RACHEL MARTIN DESIGN, CHARLOTTE NC
Rachel Martin is the design director of Rachel Martin Design, a sustainable and socially responsible design studio that works with conscious businesses who are committed to social value and want to create a better world. Rachel is devoted to high quality sustainable design, focusing on branding, packaging, print and web, to innovatively solve problems and create meaningful change. Rachel is the former AIGA National Director of The Living Principles for Design and helped launch AIGA’s Design for Good and sustainability initiatives. She serves on the advisory boards for AIGA, Green Drinks, Piedmont Culinary Guild and Queen City Forward, is a member of AIGA Charlotte, U.S. Green Building Council and actively involved in the Charlotte community.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND/OR SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS, CLIENTS AND CAUSES?
Since the start of my design career, I’ve always been an avid do-gooder and advocate for sustainability and purpose-driven design. I believe design has the power to lead the way for positive change, to shift consumer behavior and lifestyle aspirations toward a healthier and sustainable future. I have an environmental and social conscience and am passionate in these beliefs. I strive to reduce the environmental impact of our work and educate clients about sustainable solutions and alternatives that elevate their strong brand values while also contributing to their own growth and sustainability. Whether developing design strategies with social entrepreneurs or designing sustainable packaging for organic and natural products, my overall philosophy is to have a passion and a purpose for all of the work we do, and to work with good people who do good in the world.
ARE THERE SPECIAL CHALLENGES OR OPPORTUNITIES IN PURSUING THESE GOALS IN 2017?
There is always opportunity. Consumers are paying closer attention to the brands they make purchases from and are willing to invest in products and services from those that use business as a force for good. The most forward-thinking companies of our future are the ones that put design and sustainability first. The challenge is to continually push for design and sustainability principles into client’s core practices that improve processes, support healthy living systems, ensure social equity and optimize the holistic approach of people, planet, profit and cultural diversity. This drives further demand for responsible design and the opportunity as a designer to not just solve problems but create sustainable solutions and systemic change for the global, social, environmental and economic challenges we face.