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How can I make my home more eco-friendly?

How can I make my home more eco-friendly?

Living sustainably is an important ethos for our furniture business as well as for our family.  Whilst not everyone can afford solar panels and new insulation, by focusing on reducing our single-use plastic and living in a more eco-friendly way, we can reduce the harm we cause to the environment. You can start by making conscious choices about the objects that you fill your house with.

It’s relatively easy to make these eco-conscious decisions. You can reduce your carbon footprint by the actions you take from within your own home and your interior decorating and styling. Doing just a few of them will mean there are less toxins in the air and at your fingertips and will promote a better sense of wellbeing for you and your family.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite simple sustainability tips for your home.

1. Consider sustainable materials when buying your furniture and homeware

  • Wooden furniture

Wood is renewable because it doesn’t deplete the planet of a natural material. Trees can be planted, grown and harvested over and over again. Always have a look for the mention for ‘FSC certified’, which means that the wood has been sourced from sustainably managed forests. All our products are predominantly made with solid, sustainable timber, using FSC-certified oak.

  • Sustainable interior accessories

It’s easy to buy accessories made from harmful materials when they’re smaller and generally cheaper. Instead of plastic, consider items like cork, wood, concrete or ecoresin terrazzo. When it comes to candles, go for natural, organic and non-toxic ones such as those made with beeswax or soy wax and without paraffin (we always opt for these to go with our Mabel Tealight Holders and Mabel Candleholders. Go for straw baskets instead of plastic boxes and recycled glass for your glassware.

A good example is kitchenware. Choose handmade ceramics or wooden chopping boards over plastic ones. Not only do they look much nicer on your kitchen surfaces, you can jazz them up by investing in pieces with a bit more visual interest – like the ecoresin in terrazzo of our Edward chopping boards.

  • Organic soft furnishings

Wool, organic cotton, hemp and linen have organic, textural qualities and are great for bedding, blankets, rugs, throws and cushions.

We love Melin Tregwynt’s lambswool throws that are woven in a small mill in Wales.

  • Sustainable kitchen swaps

It can be a lot easier to make sustainable swaps in the kitchen. There are plenty of reusable veg bags, durable paper lunch bags, natural sponges and reusable microfibre cloths. Consider using natural cleaning products that keep toxins out of the water and your lungs and swap plastic coffee pods for drip filters.

  • Clean and green bathroom

The bathroom can often be an area that is full of unnecessary plastic because of containers that supermarkets tend to use. Look into natural sponges, recyclable toilet rolls, wooden toothbrushes and remember to recycle your toothbrush tubes.

There are also more and more zero-waste shops popping up in local neighbourhoods and we encourage using these as much as possible. They make it very easy to refill your containers with natural shampoos and conditioners and eco-friendly cleaning products. They often sell organic handmade soap, so you don’t have to keep buying plastic bottles of liquid soap.

  • Sustainable flooring materials

Linoleum is a vinyl naturally producing materials such as natural linseed oil and wood flour. Cork is biodegradable and sustainable and retains warmth within a room.

2. Invest in high quality furniture that is made to last

We’re really against the modern throw-away culture of ‘fast homeware’. Interior trends shouldn’t change so much that we can’t keep up. Classic, well-made furniture will never go out of style and you can pass it down through the generations of your family.

It’s important to invest in craftsmanship and the person that has taken time to handmake your piece of furniture.

Handmade furniture also avoids the use of various pollutants such as certain paints, glues, and finishes that are found in mass-produced factories. We want to avoid volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that give off harmful air pollutants, which are often used in furniture production. We favour more natural finishes and we love the imperfections of natural materials – they make your piece completely unique.

3. Sustainable kitchen swaps: reduce the consumption of single-use plastic

It can be a lot easier to make sustainable swaps in the kitchen. There are plenty of reusable veg bags, durable paper lunch bags, natural sponges and reusable microfibre cloths. Consider using natural cleaning products that keep toxins out of the water and your lungs and swap plastic coffee pods for drip filters. Swap plastic milk cartons for a milkman delivering glass refillable bottles. Use the new beeswax wraps to keep your food rather than cling film.

Visit your local greengrocer! Spending money with your small local businesses and they’ll give you your veg in paper bags rather than an abundance of plastic packaging.

4. Have more plants

It might sound simple, but having more plants in your home increases the quality of air in your home. Plants are natural air cleaners so they absorb toxins and carbon dioxide, turning it into oxygen (it’s important to get rid of airborne toxins that are inside our houses). They also release moisture vapour and increase air humidity.

Mark Lowe, oak Hellene propagator, £45, pair

You can even grow your own plants for free. Rather than buying new plants from garden centres, why not consider propagation? Using a propagator, you can collect and save seeds and plant cuttings. It’s a brilliant way to see them grow and is exactly why we designed our Hellene Oak Propagator.

5. Grow your own food

Save your food waste and create your own compost – rather than sending everything to landfill, you can use your leftover fruit and veg and peelings to create rich soil.

