Etienne Esmenjaud

Profiles: Desinature

etienne esmenjaudHomegirl London pays homage to Desinature.  This new British design brand is dedicated to producing contemporary eco-conscious home accessories and lighting.  Desinature is a family run business, established by Etienne Esmenjaud in 2010 with a re-launch in 2012 under the Desinature label.  Their inspiration stems from an admiration for the natural world and a desire to bring people closer to it.  Their love of the environment is followed through to their manufacturing methods – made in the UK by people who share their values of reducing air miles and supporting the Made in England marque.  The collection includes the beautiful ‘Bud’ light made from laser-cut responsibly sourced birch plywood and the ‘Honey Lampshade’ formed from 100% wool felt dyed and eco-friendly inks.  I love their ‘Mr and Mrs Birdee Nest Boxes’ which offers shelter for small garden birds.  Quirky accessories include the ‘Shadow Mug Coaster’ and the ‘Oak Leaf Key Ring.’  I caught up with Etienne to ask him a few questions ….

Q: Tell me about your background

A: I graduated in product design in France in 2003 and the UK in 2006.  I decided to stay in the UK after winning the Royal Society of Art’s Design Direction and began working as a freelance designer providing a wide range of creative services in the fields of branding, packaging and product design.

Q: What inspired you to set up Desinature?

A: After helping clients to create their ‘brands’ for a few years, I decided to come back to my first love of product design and set up my own label.  I’ve always had a penchant for nature and wanted this to come through my own brand.  I set up the company with my life partner Caroline Papadato who helps me on a daily basis as well as working on her own illustration projects.

Q: Why did you call the company Desinature?

A: I wanted to merge my passion for creation and my love for the natural world so the Desinature name ‘naturally’ emerged from Design plus Nature.

Q: Where did you love for nature come from?

A: With grandparents living in the Alps and the Pyrenees, I spent a lot of time exploring the outdoors as a child and this definitely started my admiration for the environment from a very young age.

Q: Tell me how you incorporate nature into your designs.

A: I tend to follow a set of rules that I’ve given myself, such as optimising the use of raw material and producing more with less … I strongly believe in Antoine de Saint Exupery – “perfection is achieved … when there is nothing left to take away.”  I try to make my work invisible and want my products to look as if they have naturally grown into place.

Q: Tell me more about your environmental manufacturing and other ways you help the environment.

A: I aim to devise eco-conscious products through the use of sustainable, responsibly sourced materials that are flat-packed wherever possible.  We also try to give back a little to the environment through contributions to the Tree-Nations tree planting scheme.

Q: What’s coming up for the rest of 2012?

A: We’re looking forward to showcasing a collection at London’s Design Festival (14-28 September) and we will be introducing a few new products at 100% Design (19-22 September).

See below for a selection of the Desinature products.  If you’d like to buy go to Desinature.  Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Desinature, special thanks to Etienne Esmenjaud and Caroline Papadato.

desinature web products bud lampshade

Bud Lampshade, £115

desinature web products honey lamp shade

Honey Lampshade, £28-36

desinature web products birdee

Mr and Mrs Birdee Nest Boxes, £21 each

desinature web products shadow coaster

Shadow Mug Coaster, set of 4 £22.50

desinature products thumb keyring

Oak Leaf Key Ring, set of 4, £7.50