My first rule of recycling is don’t.
— Richard Seymour
 
 
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Sustainable design reduces environmental impact while considering the transparency and social responsibility of a product’s life cycle. At its best, it removes the concept of disposability and creates an appropriate lifespan for the product.

 

 
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Responsible design isn’t just good for the earth–it’s good for your business, too.

According to a 2015 Nielson survey, 66% of respondents said they would pay more for a product if the company was committed to positive social and environmental change. And according to a report on sustainability and consumer trends, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy a product if the company is making an effort to be sustainable.

In other words, a sustainability mindset increases the perceived value of your products.

While materials and processes are improving, it’s still a conscious and complex process to balance reducing waste and energy usage, choosing socially conscious vendors and more, while also considering budget and feasibility.

I am here to help discover the right solution for your brand.

 
 
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Considerations

Identity 

While it may seem like a logo and color palette wouldn’t do much to preserve the environment, it’s actually the perfect place to set up the groundwork for your commitment to both people and the planet.

  • Is the brand portrayed honestly and accurately?
  • Does the identity communicate the brand's values?
  • Can we use a palette that avoids heavy metals in the inks?

Print 

This is where things start to get real - as in developing physical, tangible materials that have a clear beginning and end to their lifespan.

  • How are the materials processed?
  • How are the factory's working conditions?
  • Are the materials toxic or unhealthy for either people or the planet?
  • Can the materials be composted or recycled?

Packaging 

The plastic found in packaging now accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste generated globally, which means there's an opportunity to make a big impact with even a few small changes.

  • Is the item over-packaged?
  • Can redesigning the packaging save on shipping costs and fuel?
  • What happens to the materials once the packaging has reached the end of its useful life?

Merchandise & More

Sustainable merchandise has the potential to grow to a whole new level. It can consist of something as simple as looking at the materials to reassessing the entire business model.

  • Are there less harmful materials that serve the same purpose?
  • Can the product be sourced and made locally?
  • Would this product better serve customers as a service?
 
 

If you’re a small business owner interested in how sustainable design can move your brand forward, send me a message.

 
 
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“We have a greater chance of solving complex problems if we work together.”

- David Carlson, Make Design Matter

 
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Building a Community

Change can start small, but won’t see any lasting effects until we begin working together. If you’re a designer interested in learning more about how you can incorporate responsibility into your work, let’s talk. 

It’s time to take responsible design from concept to reality.
It’s time to make it a Common Matter.

Let’s start.