Decorex Trade Fair

This year the Decorex fair has been running a series of panel discussions on various sustainability themes, with Interior Design Declares steering group members. Yesterday Helen Gordon our co-founder was invited to be on a panel discussing about responsible design and what does it mean? There was a lively panel discussion with fellow steering group members Simone Suss and Jules Haines, aswell as Edward Bulmer from Edward Bulmer Paints and Mark Tremlett from Naturalmat, moderated by Elspeth Pridham from Insider Magazine.

Being a designer all Helen’s life working across various industry sectors from retail, manufacturing to the built environment this question very much resonates with her, particularly as it is estimated that more than 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined during the design phase.
She has witnessed the unsustainable practices and escalating global consumption and waste prevalent throughout the supply chain as well as the unhealthy spaces that we work or live in. From buying container loads of commodity stock from the Far East, to generating over 100 tonnes of waste over the past nine years on our building projects, as a Designer, she feels a profound responsibility to rectify past mistakes and drive change for long term impact for climate, society and the planet.
More efficient and sustainable products need to be created from the start to reduce energy and resource consumption and as 90% of our time is spent indoors, its important spaces are designed that help our health and wellbeing rather than hinder.
Half-hearted measures are no longer an option- we have to step up!
At Kite we believe that it’s the actions we take individually and as businesses in the next decade will define the future well-being of people and the planet.

What can we do to reverse this?
At Business level; At Kite, for example, we are;
·       Reducing waste- adopted the circular economy process where we design out waste, only producing 6 tonnes compared to 100 last year,
·       Using design for disassembly methods like a glueless construction,
·       Minimising toxic polluting materials we use such as glue and binders,
·       Transparency- only using ethical suppliers that have a transparent supply chain
·       Local- bringing manufacture back locally and creating craft and legacy pieces,
·       Reducing energy and carbon emissions
·       Re-educating our clients on more sustainable ways of refurbishing their commercial or residential space.

At Industry level; We are all responsible for taking action and this can be particularly powerful collectively, as if there is enough peer pressure politicians will act on a problem.
Interior Design Declares is a collaborative movement of Interior Design Practices and suppliers advocating for change in industry by inspiring, educating, collaborating and campaigning.
Join us at and help to impact change.

You can watch the talk here. DECOREX 2023: Responsibility in Design: what does it mean? – YouTube