Innovative examples of sustainable product design – The Upcoming

Innovative examples of sustainable product design

April 14, 2022


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Sustainable product design is the process of creating and manufacturing products and services that take into account their environmental, economic and social impacts, from the initial stages to the end of the product’s life. This article explores some amazing examples of design of innovative and sustainable products.

Adidas x Parley for Ocean sneakers

Adidas has partnered with environmental society Parley for the Oceans to create the first collection of running shoes made from recycled plastics and materials recovered from the ocean. The initiative only saw the release of 50 pairs of shoes, which had to be ‘earned’ rather than bought, meaning people looking to get a pair had to enter a contest on Instagram by posting a video demonstrating their commitment to avoiding the use of single plastic. some products.

Originally designed by Alexander Taylor, the shoes are created using Adidas’ existing manufacturing processes for footwear, with standard synthetic fibers replaced with yarns made from recycled Parley Ocean Plastic. The green wave pattern on the upper of the shoes was created using recycled gillnets, sourced straight from the sea before being transformed into eco-friendly fibers. The rest of the top is built using plastic collected from the waters surrounding the Maldives, where the government is working with Parley to address plastic waste issues. The original concept was unveiled in prototype form in July 2015, before a version combining recycled uppers with 3D-printed soles, which used plastic from the ocean, was released later that year.

Sustainable kitchen units by Form Us with Love for Ikea

Kungsbacka is Ikea’s first kitchen created from recycled plastic bottles and recycled industrial wood. Each of the kitchen units contains 25 plastic bottles, designed by Swedish studio Form Us with Love, with the intention of making “sustainability accessible to everyone”.

The main structure of each kitchen is created from reclaimed wood, with the cladding made from recycled plastic bottles. The studio opted for a simple outline in a matte gray coloring with the intention of producing a “timeless” design. Glossy black Hackås handles contrast with the matte surface of the cupboards. As is often found with most kitchen units from Ikea, each cabinet is modular and can be positioned to fit almost any space.

Durable products are often far too expensive to produce, due to the extensive research and development typically involved. Consequently, production strategies were needed to ensure that the kitchen units were viable alternatives to similar products on the market. Both companies await the final product design units are durable for 25 years, with Ikea working to introduce other sustainable product lines to its catalog.

Solving water contamination problems: the Peepoo bag

An excellent example of sustainable product design is the Peepoo bag, created by the Swedish company Peepoople. The main objective of the bag is to solve the problems of water contamination, mainly in the disaster areas of the world.

The Peepoo consists of a small biodegradable plastic bag with an inner urea liner. It is intended for one-time use and is then tied from the top and discarded. Urea is the main ingredient in modern synthetic fertilizers, accelerating the breakdown of feces or urine into ammonia and carbonate. The idea is that in two to four weeks the bag will decompose and sterilize the waste so that it no longer poses a threat to health and can even be used as fertilizer.

Six-pack edible rings to reduce ocean waste by Saltwater Brewery

Saltwater Brewery has used the leftover by-products of the brewing process to produce six-pack beer can rings that can be safely consumed by wildlife in the ocean.

The organization worked with We Believers, a New York advertising agency, to replace their plastic rings with bio-based materials made from edible wheat and barley.

Using waste from the beer-making process, they were able to develop what they perceive to be the first 100% biodegradable, edible and compostable packaging implemented in the beer and liquor industry.

Initially, the group experimented with using seaweed, but it became too rigid out of the water, posing the potential risk of severing or suffocating wildlife that encountered it when it washed ashore. the shore. That’s when they combined the wheat and barley left over from the brewing process and molded it into the standard six-ring shape.

If the packaging ends up in the ocean, it can start to break down within hours, further solving the common problem of animals getting stuck in it. The organization aims to produce 400,000 six-pack edible rings each month, at a cost of between 10 and 15 US cents per unit.

Editorial unit

James T. Quintero