Hats off to Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin for taking the plunge to reveal her genuine interest in eco design. She is going to integrate green design into future issues as mainstream, with this edition having a separate section to start. Showing her conviction, she has commissioned it to be written by the very talented (legend in her own lifetime) Lucy Siegle. I look forward to seeing this integration of eco interiors, not isolation, as the norm going forward for Elle Decoration. Green should not be something different, strange, or novelty – if we want our planet to be healthy for future generations we must act now and become custodians of our resources rather than abusers.
I really enjoyed Lucy’s article where she mentions that 15 years ago she was branded a bit of a flake for championing green issues, having ridden the storm she now stands as an eminent expert on the subject and speaks all over the world. I was quite in awe when I googled her! She compares fast fashion to fast interior design and quotes the Royal Society of Art’s recent report – Rearranging the Furniture that estimates every year in the UK 1.6 million tonnes of furniture is thrown into landfill.
Of course, she is right, how can we become attached to cheap furniture that leads to the indoor pollution of homes similar to that of living next to a motorway; perhaps no coincidence that allergic reactions and respiratory problems are rising. As well as the ethical treatment of animals in the process of producing cheap leather, Lucy asks WHY do we want to fill our homes with such products? The key, she suggests, is that we should think less about accumulating stuff and more about collecting with care, products we are passionate about, that are built to last and easier to love. I couldn’t agree more!
What can we say to those who mock ‘well you can’t stop climate change by changing your light bulb?’ Maybe not but wouldn’t you rather be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? In a world where a growing number of institutions are choosing to take their investments out of fossil fuels and place them into renewable energy; clean technology is on the rise, and there has never been a better time to join together and make eco mainstream!
The Elle article gave three great examples of Passive Houses i.e. those built using sustainable sources and producing renewable energy which I will write about in more detail in a future blog… They are:
All three houses have stunning interior design…. later post!
Whilst the three double page spreads on furniture and accessories was quite simple – it just goes to show that if Elle Decoration finds limitations in this department I feel no shame at finding alternatives myself!! There is a lot more out there and I aim to find it! All items are listed on the Resources page on the top menu under relevant categories…. or will be soon!
I liked the pendant lights above from muutto.com and £99 each.
I liked the renewable English ash coffee table and two nesting tables is £775 at John Lewis
I liked the black rattan and wooden chair which will be available soon from Ikea
The Elle article also detailed some companies which I have added to the Resouce Page on the top menu and Lucy has explained some jargon which is also listed under Logos on the menu bar….
A great start from Elle Decoration, I hope others will follow and start to put eco into their features….
In the fashion world they are already streets ahead of the interiors world….
My modest little self has written to them suggesting they encourage interior brands to follow suit – if I have any response you will be the first to know via a post here so watch this space……
Although not on the list above it was lovely to see at the recent Chanel show, Karl Lagerfeld (as he did with wind turbines in 2013) used eco as the theme to launch his couture spring collection for 2016. Yes you could argue that building a big set for one day is not exactly sustainable, but it is justified in my opinion because 1) getting such a high profile for green issues is priceless 2) the materials used were compostable including the real grass, and 3) the house will be retained and reused by Chanel.
With the theme serenity, and a zen like atmosphere created and with minimal fuss the au naturale show started. The ethos was that high quality fashion can be worn and reworn over time, it is not a throw-away consumable. Indeed coming from a fashion background myself, the true genius of design is something that does not follow a trend but is just great design. Herr Lagerfeld stunned the audience with his variation on the iconic suit in a wide array of natural fabrics echoing nature with bees (our endangered little heroes), wooden embroidery, cork-wedged shoes.
An innocent lightness in lace seen against roughly hewn fabrics shows how the juxtaposition is do-able… eco can mean stylish and delicate….
Natural fibres of silk with wood show an eco idea that is not new but nevertheless never goes out of fashion….
Of course glamour was never far behind…..
With sparkles to reflect the night sky……
warning: be prepared for high dissatisfaction with any clothing you have ever worn!
Off to blow the budget on an iPhone 6 bag!! even though I still have the 5!
Well, whether we are buying Chanel or shopping at Ikea (or buying the new range by Livia Firth at M&S) visit store here the onus is on us to part of the solution… I hope that you have enjoyed reading and are ready for the weekend!
We are all off skiing here in Switzerland see you in 2 weeks!!