TM thinks differently

Why do something because that’s how it has always been done? There’s always a way to find a way, and for over 20 years our TM have been leading the charge with sustainable design. Our founding partner Sophie Thomas and team, help others to use design and sustainability to make better business.

As a director at Thomas.Matthews and our sister sustainability consultancy Useful Projects, Sophie works at the intersection of sustainability and design. Delivering facilitation, strategic consultancy and physical outcomes, Sophie’s deep experience and unique perspective delivers effective, sustainable design thinking for a wide range of clients.

Since founding the studio, Sophie has built up a wealth of rich design knowledge and has collaborated with clients around the world. Inspired by creative excellence Sophie is determined to make a difference through practice. Her long-term curiosity for all types of material, and interest in behaviour change has driven Sophie to advocate closed loop thinking in, and beyond, the design sector. From articles about the end of life of coffee cups and plastic bottles in Creative Review and Eye magazine to considering the re-use of decommissioned oil rigs, her investigation and interrogation of how we make and subsequently ‘unmake’ the things around us is an integral part of her creative vision.

In 2012, she founded The Great Recovery, a programme that built capacity and understanding around circular design in the materials supply chain. It investigated the impact of design in a circular economy system through to 2016, running through the RSA in partnership with Innovate UK and helped kickstart circular design thinking in numerous businesses. Declared as one of the 50 Women to Watch in 2010 by the UK’s Cultural Leadership Programme and one of the original Creative 50 Leaders named by Creative Review in 2016, founder Sophie Thomas has continuously been recognised for putting sustainable thinking into the heart of design.

Sophie helps global businesses and national government organisations maximise the value of design and designers to support innovation in decarbonisation, waste streams, resource efficiency and circular economies. In 2014 Sophie became one of the first designers to become a Chartered Waste Manager (CIWM) and has been nominated twice for CIWM’s Industry Leader of the Year. She is a trustee for the charity WRAP (Waste, Resources Action Programme) amongst many other roles teaching and judging.

Find out more about how we think and work:

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“The incorporation of ideas like ‘the circular economy’ into more mainstream design thinking has no doubt been helped because of the studio’s influential example. Yet Thomas has also worked to bring this thinking into businesses and UK government organisations, proving how designers are key to discussions around communication, materials, waste and the efficiency of resources.”

Creative 50, Creative Review Magazine

Sophie Thomas presenting at Ecobuild. © Unknown
The Great Recovery identity. © Thomas.Matthews Communication Design
A still from ‘Plastic Ocean’. © Peter Clarkson

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Design Declares October 2022
Sophie Thomas on product design and sustainability August 2022
Learning Through Letterpress July 2022
Colour as a tool July 2022
Antiwar Communication April 2022
Communication design for sustainability in principle and in practice November 2021
Design and Culture November 2020
Creativity during Covid April 2020
Broken Ocean February 2019
Plastic Pollution: Can we design ourselves out of this mess? November 2018
TM20 April 2018
Glassblowing January 2018
Living and Decaying in the Plastic Age November 2017
What am I supposed to do with this cup? March 2017