Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on January 1, 2009
These days it’s not enough to furnish your house with exquisite designer furniture. If you really want keep up with Joneses, it’s got to be ethical, too. Luckily, design companies are cottoning on to consumer demand. Take for example Copenhagen-based Mater Design, which launched at the Maison et Object show in Paris in ‘06.
Mater successfully combines “exclusive home accessories and corporate social responsibility,” according to their website. Mater founder and CEO Henrik Marstrand says “For every one of the millions of products we use to improve the quality of our lives, there are associated environmental, ethical and social consequences. While some products have a small environmental bearing, others consume finite resources in vast quantities and are produced under abusive labour conditions and cause environmental damage.”
This theory is transformed into reality with American designer Todd Bracher’s Marble/Wood Collection of Candelabras and Bowls. By utilizing high quality, non-endangered marble and wood from Jaipur India, the entire collection was developed onsite with the help of local craftsmen. “Working with Mater is a chance for a designer to connect with local artisans to exchange ideas,” Bracher says. “With globalization, the world is losing indigenous crafts, which is why an awareness of preserving such crafts is increasingly important.”
With a diverse product line that spans the interior design spectrum — from lighting and furniture, to tableware and what appears to me to be a bong (although I might be mistaken) — combined with their strict “zero tolerance policy” that prohibits suppliers from breaching workers’ rights or environmental standards, Mater ensures you not only keep up with the Joneses, but that you are the Joneses.
So, go ahead and splurge on some on ethical, exclusive home furnishing — set the standard in your neighborhood.
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