Who Are We
Verdant Design was founded in February 2011 by Janette Sherwood. Janette is an eco interior stylist and importer of organic fabrics. She seeks out materials for your home that carefully considers the environment and our health. All materials should be sustainable i.e. be able to be regenerated within your lifetime.
Verdant aims to provide you with information about our products including:
- where and how it is grown
- where and how it is produced through to the finished item
- what health effects the item will have in your home
- what effect the product will have on the environment once you have finished with it.
This is termed as a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach. Think organics, fair-trade, carbon miles, NZ made, recycled, upcycled, renewable resources, bio-degradable or long-lasting.
My name is Janette Sherwood, owner of Verdant Design. I studied a Bachelor of Textile Design at Massey University and am a self-confessed fabricoholic. (I managed to inherit this from my mother and grandmother)
My various jobs and positions after studying led me to work for Liberty of London while on my OE where I co-ran the soft furnishings department. (Liberty is a fabulous boutique department store historically famous for their Tana cotton lawn fabric prints and tudor style building) On my return to New Zealand, I began working for a Wellington based soft furnishings retailer.
I have always had a bit of a conscience about the environment, doing a little bit here in there, such as recycling and buying second hand. More often than not, I was thinking and talking, but not doing a lot because it seemed too hard or too expensive! However, when I came back from London my first major choice to do something about it, was the decision to not buy cheap imported products. This step in itself was a huge undertaking, as it seems that the majority of everyday products and clothing are imported from countries where less than ideal working and living conditions are the norm.
This was a fantastic first step, as it curbed my addiction to The Warehouse, and I stopped filling my house with junk that would end up in the landfill. I buy less, and what I do buy, lasts me far longer, and frankly in terms of wool clothing, is far warmer. Snug Acrylic Jumpers? should be a Tui billboard!
I now eat mostly organic food, attempt to have a vegetable garden in summer (with varying success) and try to buy clothing that is organic or at least natural and made in New Zealand, or second hand.
JOURNEY TO SUSTAINABILITY
The word ‘sustainability’ seems to be a little overused, and used in different contexts. I like to define it in the context of the materials I choose for the home. Can the virgin source be replaced within your lifetime or the life the product. I believe if we look at the big picture, but change things one small step at a time, then we can make a difference. It is about a change of habits, rather than doing something massive because it is the trend.
Through working in interiors, I was inspired by a particular customer who specifically wanted organic and eco textiles. In my quest I discovered a lack of understanding and cynicism about what happens in the production of textiles and the impact they have not only on the environment but the people who produce them. Four years after my return from London, it was time to lead my own journey and I founded Verdant Design in 2011. Alongside this I have completed a Certificate in Biological Building and Design taught by the BBE Institute & Aoraki Polytechnic, which covers a broad range of building and interior materials and techniques.
Join me in following the journey to true sustainability, by changing our small everyday habits one step at time, so we can protect our finally balanced ecological system.