Sustainable Product Lifecycle
by Jamie Bond on Jun 11, 2020
Does the world really need any more stuff? The short answer… no.
But the world keeps spinning, things will break, cultural trends evolve, and people are going to keep buying things.
As much as possible, RUX wants to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It’s a work in progress for sure, but beyond sourcing more sustainable materials as they become available to us, the 3 principles that guide us are:
#1 Build It To Last & To love. This is obvious, but I’ll spell it out. Good stuff doesn’t break, ergo it lasts for a long time, ergo you love it more and feel more compelled to fix it rather than throw it in the trash. Don’t forget the hidden impacts of mining, refining, shipping and everything that goes into making a new product. If we’re going to cause the impact of making it, lets make it count.
#2 Design For Disassembly & Repair. Designing for disassembly has two major benefits.
- First, it makes it easier to fix. Let’s face it, gear breaks, even well made gear. If you’re following RUX, you’re probably someone who’s super active, especially hard on gear, and extra skilled at breaking things. We could make marketing claims that our gear will last forever, but even brain-fried rockers like Guns ‘n Roses know that “nothing lasts forever, even cold November Rain.” So beyond designing gear to last and be loved, we’re aiming to design products that can be fixed, mended, and repaired. It’s harder than you think. Once you’ve sewn a bag together, it’s actually quite hard to mend, especially with a zipper. And what’s usually the first thing to blow out on a bag? Yup, the zipper. So far we’re avoiding zippers entirely. We’ll see how long we can hold out.
- Second, it makes it easier to recycle. I know, I know, “recycling is a farce and most stuff actually ends up in the trash” and all that, but if it doesn’t compromise directive 1 then there’s no excuse. As soon as you bond, co-mold, laminate, seal, or do anything that makes two materials into one part it’s pretty much going in the landfill.
Our prototypes are built for disassembly, evolution, and re-use. We aim to carry it forward to production. Photo: Julian Kenchenten
#3 Make The Most of What You Have. The whole point of RUX is to liberate you and your gear, ie make your current activewear and outdoor gear more accessible. Instead of storing and neglecting your adventure toys, or abusing your gear with cheap carry solutions, we want to see you keep your gear tight and your plans loose; ready for when opportunity strikes.
These are our ideals. It may not be possible to achieve them right off the bat, but we’re trying our best to map our product line to achieve this. Sometimes making things simpler isn’t easier, until of course it is. We’ll get there.
Some good reads…
- Cradle to Cradle
- Afterlife: An Essential Guide To Design For Disassembly
- Designers Are Forgetting One Major Element Of The Design Process
- Design For Repair: Empowering Consumers To Fix The Future