Part 4 - How craftspeople are leading the sustainability movement

March 23, 2020 3 min read

Part 4 - How craftspeople are leading the sustainability movement

In the fourth installment in our craftsmanship series, we’ll show you how makers and designers are leading a sustainability movement that is transforming the artisanal into the essential

Craftsmanship has long been a watchword for style-conscious consumers. Evoking authenticity, individuality and attention to detail, the word holds an intrinsic value that many of us want to instil in our homes.

But now, makers and designers are leading a burgeoning sustainability movement that has transformed the artisanal into the essential. And, with sustainability at the front of our minds, where better to begin than at home?

Mass production, once imbued with its own utilitarian appeal, has fallen from grace as consumers approach sustainable materials and traditional construction methods with renewed enthusiasm.

But how is this shift manifesting? And what impact will it have on our design practices, our homes and, most importantly, our planet?

In this article we’ll look at some of the ways in which craftspeople and makers are leading the conversation around sustainability and changing the ways we furnish our homes, for the better and for good.

Use sustainable materials

Materials with outstanding eco-credentials should be the jumping off point for any designer with sustainability in mind.

In an interview with architecture and design magazine Dezeen, Seetal Solanki, designer and author of Why Materials Matter: Responsible Design For A Better World, explains why choosing materials judiciously is so important–

“It’s not just about ‘new’ materials but it’s also looking at what materials we have existing to utilise to their full potential,” Seetal says. “From handmade to machine-made, from physical to digital, from natural to synthetic, by using a variety of materials’ potential, we can shape social and environmental change.”

Use traditional methods

By using traditional methods, makers can reduce the heavy environmental impact accrued by mass production. In large part, it’s about changing the way we look at manufacturing. This is where craftsmanship really comes into play. Although mass production is cost-efficient, it involves a greater strain on natural resources and encourages a throwaway culture. Artisans, using basic tools and techniques, focus on creating high quality goods on a smaller scale.

Handcrafting allows a greater attention to detail, ensuring a durable, long-lasting finished product. Traditional methods of weaving and woodcraft use fewer resources, and look great, too.

Build sustainability into your supply chain

Mobilised by the threat of climate catastrophe, a growing number of designers and makers are looking for ways to build sustainability into their supply chains. For small businesses like ours, this means two things: low-carbon shipping methods and ethical collaborators.

But how do you know which products and suppliers to choose? Industrial designer Emiliano Godoy says the best way to ensure your supply chain is ethical is by asking ‘a lot’ of questions.

Emiliano explains: “Try to understand the issues you want to tackle – sustainable manufacturing, labour conditions, responsible sourcing – on a deeper level. Get the tools, the knowledge, the frameworks you need to make a shift happen. Do your homework, basically.”

Our commitment to sustainability

Gwyn Carless at The Light Yard has always strived for high standards of craftsmanship. More than ever, that means maintaining the highest possible standards of sustainability, by choosing materials with strong eco-credentials and ensuring our manufacturing and shipping practices leave a low-carbon footprint.

We’re proud to count ourselves among a select group of lighting manufacturers who are leading the sustainability movement here in the UK.

For more information about Gwyn Carless at The Light Yard’s commitment to sustainability, click here or follow Gwyn Carless at The Light Yard on our social channels, FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. To speak with a member of our team, call +44 (0)330 2233 940 or email