Sustainability is one of the most important aspects that I would like to include in my project and products. Our global future depends on sustainability so I thought it was only a good idea to use this project to learn more about it and ways in which my products can not only be artistic and unique but also benefit our world. I would like to reduce my impact on the environment and by creating products I have the option to be considerate and incorporate recycled and organic eco friendly materials.
Things I could do to make sure my products are more sustainable:
- Source materials more locally to decrease transportation emissions and costs.
- Use reclaimed, post industrial materials when possible.
- Reduce the amount of material needed through part design.
- Use minimal packaging and stay away from plastic.
- Use things like string and card instead of plastic.
- Try and source recycled products to use.
Eco design can be far less damaging to the environment as it can make recycling in the future easier and not filling up landfills. Making the products good quality and strong enough to last a very long time is also extremely important as this will promote durability and will not be thrown away.
When sourcing my products to add my designs to it is also very important to consider and look for certification of the company or websites efforts to not impact the environment on a damaging level.
I would also like to ensure that my products are multifunctional to encourage customers to do more with less which in turn promotes environmental benefits. It is a good idea to select manufacturers of my products who are energy efficient and look towards promoting sustainability.
Ways in which I can source and produce sustainable products:
- Small printed bags – I can source these from a company called bidbi which stands for (bag it don’t bin it) this organisation promotes eco friendly bags, they produce durable products that do not harm the earth. They use either 100% organic cotton or recycled materials which makes canvas.
- Wooden serving boards – I will be sourcing this wood from a fairtraders that uses recycled oak so it will not be damaging the environment further.
- Wood key rings – I will be obtaining the wood key rings from a seller on etsy that transforms old pieces of wood into simple plain wood key rings that I will then add my designs to, this will also be supporting a small artist on etsy by buying my product from there.
- Small tray/dish – A little while ago I was shopping in Aldi and picked up these small passion fruit desserts that came in small black ceramic pots. After I finished them I decided to wash the pots out and keep them for time I decided to be creative. After thinking about it I have decided to include them in my project as it is a perfect example of recycling. I will be adding white ink designs to the outside to transform it into something unique rather than throwing it away.
“Many companies around the world have made huge strides to make sure that their operations are kinder to the planet. We’re not just talking the usual, “Please think before printing this email” message – we’re talking some of the world’s biggest companies and brands’ going that extra mile to ensure that everything they do is considerate of the environment.” (Paul Smith, 2012)
Below I have looked at some companies who focus on being sustainable and eco friendly:
IKEA – they were the first major retailer to switch off incandescent lights in its stores and currently only sells energy efficient lighting. Because they have to make use of large amounts of timber they have been working with sustainable practices to do so.
Nike – has introduced many green measures in recent years but it has worked tirelessly to tackle the difficult issues of ensuring environmentally friendly practises in its supply chain.
Earth Tec – This clothing manufacturer shows recycling in action and uses plastic bottles, amongst other items, in its production process. The organisation claims that for every Earth Tec garment you buy, 12 of those bottles have been saved from the landfill.
TOMS – This shoe company is a good example to all other companies as they advertise that every shoe you buy another pair of shoes is donated to somewhere that can’t afford them.