You recently started offering a recycled-plastic “marble” light. Can you tell us how you took it from idea to an actual product?
I collected soft plastics, thinking, “What can we do with them?” We were playing around with the idea of melting them down and creating a finish that we were really happy with, which is quite tricky. Then we took on a local intern from the University of Brighton who specialized in plastic recycling and created these lovely pieces.
I put time and energy into gathering plastics from local communities and organizing them. Not all plastics can be recycled together—it's quite complicated. We spent 6 months playing around with this. The idea was to try and make a surface that resembled marble, was beautiful to the touch, and didn't look plastic. Now we've started to collect plastics from local businesses as well. We keep everything and we recycle as much as we can in our workshop, and we are looking, with the materials that we've created, to create new pendants in the future.
You put so much effort into these values—into recycling, working collaboratively and locally, and reusing products. How do you communicate that value to your customers?
I think it can be tricky sometimes to convey just how eco-focused we are. It's a term that's bandied around these days by companies, and it has to be quantifiable. I've started my B Corp certification journey, and I've also started to research carbon neutral certification. I think that's needed. It's always been a part of my own ethos, and I think it's been on the radar for a lot of businesses lately: How do you differentiate those sustainable values that are truly ingrained in the company culture and the company ethos, or those which are greenwashing? As a consumer, how do you know where your money is going? If you're conscious of investing your money in green-focused companies, then there has to be some kind of quantification of that.
In terms of my immediate audience, I try and share a lot of the local makers. I showed a little journey around Brighton—going around and collecting things from my carpenter and from my ceramicist and things like that. So, showing how local it is.