THE ACTIVIST | ZOE FELDMAN, ZOE FELDMAN DESIGN
“I truly don’t know a lot about sustainability—and that’s kind of the point!” demurs Zoe Feldman.
For the Washington, D.C.-based designer, the birth of her daughter in 2018 collided with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s devastating special report on global warming, spurring her to evaluate her role as a design professional in the climate crisis. After researching avenues of impact—and upon discovering that planting a tree only costs 5 cents—she put pen to paper, designing a green pledge as a core pillar of her business.
Aptly named Our Beautiful Planet, the framework includes donating her $550 consultation fee to an environmental charity (then matching it upon contract signing), planting 100 trees for every approved design proposal (to offset its carbon footprint), and a commitment to sourcing 80 percent vintage.
Looking ahead, Feldman hopes to turn this working template into a full-fledged movement that designers can adapt to suit their own practice. “These are easy things to implement,” she says. “We’re trying to show the industry that we can all take very small, simple steps and potentially, make a massive impact.”