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Happy spring. This season, we’re looking forward to more colour and more light.

Happy spring. This season, we’re looking forward to more colour and more light. We’re enjoying the longer days to spend time in our workshop making your accessories, as well spending more time with friends and family.

Edward entertaining

The joy of sharing food is really important in our family – we even named the cutting board collection after our son Ted. We wanted to make a beautiful statement piece that’s thoughtfully made and can bring design to the centre of the dining table. Over the bank holidays, we’ve been doing just that. Our Edward Chopping and Charcuterie boards are ideal for table centrepieces and sharing platters.

As featured in


We were thrilled to see our Hellene Propagator in May’s issue of Gardens Illustrated and April’s issue of Bloom Magazine, just in time for spring propagation and cuttings.


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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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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