Our Journey to Sustainable Design Starts Now!
Here’s where my story begins…
It’s official, I’ve announced to the world that our design firm is committed to sustainable design. So, now it’s time for me to get working on making this a reality.
It’s a bit daunting to be completely honest. I already know several ways to make and design a home that is kind to the environment. But we are by no means delivering products that are exclusively eco-conscious...Yet. For the most part it’s a mix of old and new and some local craftsmen. I am committed to finding many more suppliers and vendors equally as committed to the environment as we are.
To kick off this journey towards sustainable design I thought it might be helpful to tell my story (well the “Coles Notes” version anyways) of how my passion came to be.
The Origins of my Passion
It all started in Grade 3. In Mrs. Smith-Brodie’s class in a small portable classroom in a small town in Ontario, Canada. It’s funny how we only remember the names of people who have a significant impact in our lives. To this day she’s the only teacher’s name I remember before grade 6. It was the late 80’s or early 90’s and Earth Day was a pretty big deal. At least to a kid in grade three wearing neon leg warmers it sure was. Our teacher had the class write a song, plant a tree and buy an acre of land (one day I’ll serenade you all with the song - that I still remember 30 years later believe it or not!). That year of my life was profound. Perhaps it was the musical tune behind the message that stuck with me all these years. My love for music has always run deep. But whatever it was that cemented my passion for planet earth it showed its face in everything I did in the years following - I mean, EVERYTHING! I would scold friends in highschool for throwing a pop can in the garbage when it should be recycled. I’d refuse to buy plastic water bottles even when I was dying of thirst. I even had heated arguments with my own father about buying a plastic rake for the cottage one summer when a wood one was far more ecological and sustainable… I was justified the following summer when his plastic rake broke! A joke that we still all remember to this day.
But then something happened… I got my first job in the world of interior design. On one of my very first days on the job I was at a big renovation installation and watched as the contractor tossed every bit of waste, recyclable or not, into a massive bin on the lawn of the house. Black plastic garbage bags were filled with everything from apple cores and leftover sandwiches to the cardboard boxes that the light fixtures had been delivered in. I felt sick to my stomach. How could this be happening? How could someone not notice that all these recyclable materials including perfectly good sinks and faucets and toilets go to the dump?! Like H E L L O!?
But I stayed silent. For whatever reason I did not speak up. Perhaps I made a quiet comment but I honestly wasn’t about to rock the boat. Who was I? I was a baby designer. A bottom feeder working to survive and had no benchmark for how this should or should not be.
And now for the embarrassing part. I turned a blind eye. At first it was almost impossible but somehow I did it and as time passed I started to notice it less and less. The feeling of upset was always there but less obnoxious as I focused so hard on my job. I was focused instead on delivering great service to my clients and creating beautiful and unique designs. I wanted to elevate my stature in the industry, to build great relationships with trades and suppliers. I was selfish. I am not proud of this time in my life. How could someone so passionate become so apathetic?
Let me be clear, I still always worked with clients heirlooms and vintage furniture to re-use it in their homes as much as possible. I scoured consignment stores for great finds. And I still cringed when I saw the waste on EVERY job site. But I did nothing to stop it. I did my small part but it was oh so small.
Fast forward to present day life of Rebecca. A marriage, a home of my own, a dog and two little kids later I started to do some soul searching. My thriving design business just wasn’t feeling like enough anymore. I wanted a new challenge and enrolled in a business coaching course to help me re-discover my passions. Well, guess what kept coming back as the one and only thing that got me fired up and talking with passion again… the waste in our industry.
So I made a hard choice, to stand up and take a stand. Not for financial gain or anyone else but because at the age of 38 I figurerd it was about darn time!
So here we go.. Follow along on our journey to sustainability. I’m going to share that you CAN update your home without harming the planet or being wasteful.
So here’s to starting a movement. Thanks for reading till the end of this insanely long blog post and following along on this journey.
OUR COMMITMENT TODAY
We decorate and design beautiful family homes by repurposing heirlooms & using vintage finds and mixing these in with new quality sustainable furnishings. We are passionate about our planet and aim to use ethical and environmentally sustainable materials wherever possible
OUR GOAL FOR THE FUTURE
(please note that this is a goal and we aren’t there… yet)
We choose to work only with vendors committed to ethical and sustainable practices.
We use recycled materials and vintage furnishings to keep a light carbon footprint
We aim to create awareness about sustainable design across the world
We aim to show people a better way and educate the next generation