Oct 17, 2023
Circularity in home deco
Three tips to make your product more sustainable - and more distinctive
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the home decor sector. Young consumers in particular expect clarity when purchasing a product. What is the impact of this product on people, animals and the environment? In addition, laws and regulations will soon oblige brands and retailers to take responsibility for their products. Not only during the production process, but also during and after use.
How can you, as a home deco brand, deal with this reality and developments in a practical way? How can you use this to create an even better and more distinctive range and attract new groups of customers?
I see three points that you can start working on now. These link to three crucial phases in the life cycle of a product: use, production process and material choice.
Put your signature center stage
Now that you know consumers are looking more critically at your product - and may even buy less - you need to provide a distinctive range. Develop your own signature and be innovative in your product. In your design signature you show how you use materials and innovative techniques, and it also outlines that your product lasts a long time and can be easily repaired or dismantled.
With a recognizable signature you will remain relevant for a longer period of time. This is the only way to get off the merry-go-round of fast trends. Also challenge your marketing department to promote this slower-paced range in a new way.
Get value from work
A lot of attention is paid to wrongdoing in production chains, and rightly so: good working conditions are essential. But why isn't there more attention to what makers can do; the excellent skills they have?
Encourage the people in your chain to process material in a more innovative way and to finish a product better. Work with your suppliers to develop a product so that it lasts longer, is better appreciated and is easy to repair or recycle. Use the minds and hands of the makers to add value to your product.
Take on material
You've probably read it before: 80% of the impact of a product is determined in the design phase. This often starts with the choice of material. Now that raw materials are becoming increasingly expensive (including plastic), it is better to opt for a sustainable alternative. Consider a recycled or a renewable material.
Interesting use of material is an important part of your design signature and value for the consumer. This means you also work on the distinctive character of your product ranges. Instruct your designer (or supplier) to find smart solutions for construction and finishing. Also consider how you process these materials and stop using adhesive lining, polyester coating or plastic bolts. If you're lucky, you'll also save costs!
Next step: Circular
Extending the lifespan of a product is one of the most important goals in the three phases mentioned. This is also the core idea of circularity – using materials and energy more efficiently. In the next months, Craftscurator will explore the topic of circular design more. For Dutch importers, brands and retailers in the home decoration sector, I will organize a short course. Craftscurator has partnered with CIRCO, an organization that trains entrepreneurs to develop products, services and business models for a circular economy. Watch this space, as we will be sharing our learnings and insights while exploring circularity.