinking of the Roddick family today.

    My Body Shop life



    If you'd like help with an interior design specification that is compassionate and low impact - then book a free Discovery Call here

  3. Interior Design Declares - one year in!

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    Interior Design Declares


    Interior Design Declares - one year in!

    The end of March '22 marked the end of our first year as a community working together to improve our industry's shocking impact on the climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.

    "The UK construction industry contributes 25 million tonnes of waste to landfill every year. Worldwide, the construction industry contributes to 50% of all climate change, 40% of drinking water pollution, 23% of air pollution and 50% of landfill waste." *  

    Interior Design Declares is a community of interior design practices - small and large - as well as suppliers of goods and services to our industry.  We recognise we need to share learnings and learn together encourage our supply chains to improve.

    The great news is we have just had our 150th signatory.  

    It's been a wonderful experience to be a Founder member and see the whole thing set up - and working with fellow interior designers who are also passionate to improve our industry.   We're a voluntary group and meet monthly.  Our group has evolved into a Steering Group now as people have shifted around.  Our objective is to get the maximam impact - by attending panel discussions,  talks,  podcasts - whatever we can to extend our reach and influence others.  

    We’ve taken part in successful, well attended events – which generated new members and lots of debate – at WasteBuild, Planted, Surface Design Show,  FutureBuild, BIID Annual Conference ‘22 – Sustainability Showcase,  Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP)

    We’ve given interviews with The Interior Design BusinessQuietmark and The Edge podcasts

    We’ve continued to contribute to the Built Environment Declares steering group – and have done another funding round to raise money to expand the information on our website - which is live now and where you can read more on the UK Declaration.

    We are also running the Global declaration and encouraging other countries to join us.  So far we have been joined by Finland.  Declarations from Egypt, USA and Australia are in the pipeline. 

    If you are reading this and want to join or help to set up a declation for the design industry in your country - we'd really welcome you!  Please apply here.



    * Source: Hawken, P., Lovins, E and Lovins, H, Natural, Capitalism – Creating the next Industrial Revolution, Little Brown and Co., 1999 369pp.