FOUNDER/DESIGN DIRECTOR MINDFUL & GOOD, CHARLOTTE NC
Rachel Martin is an award-winning designer, founder and entrepreneur passionate about sustainability and using the power of design to solve problems to shape our world and culture for the greater good.
She is the Founder & Design Director of Mindful & Good, a B Corp Certified design studio dedicated to creating impactful brands that ignite positive change. They work with natural, organic and purpose-driven businesses in food & beverage, health & wellness and sustainable living. From start-up ventures to Fortune 500 companies, they design compelling brands that draw attention, open minds and drive purpose and prosperity.
Founded in 2000, Mindful & Good has served as both design partner and thought leader for conversations about sustainability and the environment. The studio is well-recognized for their unique approach to sustainable design and their strategies that help clients improve their own social and environmental impact. They practice what they preach and are dedicated to using business as a force for good.
How and why did you become involved in socially responsible communications, any thoughts on why design can be an especially effective tool for this goal?
I became involved in socially responsible communications early in my career in New York City while designing for globally renowned brands. It became evident that I was contributing to the issue by designing wasteful packaging and encouraging unnecessary consumerism. This realization prompted a shift in my perspective. I recognized that designers wield significant influence in either perpetuating problems or driving positive change. Thus, I chose to focus on purpose-driven design aimed at effecting social change and combating climate change.
My design approach centers on sustainability and social responsibility, addressing real-world problems. After reading “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things” by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, I began integrating their philosophy into my design process. I meticulously consider the entire life cycle of each design, emphasizing recyclability, biodegradability, minimized material usage, incorporation of recycled and non-toxic components, and design for reusability within the circular economy framework.
My work involves guiding clients towards sustainable design solutions across their supply chains, operational processes, and choice of printing and packaging materials. This approach prioritizes the well-being of both people and the planet, ensuring that design plays a pivotal role in fostering positive societal and environmental changes.
Given the confluence of events and challenges our society now faces, does this moment in time present any special opportunities, urgencies, or obstacles to designing for good?
This moment in time presents both unique opportunities and urgent imperatives for designing for good. With pressing global challenges such as climate change, social inequality and public health crises, designers have a crucial role to play. The urgency lies in the need for sustainable solutions that can mitigate these challenges. Designers must overcome obstacles like resource constraints, cultural barriers and resistance to change. However, the opportunities are equally significant. Advancements in technology, increased awareness of social and environmental issues, and a growing demand for responsible products and services create a favorable landscape for designers to innovate and make a positive impact on society and the planet.