When it comes to luxury interior design, the Allect Design Group is not just setting trends; they are transforming the industry from the ground up. Under the leadership of Iain Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Allect has been recognised as the Interiors Business of the Year by Positive Luxury for their unwavering dedication to sustainability and innovation. We delve into how Allect is shaping a greener future while maintaining the elegance and sophistication that define their projects.

"Sustainability is a key component to our studios both in projects we work on and our own environment in which we occupy," explains Iain Johnson. Over recent years, Allect has embarked on an intense journey to scrutinise, appraise, develop, and change the minutiae of their practices. The goal? To make a positive impact on people and nature.

Using Positive Luxury's rigorous ESG assessment as a framework, Allect ensures that their projects are not only beautiful but also environmentally and socially responsible. "It is an ongoing transition for Allect," says Johnson, "as innovators embedding the changemaker mindset, adaptation planning, and skills into our organisation."

One of the tangible ways Allect implements responsible design is through careful selection of materials. "Communication with our suppliers and makers is paramount," says Johnson. For instance, they used timber from a sustainably managed forest in Kent for a daybed, ensuring it was transported locally to the carpenter's workshop. While such detailed traceability isn't always possible, Allect values and encourages a collaborative approach.

Allect is currently developing a complex dataset that identifies resources, materials, supplier certifications, and accreditations. This library facilitates informed decisions and responsible specifications, providing full transparency about the materials' unique characteristics. "Our design teams are collectively involved in this initiative," Johnson notes, ensuring the process becomes an integral part of their workflow.

"As designers, one of our biggest responsibilities is in the products we specify and the suppliers we use," Johnson asserts. Allect's internal sustainable sourcing and procurement strategy guides their designers, emphasising responsible specifications. They work with over a thousand different suppliers, most of whom cater to bespoke designs, offering a unique opportunity to design and procure better.

Image courtesy of Rigby & Rigby

Initiating dialogues with suppliers is key. Allect shares information, fostering a collaborative experience that supports a changemaker mindset. "It's important to us that our suppliers share our vision," Johnson states. Allect's Code of Conduct, regularly reviewed and issued to suppliers, reinforces their commitment to sustainability.

Johnson’s advice to other interior design companies is simple yet profound: "Every moment helps, so reflect on your decisions. Just make a start and however small the steps, we should all celebrate progress over perfection." He emphasises the importance of communication, discussing challenges, sharing best practices, and supporting each other on the journey towards sustainability.

Winning the Positive Luxury Interiors Business of the Year award is a testament to Allect’s commitment to sustainable practices. Joanna Benton, Associate Director for Helen Green Design & Sustainability Manager for Allect, reflects, "We are truly honoured to be recognised as the interiors business of the year 2024. ESG principles are intrinsic to Allect's studio ethos, and over the past year, we have embarked on an incredible journey of introspection and transformation, scrutinising, appraising, and evolving every aspect of our practices to ensure a positive impact on both people and nature."

Image courtesy of Helen Green

"Our commitment to sustainability is not a destination but an ongoing journey of growth and adaptation," Benton continues. "At Allect, we are dedicated to embedding a changemaker mindset and fostering the necessary skills throughout our organisation. While there is still much to be done and learned, we are immensely grateful for the recognition of our efforts."

"This recognition demonstrates our unwavering dedication to sustainable practices and innovation within the interiors industry," says Johnson. In addition to their accolades, the Allect Design Group proudly holds the Butterfly Mark certification, further cementing their commitment to sustainable and ethical practices in luxury interior design.

Allect Design Group, encompassing three brands—Helen Green Design, Rigby & Rigby, and Lawson Robb—aims to foster unparalleled creativity, innovation, and excellence. This award celebrates the company’s efforts in prioritising sustainability, creativity, quality, and craftsmanship, showcasing their positive impact on the environment and society.

Allect has methodically laid out a plan to achieve robust sustainability goals and ethical business practices. "Overall, their application was detailed, and the volume of supporting information endorsed all of their responses," notes Penny Sainsbury, Founder of Peridot PR. Allect has a clear pathway not only to maintain but to grow their ambitions in the future.

Allect Design Group stands as a beacon of sustainable luxury in the interior design industry. Their commitment to meticulous material selection, responsible sourcing, and ongoing dialogue with suppliers positions them as leaders in sustainable innovation. As Johnson eloquently puts it, "With every specification, we have the potential to choose better, pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence while making a positive impact on the world."

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