Reported from Apartment Therapy.
published APR 22, 2021
Credit: Courtesy of Meyer Wells
If you’re trying to be more mindful about your consumption — from personal care to furnishings — then you’re going to want to bookmark this new online marketplace. Earlier this month, green architect Jason F. McLennan officially launched Living Deep, which is dedicated to sourcing and selling ecologically and socially responsible goods. You’ll find everything from fine art and rugs to building materials and regenerative furniture, all of which have been vetted for a demonstrated commitment to sustainability. “Our end goal is to radically transform the worldwide marketplace for home renovations, furnishing, and decor via conscious capitalism and responsible consumerism,” says McLennan, also the CEO and co-founder of Living Deep. “We want folks to place a higher value on having fewer things but of higher quality. It’s for the benefit of the planet and all our futures.”
Total transparency is the name of the game when it comes to the vetting of brands for sale on Living Deep; whether it’s a small-scale artisan or a large manufacturer, the process doesn’t change and is exhaustive. Since there’s no universal standard for sustainable manufacturing yet, McLennan and his team primarily look for third party certifications (FSC-certified and avoidance of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) Red List chemicals are just the baseline here) and then internally review company materials and information on sustainability practices, which, during the pandemic, meant lots of hours on Zoom speaking with vendors directly. “We are also looking at products that we have used as green architects in the past and can vouch for through our own experience,” McLennan says. “Every product meets our sustainability criteria and provides ingredient sourcing and manufacturing transparency.” The team also looks for products that are durable enough for extended initial and secondary uses, so general longevity plays a role in curation, too.
When it comes to order fulfillment, Living Deep has considered the environmental implications there, too. Many items are made to order and drop-shipped, primarily to lessen the carbon hit from transportation of goods. “By facilitating the sale of a good directly from our vendor’s facility to our customers’ homes, we cut out quite a bit of carbon,” says McLennan. To cover the carbon the site does invariably create as a marketplace for selling products, it uses CarbonClick technology during the checkout process for offsets.
Ultimately though, McLennan says his end goal is for shoppers to buy less, which is sort of counterintuitive for an e-commerce company. “The best impact someone could make would be to swap something in their life for… nothing,” says McLennan. “Live without it for six months and see if you still miss it. We encourage buying less, buying second hand when possible, and only using Living Deep to fill in the gaps when needed.”