Monday, August 30, 2010

Creating a Sustainable Business - "where has this come from, what is it doing for me now and where is it going to end up?”


So, I have been thinking lately about product design and trends and delivering what people want (and what we want to make) in the very best ways.

I feel that most people really do not know what they want so much as they know how they want to feel and so delivering to their demand is really more about creating new possibilites for them and allowing them to feel good about their choices.

There is a design concept originating from Sweden called Lagom which means ”just enough”.

This feels like a very smart aesthetic for a time when 84% of us are inclined to buy less stuff and 72% of us are determined to remove the clutter from our lives. People don't want to just shop until they drop anymore; they want to experience the things they buy.

And this is really great news for the handmade movement!

This is just a brief introduction to a new series of posts about the sustainability of our businesses and our products. There is alot more to this sustainability business than the components of our work- although that plays a part for some of us- it is much bigger than this.

It is also about making things that matter (which they do when we put our heart into them) and making them to last and making the things that people want to hold onto and that will age gracefully (like us) - sustainability is personal.

(I am also starting a new Tuesday post called Tuesday Trends to focus on some design trends that we may want to take a look at for our own work, as well as the trends that the buyers at Pool asked me about last week.)

These 10 principles of good design written in the 1960's by Dieter Rams are still totally appropriate today and applicable to a great model of sustainability:

• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.

I will be posting about sustainable design in terms of the environment (where does it come from, where is it going), innovation, emotions (why do we keep certain things and throw other things away without giving them a second thought?), aesthetics, authenticity (creating a history for our work) and multi use/compatibility and how this can all translate into sales and long-term customer relationships for us makers!


"you are awesome" (I want to feel awesome and I think my customers do, too) necklace by yellowgoat (who is currently closed due to an injury and we wish her a quick and complete recovery)

Rereading this post I'm thinking it sounds heavier and maybe preachier than I intended - sustainability isn't.

3 comments:

Sherry said...

This is the perfect post for me to return to, I've been thinking a lot about the same things.

About how really good design is timeless, transcendent.

I'm paring down my existing lines in preparation for that.

Look forward to your post tomorrow, Cat.

xoSherry

Brenda said...

Excellent! This will be a great topic and I really look forward to your perspective and insights. :)

Jules said...

Oh man a blog post that quotes Dieter Rams. You made my day Cat. Love the Mad Men one too...esp. with the link to Modcloth. Very clever of you.