Earlier this year, SUITE NY was invited to attend the Design for Freedom Summit at Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut. Located on 80 acres of publicly accessible, preserved natural landscape, Grace Farms is the epicenter for Design for Freedom, a movement which brings industry leaders together to eliminate forced labor in the building materials supply chain, create true market transformation, and build a more equitable future. This week, we wanted to take the opportunity to share some of what we have learned about this incredible organization.
Share In Something Greater
SUITE NY serves Grace Farms Foods coffee and tea at our NoMad showroom. Grace Farms Foods is a certified B Corp that gives 100% of its profits to supporting the work of Design for Freedom and ending forced labor worldwide. Together, they are building a community of coffee and tea enthusiasts who are making the world a more just, sustainable, and peaceful place- one delicious sip and drip at a time.
Global Leaders Committed to Eliminating Forced Labor
Launched in October 2020, Design for Freedom by Grace Farms has an audacious mission to harness the power of the built environment for justice: to create a radical paradigm shift by removing forced labor from the building materials supply chain. The movement was initialized by Grace Farms Foundation and has galvanized more than 80 industry leaders and experts to join a working group and movement.
A Radical Paradigm Shift Driven by Global Leaders in the Built Environment
Design For Freedom works to illuminate forced labor in the building materials supply chain and develop and incorporate an anti-slavery ethos in the design and construction process. Over the last several decades, the sustainability movement has helped pave the way for this next step in material transparency and architectural justice. At this historic time, social injustices, climate crisis, global conflict, and the COVID-19 pandemic have illuminated supply chain risk and lack of transparency.
Eliminating Forced Labor
Design for Freedom leaders are initializing institutional responses to employ ethical material selection and procurement practices and embrace material circularity to eliminate material flow where forced labor is the most prevalent while increasing environmental sustainability. Pragmatically, mandating a measure of material transparency in new projects is just beginning with leaders in the movement. Advocates ranging from owners to construction managers to manufacturers and associated AEC teams will benefit from transparency tools and platforms, leading to market transformation.
Grace Farms Foundation’s interdisciplinary humanitarian mission is to pursue peace through five initiatives — nature, arts, justice, community, and faith. They support not-for-profits, government agencies, and other partners by offering free access to space at Grace Farms, as well as provide food to local food equity partners including the Domestic Violence Crisis Center and Open Door Shelter. In addition to offering space grants and providing meals, Grace Farms hosts local school groups and partners with community organizations on meaningful on-site programs.