Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sustainable new product design in sportswear

I found the article below particularly relevant since it addresses several of the areas we will cover this week and which are in the week’s readings, within the context of well-known companies and events, where we may not necessarily think they exist. These relevant topics include:


Practices at Herman Miller, the furniture maker

A sustainable / green supply chain for new product designs at Nike and Wal-Mart

The Cradle to Cradle concept

A goal driven approach to sustainable new product design

The idea of making products from “biological and technical nutrients”

Life cycle improvement


Also, although I personally view the Cradle to Cradle concept and green products as positive ones which could be revenue drivers, to a certain extent, for organizations which adopt them, I do agree with the opinion stated at the end of the article. “Going green” is often used as a gimmick to attract customers and I remain unconvinced that it has gained significant traction in most profit-seeking companies. Based on this, I think the article analyses both sides of the coin briefly but realistically.



In addition, the article below in The Guardian (UK) highlights an important aspect of sustainable new product design, which is often overlooked, but is actually one of the most important influencers on new product design, sometimes even more influential than the design creators: the role of the customer. Despite this fact, I found it interesting that according to the article, just 16 % of product designers in a recent survey viewed sustainability as important in winning clientele. In my opinion, this is probably a contributor to the limited number of truly sustainable product design supply chain networks. 




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