Considering the Environment

I recently attended a talk at the Birmingham Design Festival given by Sam Pierpoint. Her cut paper illustrations are amazing but what I really liked was that she talked about considering the environmental impact of what you do. She called it ‘Conscious Creativity’.

Her suggestion was that you can make a difference by considering the impact, not only of the materials you use, but the message that your work is sending. Presenting to a group of designers, many of whom were students, I thought that was a really valuable idea to be sharing and one not often discussed.

I’ve had moments when I wonder if I should even be making the things I do. After all, they’re not necessary for everyday life - we could live without them. There are, of course, much bigger problems in the world causing far more damage to the environment than someone making a few fused glass pieces in their shed. Oil and fashion are among the most polluting industries and then there’s flying1, shipping, personal transport…

But that doesn’t mean that, as individuals, we should just give in. In 2017 over 500 million tons of CO2 emissions were saved simply due to us all changing to LED lighting2. Collectively we can make a difference.

In the late 19th century the Arts and Crafts Movement was established. They advocated a return to well-made, handcrafted goods instead of mass-produced, poor quality, machine-made items. I’d like to think that’s where my products lie - designed, one off, handcrafted pieces that you buy because they make you smile and will be enjoyed for many years. There is value in that - and in creating and being creative.

In my making I have decided to make changes where I can and continually re-evaluate the impact of what I’m doing. But I also plan to talk about environmental issues and if possible, use my work to raise awareness of ways we can all do our bit to change the world.


Useful Links: 

You can see more of Sam Pierpoint's work on her website by clicking here... 

1 If Seeing the World Helps Ruin it, Should we Stay at Home?

2 LEDs took half a billion tons of carbon dioxide from the sky in 2017