Our Ethos are built on the belief that it is our job to: “think about being a living example of our politics and incorporate it into our identity as designers.”* They use four interlinked categories as starting points : Ethical, Sustainable, Social, and good design for all.
EthicalWe take Climate Justice as a basis to work from, where sustainability means more than materials and the environment, but looks at the systems at play, and the people affected by them.
- Example: Organic cotton is a great eco friendly material that uses much less water than normal cotton, so this would work if we’re only looking at sustainability, But what if it was produced by slave labourers or poorly paid, and abused ones, What if indigenous ecosystems were destroyed in the process of making this cotton? What if it was planted on stolen indigenous land?
SustainableNot as in sustaining the status quo of mass production, and environmental destruction, but as in reducing the effects our making has on the environment, we do that by:
- Using long lasting and durable materials, that can last for a long time with care.
- Non-seasonal designs: Our designs don’t follow seasons or trends, so that they can last as long as possible and used according to your mood, and not fashion trends.
- Small quantities: to reduce waste and our imprint on the environment, we produce in small batches.
- Slow-Design: our design process is slow, intentional and takes its time to produce the best results possible with the resources available.
- Packaging: Ideally we believe that packaging should move from being single use to reusable, where it becomes an end product and not a by product, however for the time being we reduced the materials used, and made sure they are:
- From recycled materials (as much as we can)
- Can be reused.
- All our products are printed/produced in the UK
- We try to source local materials to use as much as we can.
SocialTo make our designs a reality we aspire to build communities of collaborations with makers, and collaboratives, where we question the divisions, power dynamics and hierarchies of the relationship between designer and maker.
- Collaborating with activist groups that seek to change the status quo, by
- Offering discounted design services.
- Designing posters where all the proceeds go to groups on the ground
- Other ways that we are yet to discover.
Good Design For Allit is important to acknowledge the high price tag that is often attached to ethical and sustainable products, making them unattainable to the majority of people. On the one hand, small scale production that gives people their fair wages, and uses sustainable materials is bound to be more expensive than destructively mass produced products, but making them a luxury product renders their attempts to save the planet ineffective! This is an issue to be solved on a policy level where people are paid higher wages, and where we move from large scale globalised production, to small scale local production. However, some of the things that we are excited to experiment with to make our designs more attainable while we make a living are:
- Bartering: can be an interesting way of exchanging products and services where their value is not based on market standards and monetary exchange.
- Free Downloads after sales target reach : We aim to make some of our print designs available for free download after a certain amount is sold.
- If you have any other ways that you tried, or if you’d like to experiment with us, please get in touch, and let’s start a conversation!
AcknowledgmentsBefore we leave you, it’s important to acknowledge that:
- Our practice as a singular small design studio will not save the planet.
- We don’t have all the answers nor do we have an ultimate solution.
- Real change comes when we work as collectives, and not as individuals.
- The consumer is not to blame for the state of the planet, big corporations and our governments are!
- The solution is not individual ethical consumerism, but collective work for policy change.
- There are the Ideals that we’d like to live by, and there is the reality and the world we live in, our job is to try and bridge those gaps as much as possible, while building connections and alliances with other brands, and designers with similar values to further question, push, and practice those ideals.
Meet Our designer here.
Or read about our brand here.