Sustainable Homewares: The Future Of Product Design

“It should not be a ‘nice to have’ but just the way it is. Design and lifestyle should not have to be compromised,” said Real Impact's Virginia Bruce in a recent interview with Vogue Living when asked about her thoughts on sustainability.

The CEO of the Australian-based company believes that all it takes is a more considered approach to production to ensure all products, including homewares, are created in an ethical way, and has co-founded a business that has a human-focused ‘consumer helping communities’ approach to sustainability at its heart.

Sustainable Furniture

Real Impact works with Pacific island populations to bring their artisan work to international markets. For the women in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, traditional craft skills and practices are part of their everyday lives, but living in small and often isolated communities, it is difficult for them to get access to wider markets. Bruce’s company works with the women on their designs and production quality, as well as marketing, and has created an easy access platform to help them sell their goods.

A cane chair from the Solomon Islands.

A cane chair from the Solomon Islands.

Among the products sold via Real Impact are bags woven on Futuna Island from mature pandanus fibre which gives them a rich natural ‘honey’ color, a color and technique that is exclusive to Futuna and that cannot be reproduced by any other community; handmade cane furniture from the Solomon Islands; and mats woven by the Bua community on Fiji.

“More and more people are looking for ways that support our planet and the people who live on it,” said Bruce. “And the more we can sell for them the more their household income will grow - probably the number one impact for them is in the way they can educate their children."

Shop artisan pieces from Real Impact's collection here.