Growing your own food will reduce the transportation needed to get your food from the farm to your home. Creating a small kitchen garden can be rewarding and fun, but if you’re limited on space, try planting seeds of herbs in wooden planters. That way you can cut your own whenever they’re needed rather than buying plastic packets of herbs that will inevitably go brown in the back of the fridge.

6. Eco decorating

Use eco paints like those from Little Greene and Farrow & Ball’s sustainable ranges – they can be more expensive but they’re not made with the toxic chemicals from other brands. Look for paints that use water-based paints with low VOCs and no solvents, or oil-based paints that are made with vegetable oils.

7. Shop local

Investing in your local area and the small businesses that are based within it will not only support the local community, it will reduce the amount of transportation required to get your products to your home, and in turn will help with reducing harmful emissions.

These are just a few ways we can reduce the impact we made on the environment from within our home. We’d love to hear yours – please tell us if you have any suggestions. As a furniture business and as a family, we’re constantly striving to be kinder to the earth.



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Oak coat stand handmade in small batches in our Nottingham-based design studio and workshop

 Made with sustainable timber

The bespoke coat stands are made with FSC-certified European oak from sustainably managed forests. The wood is treated with natural oil to celebrate its imperfections and grain.

 Four hand-shaped pieces of oak have four curved hooks, which are carved with smooth grooves for coats to neatly slot into without snagging or damaging garments.

The oak coat stand is ideal for hallways and open-plan spaces to hang everything from cagoules to flat caps and to keep boot bags and umbrellas off the floor.

It is designed in the quintessential coat stand shape and updated with modern angles, making it a beautiful freestanding piece of furniture for an entranceway.

Made to order

The four small acrylic discs at the base of the hooks can be selected in a choice of eight different colours – choose from black, white, green, red, blue, yellow, orange or pink, or a bespoke selection of various colours (select ‘multicoloured’ and enter your choices in the ‘customer requirements’ box when you’re at the checkout).

Notes from Mark
Mark: “The coat stand’s vertical and horizontal lines are inspired by De Stijl furniture and they intersect to create interesting angles. We wanted to develop these classic design principles and apply them to a sustainable material and really celebrate the wood’s natural beauty with the simplicity of the form.”


Width of legs (folded out): 600mm x 600mm

Height (folded out): 1755mm

Width of legs (folded in): 230mm x 230mm

Height (folded in): 1800mm


The Edit Coat Stand will be delivered in sustainable but durable packaging.

It comes folded up in a compact shape and opens with ease.


We hand make each coat stand to allow for your choices. Please allow 4 weeks for delivery.

About Mark Lowe
Mark Lowe is a design studio and workshop creating bespoke handcrafted homeware through sustainable and honest design.

The husband-and-wife business is based in Nottingham, England and the brand was born from a desire to make bespoke everyday objects that are designed to be enjoyed. They started as lighting designers and furniture makers, but over time their business has evolved into homeware and accessories. Read more about Mark and Marianne’s story.

Mark Lowe is featured in many magazine and newspapers including The Metro 

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Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair online – NOW On

Ongoing through to Friday

We are proud to be part of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft fair online 2020.

In 2019 we enjoyed being part of the GNCCF in October in Manchester. This year will be very different and will be held online and on the earlier dates of July 25th -31st.

They have tried to make the ‘show’ as self contained as possible. The idea being that you can visit the show site and see work that is for sale directly. For us, customers will still be able to order the products to their specification which, is the way most customers purchased products from us in the real life shows. The show has been going for many years and there are lots of regular visitors to the physical event. We hope that lots more will be able to attend in its online form this year.

Thank you for visiting and we look forward to seeing you in the coming years.

We are proud to be part of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft fair online 2020.




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Article in the – Lock Down – Beestonian, Creative Beeston

Thank you to Debra Urbacz for letting us be part of the ‘Lock Down’ article, ‘The New State of Independents‘  for Creative Beeston/Beestonian magazine. We enjoyed putting our answers together with Marianne doing the final ‘interview’. It’s the second time Mark Lowe has been feature as part of the Beestonian magazine, thank you, we are always grateful for the publicity.  We’re also always very keen to be part of the local community, it’s such an important aspect of being an individual or business in any area.

Debra does a brilliant job supporting and publicising all the creative people in our local area – of which there are lots. supporting local business in any form is really important. we all need a boost in so many ways!

Thank again and keep safe, Mark

The New State of Independents

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Development of products and Etsy revamp news

Good Morning

Development of products and Etsy revamp news.

I just thought I would do a quick check in this morning. I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy. We are trying our best to keep busy and are looking at aspects of the business that, for various reasons, have been low on the to do list.

I hoping to continue work on a few products that have been put on the back burner including my forever ongoing Overhead lamp. I’ve got some of the development work at a positive point but it feels like there is loads to go. I generally  think products end up much better when you take time to develop them. I tend to have a good few sessions on one and then leave it for a while. When I come back to them I can soon see what bits have worked and what was not good (I was too immersed in it at the time). So, we have a long way to go but hopefully we can creep nearer over the next few weeks. – I’ll keep you updated.

