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SDC – The Sustainable Design Collective


Our Mission

The Collective’s mission is to connect, inspire and engage. It is recognised that the quest for greater environmental responsibility and sustainability is a huge challenge. Collaboration is essential to accelerate the pace of change.


Sustainability is ultimately about balancing three key factors – the environment; society; and the economy. Each themed topic will be addressed through the lens of three distinct aspects: Products, Places, People. There is so much ‘green wash’. Some companies seek to hide behind marketing words – we must ‘call this out’ and highlight the importance of environmental responsibility.


We also encourage people to describe difficulties and hurdles. This will potentially lead to further research, potentially public sector funded, to move the next level of sustainability.

Our Goals

To provide a platform for open debate, and share knowledge and findings.
To create a credible information database.
To highlight difficulties to relevant bodies such as trade associations for additional assistance and lobbying.

The Story So Far...

January 2022

The SDC was created in early 2022 by Harsha Kotak (Women In Office Design & K2 Space), Joanna Knight (WOD), Ella Fathi (Oktra) and Georgia Elliott-Smith (Element Four). The UK collective has held 4 meetings in the first year of operation and now includes associates from over 20 leading companies within the workspace design sector.

March 2022

Following a hugely successful initial gathering, the SDC held a second meeting in London at Shaw Contract’s showroom. This meeting was focussed on ‘Eco Design’ – although all agreed this term can be misleading and subject to a very varied interpretation.

May 2022

SDC was launched in India, with over 10 members present for the first meeting held at Shaw Contract’s showroom in Bengaluru – a number that would soon surpass 20. Meanwhile in the UK, the collective members met at Steelcase’s London showroom to discuss the Circular Economy and initiatives to promote greater reuse.

July 2022

The UK collective holds their fourth meetings at Solus Ceramics’ showroom in London, discussing the evolution of Standards and Certification. The same week, members of the India collective meet to discuss a topic previously covered by the UK collective; Eco Design.

September 2022

In collaboration with WOD (Women In Office Design), SDC organised a number of seminars and workshops within leading Clerkenwell-based showrooms in September 2022, with over 600 attendees across 2 days worth of activities. In SDC’s busiest month to this point, both the UK and India collectives held meetings at Milliken (London) and Vitra / Kvadrat (Bengaluru).

October 2022

The UK collective goes on tour, with a number of members making the trip to Cologne, Germany. Prior to making an appearance as guest speakers at Orgatec, members were invited to visit to the headquarters of long-time SDC supporters, Sedus Stoll.

December 2022

UK collective members gathered at the London-based showroom of Sedus Stoll for an evening of festive drinks with a number of guests, while over in India collective members also met for one final time in 2022 at the Bangalore-based showroom of Dutch-based furniture specialists, Haworth.

January 2023

Both the India and UK collectives meet to for the first time in 2023, outlining an ambitious strategy for the year. The official SDC website was also launched.

April 2023

SDC UK hosts the “Sustainable Design Forum”; an interactive event for workplace designers held in Clerkenwell to learn and hear from manufacturers and suppliers about efforts towards greater sustainability, in addition to the “SDC Awards for Sustainability” which is designed to champion ‘best practice’ and highlight innovations.

May 2023

The first edition of the SDC Magazine is launched, which aims to promote information on sustainable practices within the workplace design industry. Click here to read the latest edition.

SDC Charter

The Sustainable Design Collective’s mission is to work collaboratively to share knowledge and ‘best practice’ to inspire and influence the workplace design sector to effect change and implement solutions which make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of people and the planet.


• SDC associates will work collaboratively in the spirit of non-competition to share knowledge, educate, and inform.


• SDC associates will utilise their professional influence to help effect positive change within the workplace design community.


• SDC associates are focussed on highlighting and championing new developments and ‘best practice’.


• SDC associates expect manufacturers and product suppliers to be open and transparent. Members will question and interrogate any potentially overstated or misleading claims relating to positive environmental impact.


• An ambition is to identify positive opportunities and possible initiatives for change. SDC will aim to work collaboratively with other industry groups and associations to help accelerate the pace of change.


• SDC associates support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and aim to work within this framework.