We are always looking for ways to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices, both in our homes and lifestyle choices. This carries through to our business as well. In the design world, it is becoming increasingly easier and more effective to go green. Even the smallest of changes can help to minimize the negative impacts on our environment.
For those that are interested in creating a more sustainable footprint, we’ve gathered simple steps that can make a huge difference. Here are a few ways you can infuse your systems and design processes with environmentally-friendly efforts:
An easy step towards greening up your business is to move your files and client proposals to a digital space. Not only does this clear clutter in the office, but it also reduces waste and streamlines your filing system. We have a great post on how we organize our digital files here. For more info on the best programs for interior designers, click here.
In the same vein as client proposals, a digital media kit is also a great idea. Read up on our tips for why you need a media kit and what to include in yours.
Move away from printed business letterhead and opt for an HTML signature in exchange. This email signature allows you to customize and brand your outgoing messages. Plus, you aren’t creating any paper waste that comes from traditional letterhead. We use Email Signature Rescue at IDCO and love the personalization options it allows.
Even design presentations can be made with sustainability in mind. Rather than printing out images and creating a traditional mood board, utilize an interactive PDF with options like navigation buttons and hyperlinks and present it on an iPad instead of paper.
There are times when you need to take it offline and print out paper goods. For things like business cards, our go-to is Moo. They have a cotton 100% recycled paper option that is just beyond. Not only is it tree-free, but it has that luxe texture and weight that we love.
When it comes to client gifts, skip the laborious and cumbersome mailed gifts and try out a greener option. One of our favorite ways to honor a client + also give back to the community is to make a donation in the client’s name to their favorite charity. It gives back, has little to no environmental impact and is a sweet gesture of thanks. It’s a win-win.
Seek out companies committed to sustainable design. There are so many great options for sourcing products and finishes that are eco-conscious. Find those vendors that resonate with your aesthetic and utilize them when sourcing for a client. Things to consider when looking for environmentally conscious products: ethical manufacturing, low-impact production and the use of non-toxic materials or upcycled materials. Speaking of upcycled, another way to incorporate environmentally conscious products is to source vintage pieces and include reclaimed materials whenever possible.
If you use a receiving warehouse for shipping client goods, check to see that they are recycling or composting all cardboard that furniture comes in. A little extra digging can further your green business initiatives and make you feel good about the vendors you are choosing to do business with.
Install day usually comes bearing gifts in the form of lots and lots of boxes that ultimately end up in a landfill. Lessen the environmental impact of all that cardboard by utilizing old boxes to repackage items for install day or better yet, invest in reusable containers that you can use for all client installs. If you don’t have the room for storing reusable containers or boxes, most moving companies have reusable box rentals as well.
As you can see, most of these ideas are tangible, easy to implement tactics that you can start today. They don’t need to be big, grand gestures to be impactful. By doing simple things like utilizing digital systems, sourcing sustainable products and being more thoughtful in our supply consumption, we can move to a greener, more sustainably impactful industry.
For more design topics and information on creative business strategy, be sure to check out:
The Identité Collective is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.