skip to main content

sustainable values: supporting communities through design

in sustainable values

In this episode of Sustainable Values we’re looking into ways in which design can contribute to making the world a fairer place.

Sustainability is a wide concept. Besides environmental matters, there’s a whole social aspect that is not to be forgotten. And here too, design can be part of the solution…

community support

Through its processes, the design industry can create occasions to strengthen local communities, open up new opportunities, support minorities, and overall have a social impact that goes way beyond making objects.

Examples of social impact are the creation of fair and dignified job opportunities where these are not the norm, supporting those who might otherwise struggle to find a job, helping local communities by valuing the materials they depend upon, and more…

What follows is a selection of pieces sourced from riivin, the fully independent sustainable interior design platform I curate. You’ll find more by browsing through the platform, and you can unlock the entire product selection by joining riivin+.

Note: this selection is completely unsponsored and so is all the content you’ll find on riivin. The platform is proudly independent and lives thanks to the members’ area riivin+, which provides additional and exclusive resources to design more sustainable spaces.

Sustainable design for interiors supporting community.


Ngwenya Glass products are all locally mouth-blown in Eswatini. […] The company also works with local schools to help raise environment-aware generations. Students are involved in roadside clean-ups and – in exchange – the company provides building materials and its sponsorship for the school soccer club…

read more: Ice Bubble by Ngwenya Glass


A A K S’ lamp collection comes out of Weaving for Change, an initiative aimed at creating work opportunities for women from the Tuareg community living as refugees in Burkina Faso. This initiative is run in collaboration with UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency)…

read more: Ihaya by A A K S


Reviving hand-weaving traditions and creating fair work for skilled weavers, Annaloom production helps to improve the economic conditions of entire rural communities in Northeast India. The company also organizes guided Textile Tours of the region as a way to bring guests closer to the artisans, materials, crafts and local stories…

read more: Avani by Annaloom


All Mifuko products are handmade in Kenya by local women. Creating fair and long-term work opportunities, Mifuko production empowers women and helps to improve the economic conditions of entire rural communities. Mifuko is also a member of WTFO (World Fair Trade Organization)…

read more: Kiondo by Mifuko


Named Solidwool, the material consists of wool mixed with bio-resin. Wool comes from the Herdwick sheep, an iconic local breed whose coarse wool used to be employed for carpet manufacturing. Over time, its perceived value declined and Herdwick wool is now seen as just a by-product of sheep breeding. Solidwool creates a valuable application for this wool, supporting the shepherds that depend on it and care for the wild landscape it comes from…

read more: Hembury by Roger Oates Design

Glass decanter with wine glass.
Credit: Ngwenya Glass
Decanted close-up.
Credit: Ngwenya Glass
Woven textile pendant lamp.
Credit: A A K S
Lamp close-up.
Credit: A A K S
Silk throw.
Credit: Annaloom
Silk throw close-up.
Credit: Annaloom
Woven basket.
Credit: Mifuko
Woven basket close-up.
Credit: Mifuko

If you’re interested in sustainable options for interiors, you’ll find hundreds of independently-selected products on riivin, as well as other resources such as second-hand marketplaces, rental options, and more…

share this article
  • share on pinterest
  • share on twitter
  • share on facebook
  • share via whatsapp
  • share via email
related articles