“Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.”Ghandi
Charlotte focuses on nature, wellbeing, health, sustainability and ethical purchasing in both her private and professional lives. She is seeking to play her part in building a gentler world, working to press reset on a local and global level. Below, Charlotte outlines her environmental pledge.
“I believe that change starts at a grassroots level and we must all become passionate about this greatest of causes…the future of our planet. We have to harness the power of individual convictions and make them collectively impactful. The movement towards a positive outcome for planet and humanity relies on all of us as to drive change from the ground up.
One humanity, one earth, one future.
Moving away from homogenous consumerism
We are heading for a homogenous and globalised world in spite of the fact that humans have created many thousands of distinct cultures in the past. Now, global brands such as Facebook, Starbucks, McDonald’s are everywhere. Most countries feel their presence and sadly, that presence represents a loss of diversity and identity. It also signifies the Westernisation of society.
There’s little doubt that the next decades are going to be times of great uncertainty as resources, space and money become scarce.
The economic story of consumerism has existed since the industrial revolution. It expounds a progressively greater level of consumption as beneficial to consumers, and so endless growth is accepted.
But this model is flawed and is not sustainable for our planet. Now is the moment for us to consider our economic paradigms. Questions need answering and solutions must be found. That call to action is incumbent on each and every one of us.
People, the planet and profit no longer fit together. We can’t wait for brands to be more sustainable. And we must reject their volume-driven business model.
We are in a new era, the ‘Earth Age’ and we must move away from consumerism and excess and focus on contentment, fundamental and consciousness. We can do this by rekindling our innate connection to nature, which will bestow a renewed sense of care and ease.
I pledge to be creative and re-think the consumerist norm. My designs will follow a pathway to a better more healthful future for humans and the planet. They’ll operate closer to the cycles of nature.
I pledge to take a slow approach to design. This approach will be characterised by patience and will result in soulful products for the benefit of individuals and the environment.
I pledge to work with makers and encourage consumers. Both need to return to unique hand-crafted items, which are built to be admired and last.
I pledge to use the following as criteria in product and material selection. These must become the norm:
- preservation of traditions
- social value
Economic, environmental and social priorities
Economically, environmentally and socially sustainable products, produced in smaller quantities, will allow manufacturers to return to an ethical stance. Allowing them to pay particular attention to low impact materials and production methods. This ensures a quality product, which in turn will be cherished by consumers rather than tossed away. Slower production equates to slower purchasing.
There are symbiotic principles which sit behind the use of natural materials. The materials not only benefit human health throughout their time in use but also actively feed the earth upon their disposal.
Traditional business models have been based on the take-make-waste linear approach, which assumes an endless availability of cheap natural resources. But non-renewable resources such as minerals, metals and fossil fuels are under considerable strain. And it’s the same situation for potential renewables such as forests, water and fisheries – they are declining in their regenerative capacity.
We need to look at closed-loop business models. William McDonough and Michael Braungart proposed them in their 1998 article in The Atlantic. Their approach aims to ‘solve rather than alleviate the problems that industry makes’. Growth becomes both regenerative and restorative.
Organisations such as the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Biomimicry 3.8 and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation are seeking to drive the Circular Economy forward. They’re working alongside numerous innovative companies who have chosen to consciously switch to regenerative and restorative growth.
I pledge to extend the working and useful lifecycle of products and components. Repair, upgrade and reselling will minimise waste and uncover cost savings. This type of eco-effectiveness has the potential to solve rather than just alleviate problems created by industry. It’s central to the Circular Economy approach.
Linking health and nature
Health and nature are intrinsically linked as nature holds the vital remedies to illness. The power of plants is immense. And we must seek to embed wellness in our local environment, and search for new meaning, through deeper connections with the land.
By engaging with the natural world and drawing on rituals from the past, such as herbalism, we can carve out lives of greater fulfilment and healthfulness. We have so much to re-learn and then continue learning – looking toward the natural rhythms, cycles and resources available to us on both a local and global level.
I pledge to enable a deeper connection to the land for each client. I will work in harmony with natural rhythms and cycles. And be considerate about the resources we have at our disposal on a local and global scale.
I pledge to integrate nature and the built environment, recognising the connection between health and nature. Creating spaces that allow for time spent in nature, which is more important now than ever before. Clients will sense seasonal changes, discover the woods, hills, valleys, rivers and lakes, and the wildlife that flourishes. These natural communions will become a treasured and vital part of our routines.
A bittersweet pandemic
The pandemic has been bittersweet, disrupting lives but also offering uplifting opportunities. It has become a catalyst for change in our daily routines, offering up a new perspective. It has allowed us to discover what truly matters – physical and mental wellbeing, those we love, the environment, and the impact our homes, workplaces and lifestyles have on the natural world that sustains us.
This new respect is, to many, new and profound.
Many of us have learned to appreciate the natural world and many of us have also needed it and turned to it, perhaps for the first time.
I pledge to promote physical and mental wellbeing through my designs. This will enable clients to discover what truly matters. And allow them to focus on the people they love and care about the most. The homes and places of work I transform will address their fundamental needs.
I pledge to help people see for themselves the benefits of living consciously within their homes. I will weave organic, natural elements into my designs. This will promote a connection with nature in their built environment.
Understanding the earth is vital for our physical and mental health and for our quality of life. By restoring our eco-systems, we may begin to ease many of our environmental issues. It is incumbent on us all to nurture the nature that surrounds us.
I pledge to give back to nature and our planet through my work. I also pledge to extend and evidence my giving through Ecologi and Sea Shepherd, which empowers me to leverage tools for fighting climate change and helping us save our fragile oceans.
My monthly Ecologi donations are used for tree planting and to fund climate projects globally. See our Ecologi forest.
My monthly continued investment in Sea Shepherd is crucial in securing a future for our fragile oceans and the wonderful beings that inhabit them.