As the world reflected on what’s close to our hearts during the pandemic, Helen Green Design was also doing some soul searching by reviewing its company values. The result is a return to its core ethos – but combined with important social issues. This means creating the same luxurious, yet liveable, residences synonymous with the design studio while being mindful of the environment and all the challenges and opportunities it brings.
Founded by the late Helen Green in 2002, the studio has built up a reputation for its current yet timeless interiors. ‘Helen was modern, progressive and moved with the times,’ says Alexandra Jurkiewicz, creative lead of the design studio, ‘and she was also one of the few female entrepreneurs at the time.’ Her legacy remains, with the studio, which is mainly managed by women, embracing the new post-Covid trend of ‘informal luxury’.
The team is also passionate about looking after the planet. Taking a more sustainable approach plays a significant part in the studio’s designs, with the company wanting to inspire others in the industry to pursue environmentally-friendly ideas. ‘Instead of waiting for change, we decided to be the change we want to see,’ explains Alexandra.
In August 2021, the studio published its Sustainability Pledge on its social media channels. This public commitment not only outlined Helen Green Design’s beliefs but cemented its values, motivating the team to develop this side of the business. The high standard of design still remains with a focus on ethical practices.
From day-to-day choices to big projects, taking a conscious approach is often at the forefront of the team’s decisions. They try to always make sure that their actions are ethical. For example, says Alexandra, if faced with a choice of two fabrics, she will go with the one with the lesser carbon footprint. She is also happily prepared to consider a wallpaper made from recycled bottles. The studio also champions British craftmanship and the majority of its products are made here in the UK. For example, its sun loungers are made of British oak in Yorkshire rather than the usual tropical teak that has to be shipped in from abroad.
The studio has many exciting future plans. These include The Green Book, a directory of British artisans, craftspeople and makers that share its core values. The company will also be hosting Green Table events, inviting its network of craftspeople, designers and innovators to collaborate in improving its processes with the environment in mind.
Alexandra admits that incorporating sustainable practices into the studio’s designs will be one of Helen Green Design’s biggest challenges in the years to come. However, the studio remains firm in its belief that it can achieve considered interiors that are also kinder to the environment, and has already received excellent feedback from clients and suppliers who share its ambition for positive change.
With a diverse portfolio that ranges from Chelsea townhouses to five-star hotels, the design studio is currently working on a villa in Vienna that Alexandra cites as its most eco-friendly project to date thanks to its growing focus on being environmentally responsible. In between its elegant interiors, the studio continues to push forward with its green endeavours and aims to help change the design industry from inside the design industry.