July 22, 2020

Design for Diversity Update

It’s been five weeks since Design for Diversity has been launched and the design industry looks like a different place. In this blog post, we’ll be giving you an update on what has happened since the Pledge was launched.

We’ve received over 120 sign-ups along with large brands who have taken the pledge such as Farrow & Ball, MylandsSanderson, Zoffany, Morris & Co along with other influential interior brands. Three magazines from the former TI Media, now Future PLC, are on board: Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors have signed up.

Since launching I’ve also received many messages from the Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority who have felt the positive effects of changes all around the design industry. Designers now feel like there is a force of change and feel more confident to show up on the grid proud of their heritage and that things are going to be different now. Whether that’s through events, magazines and marketing material.

With many established and influential brands coming on board it felt like a sign of willingness to change and to do better. To see such changes in such a short space of time is phenomenal!

We’ve spoken to every single brand it has been great to see the enthusiasm to work together and for brands to place tangible actions behind their pledge. Rockett St George and Dowsing and Reynolds have both taken the one step further and show how they are support diversity and what actions they taking within their company.

Behind the scenes, Kate and I have been approached by magazines and other publications who are keen to talk about diversity and raise the issues. We have been featured in The Times and British Vogue.

Businesses that are going the extra mile

Here are a few examples of the businesses that are opening doors and making changes after taking the Pledge.

Studio Carew a father and daughter business, are offering advice to young furniture designers. To contact their studio you can email them here.

Born & Bred Studio studio is offering a mentorship scheme for young people entering the fashion/interiors world.

Blackpop are offering an annual bursary scheme to a black textile design student with their local university with an opportunity to produce and launch a brand new design and product.

The Monkey Puzzle Tree had been struggling to find diverse designers. After taking the Pledge has been able to find more diverse designers to work with stating “The publicity around this issue and signing up to this pledge has helped us receive many more applications from artists of all backgrounds over the last few weeks.” 

Artwork by Josephine McYebuah, the new artist who has collaborated with The Monkey Puzzle Tree.

What’s important to note is that we feel this is a start and not the solution. We also appreciate that the initiative won’t be for everyone and that’s OK. We see this as start a way to help articulate support to the inclusivity and diversity in the industry. We felt it was important to address points for those of you who may have questions about the pledge.

Other Initiatives 

We are also seeing other initiatives emerging like United in Design, Siren Sisters and BAME Designers & Artists.

Future of Design for Diversity

Kate and I have been invited as judges to the Blue Patch Sustainability Awards who have a diverse panel of judges. We are also in discussions with the director of the London Design Festival for the 2021 festival. I have also been asked to talk about diversity at The York Design Festival this year. 

We have also created permanent pages where you can find the latest updates to the initiative. I’ve linked my Design for Diversity permanent page here.

Thank you for reading and taking an interest in the Design for Diversity initiative.

Want to sign up to the pledge?

Click here to sign up and we’ll send you the stickers and guidelines.

Have a press enquiry?

If you have a press enquiry or any questions feel free to contact us here

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