With the new decade came the discovery of another ‘new earth’ – that is, an earth sized planet in another star’s habitable zone. Space emigration may be a too Independence Day for any serious thought, but environmentalism is certainly the concern on everybody’s lips. We know we should recycle, buy local, and shop sustainable; but with busy lives ruling what and where we buy, it is hard to sacrifice the ease of a department store for our environmental conscious, even now. So commenced the search for those unicorn brands which tick every box, whilst providing stylish and unique designs. Mark Lowe is one such designer, combining a headache-free shopping experience with sustainability, to produce home furnishings which both look and feel great.
Mark Lowe takes inspiration from Scandinavia in his design, to create ‘Beautifully Simple’ products. The result is something always unique, whilst avoiding overwhelming choice. No detailed patterns or gaudy frames, Mark Lowe’s take on statement design makes selecting complimentary accessories for your home simple. A floor lamp made from your choice of oak or ash, with your selected cord colour and vibrant shade, with an ever-widening range to choose from. For the coat rack, pick a peg for every member of the family, complimented with acrylic disks adding a splash of their favourite colour – the colours you choose, in the order you choose. The simplicity of Mark Lowe’s designs allude to Scandinavian sleek minimalism, with its beautiful functionality which has taken the interiors world by a storm.
Mark Lowe’s commitment to sustainability also draws some inspiration from Scandinavia, which is undoubtedly leading the environmental charge as the home of slow living and eco-tech. This is one of Mark Lowe’s core values, as he proclaimed in his mission for 2020: “This year we will continue to work hard making all our products as sustainable as possible.” One dimension of this mission is Mark Lowe’s commitment to local craftsmanship, and consequentially low air miles. This has been realised with the help of other English craftsmen.
Mark Lowe is based in Nottingham, the lamp shades are produced in England near Hastings, and any components which cannot be sourced from the UK are from within Europe. Co-founder Marianne Lowe also notes: “We are continually developing our packaging. This year we are using all card and paper with no plastics at all.” Similarly, they commit that all wood – oak and ash – is sourced sustainably.
Craftsmanship used to be local. The romantic notion of popping down to your local village carpenter to invest in a timeless heritage feature lamp, harshly juxtaposes the production lines of today. The media is full of lamentations about fast fashion; from its shoddy quality to destructive effects on the environment – and it is no different for interiors. Mark Lowe stands against this, committing to ‘honest design’, whilst the crafting process makes every piece completely unique even before you contribute your creative stamp.
Material choices are made to last, as well as for their aesthetics. Oak and ash are hard wearing, whilst lamp shades are lined with metallic copper or gold for a warmer light reflected out into the room, or white to brighten any space. Whatever features you decide upon for your ideal bespoke lamp, the end result is always beautifully elegant and the focal point of any room.
Mark Lowe is one brand representing the Britain of the future, by following the lessons of the past. His designs are discoverable in craft fairs and pop up shops around the country, a rare find some are lucky enough to stumble upon. For those without the time to meander, Mark Lowe’s website offers comprehensive bespoke options, so your product can be made to measure with a couple of clicks. Or, make a bee-line to stores such as Hoopers in Tunbridge Wells, frequented by in-the-know interior designers.
However you buy, Mark Lowe’s local values never waiver. The designer made the news two Christmases ago when he played Santa, driving a five hour round trip to deliver an order for a customer in Wales after the delivery service let them down. Reliability and the personal touch are two more factors in the mix which make this designer stand out in our search for brands representing the values of the new year.
And one very happy customer certainly agrees. They explained: “It was a leap of faith to place an online order but the communication was excellent. Professional customer service and our item arrived within 48 hours in perfect condition. Our lamp is beautiful… perfect for our aesthetic. We are very happy to have it in our home.”
Follow Mark Lowe on Instagram: @marklowelighting