• Simon Morgan

Video: Sustainable Product Design

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

What really makes a product sustainable? Why exactly do we want sustainable products? What are some of the key points to consider when creating something 'sustainable' and associating your brand with that product? Director of Producto - Simon Morgan covers these issues in the first part of our new video discussion series.

Sustainability is a topic I’m getting asked about almost every day now, it’s become a real hot topic, I think partly because of the whole plastic bag debate, a change is happening in New Zealand and abroad.

I feel like it’s become a bit of a pandora’s box for people, there’s so much information and so much misinformation that people are getting themselves a bit confused, and they’re coming to people like me to say 'how do we go about this and what’s the best course of action?'.

So sustainability in terms of products I guess - in terms of everything really is a little bit subjective. Like what is your idea of a sustainable product? Do you want something that is portrayed to be sustainable? Kinda looks sustainable? Maybe it’s a woody sort of finish or something? Or it looks organic, does that make it sustainable? Or is it actually thinking again beyond the product and looking at the entire supply chain, the manufacturing process of that product to ensure that the net impact is minimised.

I think, not thinking about just the supply chain, but thinking about the product after it’s life, what impact does that have on the environment when it comes to the end of its life when it’s disposed of. So I think you’ve got to consider how long a product is used for. So, if you bring out an environmentally looking product, again a wood finish or an organic look or whatever it may be, but if that doesn’t last as long as something else, then again what is the net impact? So if you’re using three times as many products just to look sustainable, then how sustainable are you really? So you’ve got to think about the big picture and what you want to portray as a brand, is really key.

So one thing I really try to educate people on is to try and create legacy items. So by that, I mean a product that is going to stand the test of time. It’s going to last far beyond your campaign or whatever it is that you’re using this product for, and be used by the entire family potentially. I mean, I remember as a kid growing up we had a cooler bag that we took to every Christmas in the Park and every event that we went to. It was a promotional product. And I still remember that today, and that was 30 years ago that we were doing that. And we would’ve had that bag for I dunno, 10 or more years, it was like our loyal little cooler bag and we took it everywhere. But the thing is, is that’s sustainable, so you’ve gotta think about the entire life of the product and not only is that sustainable and more environmentally friendly to be supplying people with products that are going to last, but it also helps emphasise your brand for years to come.

With sustainability and 'environmentally friendly' being such a hot topic right now, there is so much information around. What one person says is a good product or an environmentally friendly product, there’s potentially evidence to show that it’s not. So it’s really important that you do your due diligence, just to be 110% certain that the product your putting your brand on, is what it says it is, and then you can be sure that you’re doing the right thing not only by your brand but also by the environment.

Copyright Producto Ltd 2020