We catch up with Nick Shute, Creative Director at Dodds and Shute to hear about the brands ambitious, sustainability-focused plans for the years ahead and find out all the details regarding the recently hosted 'Change for Good' design event.
We recently had the pleasure of working alongside specialists in sustainable product procurement, Dodds and Shute, at their 'Change for Good' event in London. The evening promoted the important changes that the design industry need to make to vastly improve the conditions of our planet.
We've caught up with Nick Shute, creative director at Dodds and Shute, to find out more about the innovative brand's sustainable messaging and their ambitious goals for 2020.
TR: Explain to us in a nutshell what your business does?
NS: We are a design led procurement platform and we also provide consultancy services to architects and interior designers, hotel and restaurant operators and developers. We strive to be a responsible business, constantly challenging ourselves and our supply chain to minimise our negative impact on the environment and make our projects as sustainable as possible.
TR: How did your passion for sustainability come to fruition?
NS: We have always had a desire to challenge ourselves as individuals –to support British made and source locally grown, to buy less but pay more – and we wanted our business to reflect our personal ambitions. My dissertation at Art College was about unsustainable consumption and our goal now is to forge a path of responsible consumerism whilst working in the commercial sector of procurement.
TR: We really enjoyed participating in the recent ‘Change for Good’ evening, what did you hope to gain from the event?
NS: Well firstly we are so grateful to you for participating, so thank you for all your help and support. The evening was an opportunity for us to communicate to a wider audience, our vision for the industry, and how we want our business to operate. In late 2018 we started auditing our suppliers to fully understand where they stood on important issues such as sustainability. This event was an opportunity to celebrate the stories of the most sustainable and responsible manufactures in our industry. We see it as our role now to dedicate ourselves to these suppliers and raise awareness of them to our wider community of designers and architects, making it easier for them to make their projects as sustainable as possible by buying better.
We would like to extend a special thanks to our friends at Carl Hansen, Tom Raffield, Nikari, Lapalma, Sebastian Cox, Walter Knoll, Zeitraum, Pinch, Gemla and Weaver Green for their contributions to the nights event. Each of these companies was selected by us because of the care and consideration they show for environmental, moral and social values.
- Dodds and Shute.
TR: What was the most rewarding thing about hosting the event?
NS: We were delighted with the response from designers, there was a collective acknowledgement from attendees that mentalities are shifting and they are beginning to challenge the way they work and what they buy. That was absolutely the most rewarding thing as it reiterated the importance of our last two years of work. Demand is already there from people for more sustainable designs, so we have a huge role to play in helping people to achieve positive change.
TR: The brands who attended and showcased at the event all share a similar outlook and ethos – tell us a little bit about your company ethos…
NS: We are passionate about creating meaningful change to our industry by challenging conventional ways. We strive to be a transparent and honest business, ensuring our clients can have full confidence in us and the products they are buying. We take our responsibility seriously to source from ethical suppliers and work with companies that hold the same environmental values as us. We ask difficult questions of our supply chain and of ourselves to better educate ourselves so our business is constantly improving. We want to leave behind a positive legacy minimising the negative impact of our industry on the environment.
TR: Tell us one of your highlights from this year.
NS: Definitely our Winter party followed probably by our first podcast with The Interior Style Hunter. Both were so positive for us in terms of realising there is a real interest in what we are doing.
TR: What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
NS: There are lots of things in the pipeline that we are looking forward to tackling we just need to find the time! However, the first thing on our agenda is to redesign our website. We want to share all we have learned about the sustainable suppliers in our industry, what is it that makes these companies special, how they are tackling significant issues. There will be an emphasis on supporting small British and European business owners who manufacture locally and support their communities. We want our website to be a tool that makes it easy for designers and consumers to be confident they are buying sustainable products.
Our industry needs to be more transparent and more positive so we want to spread awareness of great values not just great design.
- Nick Shute, Creative Director at Dodds and Shute.