Sophie is an established leader in communication and design, and in the investigation and promotion of circular economy design principles. She has been working in the fields of ethical design, behaviour change and material process through her agency, Thomas.Matthews ltd for nearly 20 years, and as Director of Design for Useful Simple Projects.
Her long term interest in materials has led Sophie to share her experience of closed loop thinking with other designers. In 2012, she founded The Great Recovery, http://www.greatrecovery.org.uk a programme that builds capacity and understanding around circular design in the materials supply chain, It has been investigating the impact of design in a circular economy system until 2016, running through the RSA in partnership with Innovate UK.
Through her work on The Great Recovery Sophie has become a leader in sustainable product and process design advising industries like the Oil and Gas and the Construction sectors in how to consider design from a closed loop perspective. Sophie has an in-depth knowledge of material use and how to reduce the impact of design on the environment. She is often invited by government and projects to support the drive for more sustainable design solutions.
Sophie has assisted global businesses and UK government organisations to define the role of designers within discussions around waste streams, resource efficiency and circular economies, and has worked with major organisations including Proctor and Gamble, Howies and Samsung on new models for circular business, internal communication of sustainable systems and external sustainability campaigns.
Her work at the RSA has led to her being design advisor for the Circular Economy Task Force and on the committee for the ‘Industry Evolution’ report published in October 2015. In 2014 Sophie became one of the first designers to become a Chartered Waste Manager for her work around designing out waste streams and circular system design and has been nominated for CIWM’s Industry Leader of the Year. She has recently taken on a trustee role at WRAP and has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship at UAL.