Mater: Creating Design that Matters


Mater, a new design brand from Denmark, is showcasing that there is a better way to do business. Launching their first collection this week at the Maison et Objet fair in Paris (and continuing in a few weeks at 100% Design in London), the company's vision is to create timeless and beautiful design based on an ethical business strategy; they're looking to combine "exclusive high end home accessories with working methods that support people, local craft traditions and the environment."As such, Mater is committed to creating ethical, sustainable and socially responsible design in accordance with the principles of the United Nations' voluntary corporate responsibility initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, of which Mater is a participant. They've also created The Mater Foundation to fund social and environmental initiatives in collaboration with audited manufacturers and workshops that'll be funded by the sale of limited-edition Mater designs, which will be on sale starting in Spring 2008. To pass the audit and be eligible for funding, manufacturers must commit to implementing the principles of the UN Global Compact within a given timeframe, further spreading sustainability through the design world and (hopefully) making sustainable practices so ingrained in the industry that it's impossible not to follow them.

Todd Bracher, one of Mater's designers, says, "Working with Mater is a chance for a designer to connect with local artisans to exchange ideas. With globalization the world is losing indigenous crafts, which is why an awareness of preserving such crafts is increasingly important. They're not only expressions of our cultural diversity; they also represent a wealth of experiences and know-how that are essential resources in developing novel concepts and designs."

They're just getting started, so, while all of this sounds good, we'll have to wait to see if they can follow the talk with some sustainable walk. If their early designs are any indication, we have a lot more good stuff to look forward to from this burgeoning sustainable designer. ::Mater via ::David Report

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