It goes without saying that green production and environmentally-friendly processes are integral to elworthy studio. My commitment to sustainability is deeply tied to the two and a half years I spent in Shanghai before moving to San Francisco. While it was an exciting opportunity, it was also the first time that my surrounding environment had a profound impact on my physical well being. I suffered regular headaches and digestive problems, fatigue, and high sensitivity to odors as well as cold temperatures. A common cold evolved into a lung infection that took three months to recover from!
I felt vulnerable, a victim of my surroundings, but gradually began to educate myself about potentially hazardous toxins, and found ways to make my home a safer, less toxic place. Although I couldn’t change the environmental toxins outside, I could control what products I brought into my home, the foods I put into my body, and the cosmetics I put onto my skin. Some changes took little effort, such as swapping out chemical based cleaning supplies for white vinegar and vegetable based soaps, or body lotion for coconut oil. Others involved a longer process of trial and error, such as finding an aluminum-free, natural, yet effective deodorant. Dietary changes were surprisingly easy. I stopped drinking caffeine and eating meat (I do eat sustainably sourced fish and seafood). Sugar remains an ongoing challenge! Some things I simply had to leave be. The paint and materials used in my apartment were surely toxic, but there was little I could do to change that.
Since my time in Shanghai, the impact of my decisions on the environment and my own well-being have remained a priority, and when I started my own business, I knew that my company's ethos needed to be in line with my values. I am grateful to live in a place where sustainability is part of daily life, where eco-friendly is a growing trend (hopefully one that will never go out of style), and where people value my commitment to creating wallpapers and textiles that are beautiful and environmentally conscious. My goals are twofold:
Firstly, I believe in creating products with minimal environmental impact during the production and printing process. I choose to work with suppliers who share my vision and commitment. These suppliers utilize with the most sustainable, trustworthy sources and print using water-based inks in a low to no VOC process. The ground materials are natural fibers and paper in place of synthetics or vinyl.
Secondly, I ensure that the production methods result in end products that are free of chemicals that release toxins into the air, so that my interior design clients and their customers can create beautiful, successful designs without sacrificing safety.
Eager to learn more about environmentally-conscious living? Watch The True Cost, a documentary that explores the cost of the fashion industry and transformed my approach as a consumer, and read Erin Boyle’s Simple Matters, a book that offers useful ways to simplify your life with a strong focus on sustainability.