From the idyllic Cornish town Falmouth, Kingdom & Sparrow is revolutionizing the style of sustainable packaging. We visited the studio
When you stand in front of the former School of Art in Falmouth, Cornwall, where Kingdom & Sparrow create their stunning packagings and corporate designs, and you get on your tiptoes, you can see the sea, the harbor – and the waves into which the designers plunge now and then. The international success of the studio is not only due to talent and vision for sustainable packaging. The founders Daniel Gradwell and Johnny Paton are strongly convinced that it’s also the result of their lifestyle, which includes turning off the computers at 5:30 p.m. We talked to them and Client Director Sophie Cowles about work-life balance, the studio’s incredible craftsmanship in style, the beauty of Cornwall – and the future of packaging.
When I tried to contact you, the auto-reply stated that no mails are getting answered because you’re on a team day. So, what was that about? (laughs) Sophie Cowles: We have a team day once a year where we all go out together. That is very important to us. This time our team day was connected to the pro bono work for a local mental health charity whose ethos comes from the healing power of the sea. They have a beautiful sailboat and we sailed with the crew around the coastline. It was amazing. Daniel Gradwell: It was quite a contrast to sitting at our desks and it was very Cornish that it was raining (laughs). Besides pulling the ropes, we had mindfulness exercises and group meditations on deck.
I assumed the team day might have had something to do with you being a B Corp studio now – which means that you are certified for meeting not only the highest environmental standards, but also the highest social ones. Daniel: We became a B Corp just a couple of months ago. The boat trip was part of things we’re doing anyway to look after each other and to address topics like well-being and mental health too.
How did you come to attain B Corp status? Daniel: Aside from working with a lot of B Corps, we’re always pushing our clients towards sustainable solutions. But we felt that we were never really looking at becoming a B Corp ourselves. So, we decided to do it. But it’s a long process and took well over a year to get everything together.