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Environmentally and socially aware design is a prerequisite for a successful project or product. For many years the assessment of a successful product has been based on style, function, value for money and sales figures often to the detriment of the environment and people. Sibley Grove strives to prove that it is possible for designers to creative products and services with a positive environmental and social impact without compromising function, aesthetics and cost and at the very least these are the targets through which we measure the success of ourselves and others.

It is important to recognise that successful design is not driven by sustainability. The most sustainable thing we can do is to do nothing and who wants that? Everything we do has an impact, however, only we can determine whether those impacts are positive or negative.

Everyone likes to have new things. My mother who still collects empty margarine tubs, folds the used wrapping paper every Christmas and switches every appliance off at the wall each evening, is still capable of the odd impulse purchase. The general ‘green’ message is to tell people to buy less and use more but this will not work as everyone like new things. The market is saturated with horrendous products that are poorly designed, not fit for purpose and in many cases detrimental to our health because of what is used to construct them. Simply buying less of these products is not a successful long term solution. The key is to design products that benefit and enhance the world around us and to do this we must give aesthetics, function, cost, the environment and people the same level importance, delivering on each and every one of these areas.

(Hitting your children three times instead of five is not better, both are fundamentally wrong. It’s better to not hit your children at all!)

Kate Sibley with her collection called Single Fold Lampshades. Each one is handmade in London using sustainable materials and printing techniques.

Jeremy Grove with a new bar stool design called The Butler. It is made in London using steel, brass, natural latex, bamboo and faux leather.

Kate & Jeremy (Sibley Grove)

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