Tell us a little bit about yourself.
"Hi, I am Anouk, a 34 year old designer and entrepreneur. I graduated in 2010 as a civil engineer architect, worked for four years as an architect in Norway and came back to Belgium in 2014 to start my own design company: By Anouk.
Throughout the years, I have immersed myself in creating warm and peaceful interiors. Both residential as well as offices, showrooms, even coffee and wine bars,..."
Which sustainable alternatives do you implement in your life?
"When I design products and spaces, I always consciously search for durable and timeless design solutions to minimise waste. My goal is that my clients are satisfied with the design over a long period of time. In addition, when I design my products, I always try to create products that are easy to disassemble and recycle."
Since when or how did you get involved in environmental awareness?
"During my studies of civil engineering architecture I went on an Erasmus exchange to the University of Vienna. This was back in the year of 2009-2010. The focus on sustainability at this university was immense and had a huge impact on my own designs and in particular, the choice of my materials."
What is a sustainable lifestyle for you?
"A lifestyle where your choices have a minimal negative impact on the environment and one's health. I try to focus on the durability and quality of the products. For example, clothing and interior objects that last a long time with minimal wear and tear."
Why did you choose Live Light?
"Live Light offers me the possibility to try out some different settings before investing in the final furniture setup. For example, one of the Live Light items I have chosen was a quite outstanding terracotta-colored carpet. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to be a good match with the rest of the interior. So I swapped it with a more neutral coloured carpet and Live Light could pass it on to another happy customer. This way it could be reused! Because of the superior quality of the products of Live Light, it is possible to hand over items from one customer to the next with a minimum of wear and tear. Brands with an inferior quality don't have this asset and will go to the waste pile rather quickly.
I think Live Light could be a perfect solution for students or expats to temporarily furnish their studio with qualitative furniture instead of cheap objects that most likely will be thrown away after a short period of time."
What is your advice to others to consume more consciously?
"Avoid trend-based impulse buys. Definitely when it comes to larger, important interior choices (think sofas, carpets, curtains,...). Your interior is not something you switch day to day as you do with clothing. Save up some more money to invest in qualitative items. You come home to it every day, so don't underestimate the impact of your interior to your mood and wellbeing."
What is the one item you will never buy again?
"It's not one item, it's more like a category of items that I regret buying. In the past, I got easily tempted to buy cheap accessories from large interior stores. First, I was positively surprised by the low price, but afterwards I was negatively surprised by the speed at which it wears out. For example, I once bought a good-looking bathmat made from a material that apparently wasn't suitable for washing. So, after a couple of months it looked so torn down, I wouldn't even dare to drop it off at the thrift shop. And so, it ended up in the trash can. Now I try to avoid these cheap impulse buys and search for more qualitative, durable alternatives that last way longer."