Our Approach to Design
Most of us use countless products every day without thinking about where they came from; who made them, how they were made, what’s the best way to use them—and where they will go once we’re done using them. (The Story of Stuff by Anne Leonard does a great job of explaining this.) At Preserve, we care about all aspects of a product’s life cycle. That’s why we use sustainable design strategies to make sure our products minimize environmental impact and reduce consumption of resources.
Sustainable design is at the heart of our commitment to making stylish, reliable products that are good for people and the planet. Preserve is committed to empowering consumers to make a difference with their dollars and to expect more from their products and the companies that make them.
The Concept Phase
During the typical product design cycle, the Concept Phase has the broadest impact. In this stage, critical decisions are made about key product attributes, such as materials, energy requirements, recyclability and longevity. Typically, 75% of manufacturing costs are committed by the end of the concept phase.
These same decisions also often dictate more than 75% of the ways in which a product will both draw on our natural environment for its construction and affect the environment in its usage and disposal. At Preserve, we operationalize greener product design by analyzing, very early in the process, the crucial factors that will determine a product’s environmental impact.
Preserve uses life cycle thinking and a systemic approach to the design process. This is bolstered by quantitative life cycle assessments that enable us to identify cost-benefit tradeoffs before we adopt an initial design. The result is more innovative and greener products, as well as cost savings due to reducing re-engineering needs.
During our process, we explore a wide range of strategies to limit the footprint of a product in its development and its use. Some examples include:
All our products are made from 100% recycled plastic, with the exception of the virgin nylon bristles on our toothbrushes, our razor blades, and our toothpicks.
Longer Life & Reuse
The mantra for our Everyday Tableware is “Reuse Forever”—and these products do last a very long time!
Our “Shareware” program encourages our customers to share our products; this limits new purchases and decreases overall consumption.
End of Life Behavior
We run take-back programs for our own products and other brands’ products to close the recycling sequence loop.
Life Cycle Assessment
As part of our commitment to sustainable practices, we participated in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that evaluated our systems and processes in terms of their impact on the environment. For more on the Preserve LCA, check out the information in the Recycling section.
For a close-up view of these strategies in action, check out the Case Study on the creation of our Everyday Tableware line.