Ethical design is about more than choice of materials

It is sad to see the idea of good design being misrepresented by Starbucks with its new boutique design (, 6 November).

I think the design world has moved far beyond the idea that using responsible building materials constitutes good design – this is something so fundamental in any design that, really, we should all stop talking about it and just do it.

To use this idea to unveil a new design, and keep rolling it out as if it were ‘the next best thing’, is already dated.

As a business strategy, it is a weak idea. Perhaps a better idea would be to focus on designing stronger relationships with the exploited coffee growers in Third World countries. Investing more in research on how to design a way to deliver better-quality coffee might also help.
Francesca Greco, by e-mail

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