Throughout the design stage of a product, it is normal for potential customers to be questioned about the type of product or design that they prefer. As consumers become increasingly aware of environmentally unfriendly packaging and design, to meet changing consumer needs, brands worldwide are making sustainable products to ensure they remain popular with consumers.
Mars Coffee is an example of a brand that has taken consumer needs into consideration, developing a new design for its single-serve packaging that has a 31% carbon footprint reduction. The single-serve coffee pods are convenient, making them a popular choice, but they posed environmental problems as they are not fully recyclable and produce massive amounts of waste. The new packaging, which does not contain aluminium, has not compromised the brand’s product quality but has instead reduced emissions from the raw material extraction process by 40% in addition to the 31% reduction in carbon emissions.
Likewise Levi Strauss & Co. has taken a step forward on its journey towards a circular economy. The company aims to establish an infrastructure that supports closed loop products by 2020. This is in an effort to reduce the impact of cotton agriculture by harvesting the denim from people’s closets that would otherwise end up in landfills. As consumers are becoming more aware of the need for brands to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, Levis Strauss & Co. is also looking at ways to establish ways to separate denim made of cotton-polyester blends so that these fibres can be recycled. They are also investing in researching ways to develop cotton fibre that is strong enough to be recycled and still meet the high quality standards.
As consumers are making conscious decisions not to purchase items that are not reusable and environmentally friendly, they are actively playing a part in the circular economy. Small practices can eventually change the way manufactures design their products to meet a certain demand.