Made Thought on attaching meaning and making “genuine” change through design

Did you know that when you wash your clothes, plastic fibres are carried into the water stream, and therefore the ocean? We didn’t either. Enlightening us to this “evil” fact was Made Thought, a London-based design agency that explained how, with each wash, microplastics are released into the pipes. “70 per cent of clothing is made of plastic, which is pretty terrifying,” said Alistair Davies, one of the studio’s youngest members who joined the stage for Nicer Tuesdays. This research was highlighted during Made Thought’s recent project for Xeros, which presented the eye-opening (and somewhat mind-blowing) process behind making a filter to capture the fibres and stop them from being released. Besides the amazing design work and shocking photographs that came with it, the project revealed the hidden world of microplastic pollution. “How do we make people understand, how do we make people listen, how do we make people care? And ultimately, how do we make it feel like a 21st Century brand?” These questions posed by Alistair formed the crux of the project and, more broadly, channelled the core principals of the studio, where sustainability, optimism, creativity and purpose combine.
“There has never been a better time to be a creative,” continued Paul Austin, director and founding partner. Beginning with the fascinating project for Xeros, the studio also ran us through a few more key pieces. This included a project for Pinterest and Brewdog, both of which highlighted the importance of humanising a brand, attaching meaning, and steering “genuine” change through design. “It’s really important that we carry on creating beautiful things,” said Paul, “but I think it’s also just as important that we can make genuine change and really enjoy and make the most of the opportunities.”

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