24 September 2020
Mass produced products are proliferating in society, and many cases they are often essential devices, fixtures and fittings that bring functional support, improved safety, convenience, and of course entertainment.
Their utility in everyday life is something many of us take for granted, however their value and service come with impacts and issues that demand environmentally focused attention across the product life-cycle and throughout the supply chain. The impacts and issues are diverse including:
And many of these issues are being addressed by manufacturers, brands and the wider industry, by governments, by universities and research institutions, by non-government organisations, and by consumers empowering themselves to ensure the right to repair for example.
So the imperative is very clear, especially for those who design, make and specify products and materials. We need to shift from the take-make-waste model of production and consumption to a circular mode of thinking and action. To a significant degree this means:
The transition to a circular economy needs collaboration at unprecedented levels and a much more rigorous view of the tools, models, strategies, investments and policies that can deliver next level change. Indeed, designers are well placed to innovate at unprecedented levels in pursuit of responsible prosperity and circular outcomes.
The ability to design-out pollution and waste from the outset will be key measure of success, and designers are the most obvious ‘first responders’.
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Bought to you in association with Autex. Proud Sponsor of 2020 Sustainability Awards.
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