Jane Langley is an artist, environmentalist and founder of the social enterprise Blue Patch. Blue Patch is Britain’s sustainable marketplace, brimming with beautiful things made by people who share a vision for a brighter world. Jane attended Camberwell, Royal College of Art, and taught at City and Guilds London Art School for thirteen years. In 2008 Jane launched Cool It Schools, an online environmental project for young people, providing a creative and positive way to learn and care about the environment. Cool It Schools helped pave the way for Blue Patch, which now in its second trading year and features over two hundred members in the growing community.
1- In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do
I’m a sponge, absorbing what people running businesses tell me on a daily basis. All the information I accumulate goes into bluepatch.org, the marketplace for British and sustainable products and services which I run with five other women. I oversee all aspects of our social enterprise from tech to tea.
2- Who inspires you?
Blue Patch members with their integrity, skill and the respect they show their customers. Rosa Luxembourg for her lucidity and courage, the New Economics Foundation and Transition Network for opening my mind. And ultimately my daughter Holly and all people for whom we must get this world in better shape.
3- What is the biggest change you want to see in the world?
A ‘global switch’ to renewable energy.
4- What would you like to be remembered for?
Maybe my lentil hotpot and managing to scale up an altruistic social enterprise so we can direct capital into local green businesses, community projects and renewable energy generation.
5- What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year?
The idea that money gets trapped in over production – think of all those stores rammed with unwanted clothes at sales. It’s not a new idea as such but seeing this in action validates that we should all make a point of buying locally, fairly and slowly.
6- Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?
Head to bluepatch.org to browse and buy from our members! Or if you have a business please apply to join Blue Patch as a member of our growing collective of British and sustainable makers, doers and shakers.