At The Baltic Club, we assume our environmental responsibility and admire those who commit to make a difference. Luce Mainguy and her boutique, DDD, where we can find some of our products, is a Montréal pioneer of durable design and a leader of change in the design industry. Here’s a profile of this inspiring lady and her boutique.
When in London, Luce Mainguy, a Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design product design graduate, learns about eco-design.
“For me, eco-design was an epiphany. […] I was discovering a way to design in which logic, intelligence and keeping in mind our planet preservation during products’ conception was essential.”
This conception of design stays ingrained in her brain, and over the years, she draws up a supplier and eco-conceived products list, up until the moment is right to actively start celebrating sustainable design.
Indeed, in 2018, Mainguy opens DDD boutique , standing for Dedicated to Durable Design, online and gives it the mission to “inspire people to lower their environmental impact through design.” To achieve this goal, the owner looks back on her years of research and comes up with 3 rules and 12 selection criteria which all the items available at DDD will have to meet. While the rules are pretty straightforward – each item had to be design, durable and ecologically responsible – the selection criteria are broader, ranging from product biodegradability to whether the business that makes them is ethical. The Baltic Club products available at DDD meet a range of criteria, from “locally produced” and “ethical company,” to “recyclable products” to “minimalistic product.” A product that meets multiple criteria obviously has more chances to be selected than another.
Although all criteria are of the utmost importance, one prevails. Indeed, the “locally produced” criterion – be it from Montreal or the province of Quebec – will always reign if a product qualifies. Thus, any greeting card, candle or beauty product available at DDD will exclusively be locally produced. Yet, giving the example of an inox coffee cup, Mainguy explains that this criterion cannot be required for every item.
“If a product is a great alternative to disposable plastic cups, I can’t require this criterion, as there is no Canadian factory sustainably making this kind of product.”
Seeing as DDD’s mission is to offer quality sustainable alternatives to disposable products, criteria like reusability and social responsibility according to international certification would then be prioritized.
In 2019, DDD opens a storefront and starts organizing workshops, thus getting involved in its community in a more concrete way, mingling with people with shared values, and providing further information when the shop can’t offer a product as a solution. Using her selection criteria, Mainguy can then partner with local businesses and offer creative classes to her clients, ranging from knitting lessons to soap making. Similarly to The Baltic Club’s former Creative Sessions, DDD’ workshops are on hold until the end of the health crisis.
DDD's popularity skyrocketed since its opening on Beaubien Street, and The Baltic Club has had the chance to be featured there since the beginning. We feel honoured to be attached to this awesome brand, as its sustainability mission is in perfect balance with our values.
The owner notices daily the impact of her boutique on its community. Often, passersby wander in, discover great sustainable alternatives, and leave with a product they will then use daily. Witnessing such change delights Luce Mainguy, who is very proud of facilitating easy and ecologically responsible changes. “Beauty, or good design, helps to take the first step, I’m sure of it !”
(All quotes from Luce Mainguy are translated from French.)