Byron and Dexter Peart want to build a kinder, smarter, more beautiful world.
The Montreal-based twin brothers who co-founded luxe accessories brand WANT Les Essentiels in 2000, are readying themselves for their next act: GOODEE, an e-commerce platform that curates elegant ceramic pots, chairs, and pillows for highly-discerning, design-obsessed customers. Every brand GOODEE carries is evaluated on the following criteria: was it designed with a clear mandate of making the world a better place?
“Dex and I have had the idea at large for GOODEE for about three years, so we’re quite excited that right now the market has finally caught up,” Byron tells FASHION. The seed for GOODEE came after numerous dinner party conversations about how to navigate life in uncertain times. “I remember sitting at one dinner and Dexter saying, ‘There are at least hundreds of thousands of people having the same conversation at this moment.’ And then the person we were having dinner with says, ‘It’s probably more like millions.’”
GOODEE’s goal is to capitalize on the burgeoning social consciousness of those who have been shaken out of complacency by the troubled political climate. “Because people want to know more about where things are from, or how things are made, or know more about the supply chain, arbiters of style and taste are going to have to play an active role in trying to make that edit.”
Brands they have already begun working with include ecoBirdy, a brand creating children’s chairs out of recycled plastic toys, and Haeckels, a skincare brand derived from seaweed and natural minerals. Ultimately, they aim to create searchable criteria where individual consumers can connect with products that cater to their specific interests.
GOODEE aligns themselves broadly with the UN’s sustainable development goals and has an application for B Corp Status currently pending, but, “We’re not going to let this idea of perfection get in the way of good,” says Byron. As long as a product has been conceived with clear, purposeful intentions and happens to be nice to look at, it’s good enough for GOODEE. Byron and Dexter see their role as that of “trusted curators” who amplify the stories of artisans and makers and provide a platform for them to sell their wares on a global scale.
The three pillars of the brand, they say, are, “Good people, good design, and good impact,” which reads as an extension of the four core principles they used to co-found WANT: beautiful, intelligent, universal and purposeful. Their focus on carrying “beautifully designed products are actually built to last” demonstrates consistency in brand values which suggests GOODEE is the real deal.
“When you type ‘wellness’ into Google, you can pretty much expect to see a Lululemon Pinterest page or whatever,” say Byron. “What’s interesting about this space is that [goodness] is still not visually identified, and that’s the journey that we’re on right now.” The brand’s goal is an ambitious one–to both define “goodness” and make it cool.
GOODEE’s bid to help shift the visual identity of ethical consumption away from wrinkled linen and Birkenstocks just might work. If Byron and Dexter Peart have succeeded at anything, it’s ensuring that simple is synonymous with beautiful and luxe doesn’t compete with practical. Their thoughtful, design-first approach may be just what the world needs to finally merge the twin pillars of ethical consumption and good design.