We Reached The Top! A Climb to the Top of Kilimanjaro

Interview with Matthew Eisenhower | Sustainable Furniture Matters

Sponsored by Inside Out Contracts, Matthew Eisenhower climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro to support the charity Dig Deep.

You are climbing Kilimanjaro for Charity, what can other designers, like you, learn from this?

To my fellow designers, interior designers, and architects; do you work to help create hospitality venues into something truly special? Me too. Everyone in the contract furniture or upholstery design world is aware of sustainability. None of us want to be wasteful and we all want to support a more sustainable way of creating beautiful spaces, using more sustainable contract furniture, for the hospitality world.

As you will know, a lot of investment is being made into the technology to be able to create more eco-friendly manufacturing processes. However, whilst this can have a long-term positive impact, there are still many problems, which are happening in the world right now. Furniture manufacturing is looking at resource efficiency, including water waste reduction. But what does water efficiency really mean and how does that impact the people who really need that difference in water quality right now?

In Kenya’s poorest areas, 8 out of 10 people lack access to clean water, safe toilets, and good hygiene. The basics that all of us are used to.

So, what I would like to communicate to my fellow designers, is that making sustainable choices in upholstery and manufacturing processes really does make a difference. Caring about not wasting water in our day-to-day life and helping those to get these basic needs met, really does help to create a world with less suffering and more health. That’s a gift worth trying to give.

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Why is climbing Kilimanjaro for Dig Deep worth it?

We all like to relax at home with a pizza after a busy day at work. None of us wake up, one morning with the idea that we need to climb Kilimanjaro.

I was inspired to do this by my younger sister who started the climb team at her university and told me all about the charity and the work that they did. It wasn’t easy as I needed to raise money for the charity which involved reaching out to organizations such as Inside Out Contracts who I know would also care about a cause like this. Thanks to the help Inside Out and others I managed to exceed my target and raise over £2700 for Dig Deep

I also needed to prepare physically and trained for around 6 months with most of the training being in the last 3 months, to gain the strength and stamina to be able to do the climb. My training routine included multiple days a week in the gym doing cardio and weekly 6 mile or longer hikes with big elevation changes to prepare for climb.

Other preparation included reading about survival techniques (just in case) and understanding how the altitude would impact my breathing as I got to the top.

Ultimately, despite the hard work and focus required to do this trip, I decided that helping this charity would help to promote the importance of clean water being available to everyone and how, focusing on water waste reduction in the industry, matters as well.

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Now that you have done the climb (a big well done) what difference has your climb made to the charity and people of Kenya?

Every penny raised helps. It helps directly and enables Dig Deep to build wells, clean toilets and increase access to clean safe water primarily in Bomet County, South West Kenya. The region currently has around 700,000 residents who lack access to clean water or safe toilet facilities.

Also, promoting the charity helps to raise awareness of both the good work the charity does, as well as the problem it is trying to fix.

It is all too easy for us all to get wrapped up in today’s project at work and forget that we have the choice every day, to help make a difference in our world. The choices we make do matter.

So, save water where you can choose products that are made with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind and where possible try to help those around you.

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