London – When I bumped into Skagerak CEO Jesper Panduro outside the Eco Townhouse at the London Design Festival, he was wearing a Patagonia cap. That was rather appropriate: it was a literal tip of the hat from Skagerak to the sustainability and ethical practices of the California-based outdoors brand. As Panduro explained, both companies are part of the B Corp, a certification for benefit corporations that meet the highest standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
So it was no surprise that the Danish homewares brand was chosen by lifestyle retailer Skandium, along with the equally-minded Montana, to outfit its four-storey townhouse with a selection of sustainably made products.
Companies are the most powerful drivers in terms of making the world a better place
Montana’s own story is also one of green accountability: CEO Joakim Lassen was an environmental consultant for over 10 years, constantly producing reports for factories on how to improve their sustainability practices. In 1999 he took over the family-owned company in Haarby and was able to apply every single lesson learned on his previous job. ‘I finally got the chance to build my own factory, and everything there is produced under fair working conditions for our employees, and in a way that does not harm our world,’ he explained. That included making their own set of environmental accounts in conjunction with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. ‘We know how much waste we produce in one year, and how much pollution will end up in the air. By doing this, we are conscious about the impact of our production. In the end, companies are the most powerful drivers in terms of making the world a better place.’
What makes Montana’s production so outstanding is that, even with these controls in place, they prove that sustainability can come in many colours – 42, to be exact. The interior at the Eco Townhouse, designed by Helena Laursen, is not the typical setup that comes to mind when thinking of eco-friendly interiors. Laursen, the head of spatial designs at Montana, showcased a selection of the rich, timeless water-based shades in their collection – that’s no coincidence, considering the fact that Montana was the winner of the 2018 Frame Award for best use of colour at the Milan Design Week.