Clare Brass returns with sustainability social venture

The Design Council’s sustainability project leader, axed from the organisation last year, has re-emerged with her own venture, a sustainability social enterprise called Seed.

The Design Council’s sustainability project leader, axed from the organisation last year, has re-emerged with her own venture, Social Environmental Enterprise & Design Foundation.

Clare Brass (pictured), who held the post of sustainability project leader at the council for more than three years, has set up the ‘community interest company’ – half-way between a not-for-profit organisation and a limited company – with business partner Flora Bowden.

According to Brass, the new company’s mission statement is, ‘If design is good for business, then why shouldn’t it be good for social enterprise?’

SEED Foundation is to have two divisions, including a consultancy arm, offering support to business, education and public services about sustainability in strategy, supporting new enterprises and driving change in the way designers use their skills.

The venture also aims to create methodologies for designers to overcome sustainability challenges, although this will not be developed fully for about three years, Brass estimates.

SEED Foundation’s first project, expected to kick off within the next month, will be a collaborative one, based on the theme of food waste and landfill. Brass says she is currently in talks with local authorities, housing estates, biodiversity and even homeless groups to become partners in the project.

Funding has been applied for through social entrepreneur charity UnLtd.

Despite being made redundant by the Design Council late last year, Brass is hoping that the organisation will work with her on future initiatives.

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