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New product  | Hellene wooden propagator: Mark Lowe x Olivia Aspinall

Perfect for test tube propagation

We’re excited to launch Hellene, our new wall-hung wooden propagator and planter, in collaboration with our friends Olivia Aspinall, a surface and product design studio just up the road from us in Nottingham.

Fusing innovative design with traditional craftsmanship, it presents a pleasing combination of visual textures: oak, terrazzo, glass and foliage, with a hint of pattern and colour. It has an elegant, slim shape and is a timeless, functional design piece for your space.

An eco-friendly propagation unit made without plastic

We believe in making objects that will stand the test of time, as we’re against today’s throwaway plastic culture. We use FSC-certified European oak from sustainably managed forests and waste products from Olivia’s studio.

Olivia Aspinall’s eco resin in terrazzo

 We first met Olivia at a Primary Studios market, set up by our friends at Lane, another Nottingham-based homeware brand. We had a stall next to Olivia’s and immediately hit it off. Since then, we’ve collaborated on a number of products using Olivia’s terrazzo composite discs, including our coat racks, chopping boards and cheese boards. We also share a stand at Nottingham’s Sneinton Market Avenues for local independent brands.

When we first started designing the propagator, we knew we wanted to finish it with a terrazzo composite. We chose pieces of handmade eco resin in terrazzo, which are made with waste pieces and recycled offcuts from their studio. The eco resin is hand cast, sanded and sealed. Every single piece of Olivia’s terrazzo composite is unique, with different shapes, flecks and colours, in the same way that every piece of our wood is slightly different, due to it being a natural material.

Olivia said: “We love working with Mark and Marianne for our homeware collections. It’s always wonderful to find local makers that make beautiful products but primarily it’s really important to us that nothing in our studio goes to waste. Mark Lowe uses our studio offcuts in the most considered way, adding little highlights of pattern and colours into their wooden pieces.”

A practical, space-saving propagator

We designed the propagator for everyone, not just our green-fingered customers. We want the cuttings and flowers to be seen and enjoyed as much as possible. It’s wall-hung to take up minimal space and to maximise the beauty of the flowers. It’s plastic-free, sustainable and beautiful and a small, affordable piece of design.

Green-fingered gifts

They’re the perfect gift for your green-fingered friends who want to get started with horticulture at home. A great addition to any houseplant collection, they’re an ideal plant-related present, particularly for those who are fascinated by the growing process.


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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