Sitting comfortably?

A new exhibition shows how to create an ethical world of interiors


Interwoven, an exhibition that opens at Habitat's Platform gallery on 8 March, highlights a growing trend in design: shopping to support good causes no longer means wearing a hair shirt or embracing a hippy aesthetic. Today, you can find well-designed and covetable interiors products that also have an ethical ethos in high-street chains and boutiques.

Interwoven showcases the work of graduates of London's Central St Martin's College of Art and Design. At the heart of the show are pieces by Philippa Thorne. She works with women in Swaziland through the not-for-profit agency Gone Rural to produce woven vessels.

"I came to Gone Rural as a design volunteer to learn more about social development and get an understanding of the supply chain, ethical business and how this can uplift communities," says Thorne.

Several retailers have ethical ranges. John Lewis's ceramics by the US designer Jonathan Adler are manufactured by Peruvian craftsmen working for Aid for Artisans, and its ElephantBranded range helps children in Africa and Asia.

If you're keen to support a cause closer to home, John Lewis also has a range of Nick Munro designed pieces in support of the RNLI. Online, try Out of the Dark (, a charitable social enterprise that recycles and revamps salvaged furniture as a means to train, educate and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.