Meet The Canadian Brand Redefining Sustainable Design
What will luxury look like in the future? Up to now, luxury has had the connotation of excess and exclusivity, of indulgence without necessity. But in an era where climate change and leaders like Greta Thunberg are challenging us to reconsider our values, the definition of luxury is changing. Luxury is about feeling good; more and more, that brings up words like inclusivity, sustainability, community and responsibility.
After 20 years in the fashion industry, Canadian twin brothers Byron and Dexter Peart launched Goodee, the duo’s e-commerce platform offering designs for home. After one and a half years of development, it debuted last May with a timely mandate: to curate and create products that are not only beautiful but have a positive social or environmental impact. Items range from lighting, tableware and furniture to personal care, accessories and art. “Our customer is someone who’s thoughtful about the things they own,” says Dexter.
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“We had the simple belief that there’s a variety of people looking to buy less but better, and to make better choices,” says Dexter (right). “Goodee exists to be the creative and commercial hub bringing those ideas together.”
The first Goodee pop-up store opened at the Phi Centre in Montreal last summer. The Goodee aesthetic breaks away from the uniformly earthy look that’s dominated sustainable design in the past. Byron says Goodee’s style is much like its customers: hypercolorful, personal, diverse and textured.
Shortly before launching Goodee, Byron and Dexter Peart put the brand’s principles into practice to redesign Matachica Resort & Spa in Belize. “It’s about this beautiful mix of purpose and design,” says Dexter. “It was our proof of concept.”
Brightly speckled kids furniture by ecoBirdy is made with recycled plastic from used children’s toys. For better transparency, each item on the Goodee website is clearly labelled with the initiatives it supports, including the promotion of natural materials, poverty reduction, community engagement and more. “Approaching design and sustainability at equal measure felt much more modern,” says Dexter.
A basket created with the weaving techniques of the Baba Tree’s Ghanaian artisans.
A streamlined stool by Danish company Skagerak adds mid-century style with a paper-cord seat that’s handwoven by visually impaired artisans.
Perfume by ecological beauty brand Haeckels captures the scents of the English coastline.
Byron and Dexter themselves designed colorful pillows made entirely in Kenya with Burkinabé and Malian textiles, produced in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a United Nations fair trade affiliate. More original Goodee designs are underway. “There’s a long pipeline of stuff we’re going to do, because the creators in us need to create!” says Byron.