Longer lasting products: alternatives to the throwaway by Tim Cooper

By Tim Cooper

The current economic climate calls for us to devour and throw away progressively more items. but frequently it really is our hope, and the simplest pursuits of our environment, for those items to final. The participants to this publication, who contain the various most important foreign thinkers within the box, discover how longer lasting items may well provide superior price whereas decreasing environmental affects. If we created fewer yet greater caliber items, sorted them conscientiously and invested extra in fix, protection and upgrading, could this direct our financial system onto a extra sustainable direction? the answer sounds easy, but it calls for a seismic shift in how we predict, no matter if as manufacturers or shoppers, and our voracious urge for food for novelty.
The advanced diversity of matters linked to product life-spans calls for a multidisciplinary process. The publication covers historic context, layout, engineering, advertising, legislation, govt coverage, customer behaviour and platforms of provision. It addresses the entire diversity of purchaser durables — automobiles, kitchen home equipment, audio-visual gear and different family items, furnishings and ground coverings, undefined, backyard instruments, garments, loved ones textiles, leisure items and DIY items — in addition to the re-use of packaging.
Longer Lasting Products presents coverage makers, these inquisitive about product layout, production and advertising and marketing, and we all as shoppers, with transparent and compelling information as to how we will stream clear of a throwaway tradition in the direction of an financial system sustained by means of harder items.

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Sources of Obsolescence The causes of inadequate product longevity in industrialized countries are complex. Obsolescence, when a product falls into disuse, has been categorized in various ways. Packard (1963) distinguished obsolescence of function, quality the significance of product longevity 15 and desirability. He considered obsolescence of function, through which ‘an existing product becomes outmoded when a product is introduced that performs the function better’, to be acceptable. 26 The OECD (1982) report differentiated between the influence of producers and consumers upon product life-spans.

This led to far greater attention being given to the environmental impact of consumer products, which in turn stimulated discussion on longevity in the context of sustainable design (Burall 1991; Fiksel 1996; Charter and Tischner 2001; Lewis and Gertsakis 2001; Vezzoli and Manzini 2008), the utilization of products (Stahel and Jackson 1993; Stahel 2010; Barbiroli 2008; Mont 2008; Weaver 2008) and waste reduction (De Young et al. 1993; Coggins 2001; Runkel 2003; OECD 2004; King et al. 2006; Eunomia et al.

Functional attributes may change as a result of advances in technology or new manufacturing capability. 34 30 For example, rubber dries and cracks, iron rusts and wood rots. 31 The evidence indicated a positive correlation, one explanation being that items such as washing machines were used more intensively in younger households. 32 See Chapter 14 (Evans and Cooper). 33 Its ability to meet needs relating to the owner’s self-image. 34 One of the aims of marketing is to change owners’ perceptions of their possessions in relation to newer models (Bayus 1988).

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