We’ve also been working on our Etsy shop over the last week. It was set up a couple of years ago but had not been our best form of outlet. We had a few sales through it recently so thought it would be worth a bit of time. We will be doing some exclusive promotion through Etsy very soon, so keep your eyes to the ground.

Cheers all


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Being Sustainable with all our packaging

At Mark Lowe we are always trying to be as sustainable as we can. A big part of this is being sustainable with all our packaging. We are always working on how to make our products more sustainable. We know that our customers are not the type of people to buy and then throw away objects after a year or so. Our customers buy our products to last for many years maybe even forever!

When it comes to packaging we want to do the same. Most of our products are posted in some way (see a previous blog on me driving to south Wales for an alternative). We have to make sure that whatever has been ordered will survive the journey, therefore we have to use enough packaging to protect your precious cargo.

We have updated our packaging over the last 6 months and now only use paper packaging for all our products – our shades do come in a plastic bag as this comes from our shade manufacturer. – We have found a good alternative to bubble wrap through a company called Kite packaging which does the job very well. (see picture below).

So, we will continual to work hard and be sustainable with all our packaging.  I think we are doing well so far.

Mark Lowe


Sustainable packaging at mark lowe

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Covid 19


Dear Customers

We thought it was important to add a notice to our website and get in touch with all our customers to explain our position, thoughts and what we are able to do.

It feels like we’ve not been in communication for a while. The world has change (at least for now). Everything feels different and strange this is new to us all.

Apart from all the problems both personal and as a business associated with Covid 19, we have had a terrible family ’emergency’. About 3 weeks ago 2 close family members were involved in a serious road traffic accident. Thankfully both are slowly recovering but it has really changed our world and this is massively compounded by Covid 19.

As I am typing this it feels like we can start to get back on track, even if it is a very different world. We will all need to get used to this way of life for a while and, as a small business, we are able to do most of our work from home. So we are aiming to get moving again. We have the materials and components to continue. We have developed some new products (before all this) and will be getting some (home done) photography and getting them on our website over the next few weeks.

Although we understand that buying interior products is not the priority right now. We do also understand that people are keen to think about life after all this and have time to think about their houses and browsing the web for future dreams or real ambitions.

All the best and keep safe

Mark and Marianne.

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Embankment show at the begining of March

We were pleased to take part in the recent event at The Embankment near Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

The Makers Market is held a few times a year. We had a brilliant spot in a beautiful room to show off or product range. wanted to use the event as a way of enabling some of our local contacts to come and see us and be able to see all our products out on show. We got in touch with all the local interior designers we have talked to and were please to welcome a number of them over the day.

As any business person knows, it is so important to be able to talk top customers ‘in the flesh’ and for them to see our products in front of them and altogether.

We have also developed some new products that we had showcased at the event. We have a key rack in the theme of the Edie coat rack and two different shaped hardwood cutting boards that also follow the theme. We got loads of positive feedback about them. They will be coming to our shop very soon.


Sat 11 April 2020 (Shoreditch, London)

More to come very soon.

Kind Regards




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Featured in Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

We are very please to be featured in Luxury Lifestyle Magazine.

Luxury lifestyle magazine is premium online magazine with an high emphasis on quality and luxury.

They say:

‘Luxury Lifestyle Magazine is the ultimate showcase for five-star travel, fine dining, expensive property. We publish quality over quantity as our affluent and high net readership only want to read about the brands and services that deliver on their promises. This is why the vast majority of the hotels, restaurants and consumer brands featured on this website have been road tested by our expert team of writers. Our responsibility is to connect our loyal readers with only the world’s most prestigious companies.’

Luxury Lifestyle magazine were keen to feature our products because they felt it would fit with their ethos as well as focusing on smaller British businesses. They were very keen to showcase our continuing strive for more sustainable products in all the ways we can.

We are very happy with the article and feel it reflects us well. Thank you and we will see more in the future.

Have a read Article



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Primary Christmas Pop up

Primary Christmas Pop up market

Come and Visit Mark Lowe at the Primary Christmas pop up

We are pleased and excited to be part of the Primary Christmas pop up again this year. Based at the Primary Studios on Seely Road, Nottingham this event always attracts a lot of top quality makers. it has become very popular over the last few years with lots of people attending to enjoy browsing, buying, eating and drinking. Each year Universal Works has had a end of stock sale throughout the 2 days. As well as makers there are food and drink sellers that make the highest quality produce. Based in the building are Lane homewares who will have a sale throughout there studio. Alongside them are the award winning Small food bakery who have a café based within the building and specialise in sourdough bread as well as many other treats.

We will be there with all our products. So if you love what we do but have only seen us online or through Instagram come and see the real thing. There will also be 10% off throughout the weekend.

Come along and visit Mark Lowe at the Primary Christmas pop up and experience all of this on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December.