The global economy is consuming 100 billion tonnes of materials a year for the first time; however, the cycling rate of resources has gone into reverse. Of all the fossil fuels, minerals, metals, and biomass that enter this cycle each year, just 8.6% are cycled back. Every time we create a new product, we consume energy and resources, while creating more pollution and waste.* And, these are the main reasons why the products life cycle matters.
KEEPING PRODUCTS IN USE
Extending the longevity of products is one of the main principles of the circular economy and circular design is at the heart of it. Products and components should be designed to allow reuse, repair, and remanufacture.
In our majorly linear economy what we often experience, however, is planned obsolescence, especially when it comes to electronics and home appliances (computers, mobile phones, printers, washing machines to name some). Most of the time repairing a product is usually more expensive than buying a new one as companies purposely design products to be out-of-date after a short time.
Consumers are often pushed to never-ending upgrades. If we want to shift to a circular economy, we need to raise the value of products, resources, and waste, from electronics to clothes, from houses to furniture, from food to transports. As Tim Brown, IDEO chair says, “we need to make things to be made it again.” We need to consider the product’s life cycle.
CONSUMER vs COMPANIES
Each of us, as conscious citizens and consumers, must do our part, but it becomes challenging to keep products in use and for long years if companies don’t design them to last and do provide any reasonable repair. Have you ever repaired a mobile phone or a computer(especially Mac ones) once they have stopped working after some years of use? Well, we bet you haven’t or if you have, you end up paying an unfair amount of money.
*Circularity Gap Report 2020 – This 8.6% has fallen from 9.1% in the two years since @circleeconomy annual report was first launched in 2018.
If you want to find out more about designers and companies working with the principle of the circular design. Check out our new e-book here.
WHAT WILL YOU FIND IN THE E-BOOK?
✔Key concepts within the linear economy
✔Key concepts & principles within the circular economy
✔An essential glossary for the circular economy
✔Benefits of the circular economy
✔Circular design overview
✔6 Circular design strategies
✔News and Innovations from European Design Fairs & Events
✔15 Exclusive interviews with emerging & renowned designers
✔More than 20 case studies from brands & designers
✔More than 150 pages
✔More than 7000 words
Check out our e-book and help us to spread the word about the circular economy and circular design.