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Our established economy follows the path of take-make-dispose; where products are developed without systematic consideration, then left for others to manage wherever they end up in the wider environment. The results of this behaviour are widely known; for the last 100 years the majority of materials have either been discarded, incinerated, or buried; entire ecosystems on which we and countless other species depend have been exploited, destroyed, or pushed to collapse; terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments have been polluted extensively, and social inequality is at extreme levels globally.
Waste - With ever increasing amounts of useful materials being discarded every year, the economy needs to develop in order to make sustainable business models more feasible.
In a world of finite resources, these issues are accentuated by the ever-increasing pressures of consumption, human population, and rising economic development. More and more people are demanding access to higher living standards, and the products that enable these lifestyles are created with little planning for the materials that make them and how they are to be managed at the end of their useful life.
Sustainable product design does not accept this established orthodoxy, and instead actively targets the most serious issues we face. It is through this ingrained opposition to the traditional economy that the power to create truly disruptive business models and new product experiences can be found.
- More and more people are demanding access to higher living standards, and the products that enable these lifestyles are created with little planning for the materials that make them and how they are to be managed at the end of their useful life.
To One over three, these problems represent the most compelling challenges that society and design faces today. As a collective, we embrace this responsibility and make it our imperative to do the best we can to create considered products that are balanced within the economy.
Want to Know More About Sustainable Product Design?
In this series of articles, we explore the key drivers of sustainable design, the barriers we face, and also how we as a design consultancy try to tackle these problems: