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Product Ideas

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

My choking trip to Delhi in the winter of 2018, got me thinking - I had to find out – are there companies that actually focus on creating sustainable products, or is it just mere talk? I was pleasantly surprised to know that, while a lot of damage has already done, there are many companies that actually take climate change very seriously.  

Product Managers across the world are ideating products that add function, meaning, and appeal to products used every day by people throughout the world. This is an unparalleled window of opportunity for them to distinguish their products and champion the cause for environment through innovation. 

Here’s a list of my favorite top five sustainable design products/companies/ideas: 

1. Interface Carpets [Carpet Tiles]

This is my top favorite for two reasons. One - Interface started its sustainability journey in 1994 (the year I was born), and since then has continually worked towards revolutionizing the carpet tile manufacturing process to finally achieve their Mission Zero success.  Two – Interface didn’t stop at just Mission Zero. Now they are on to another mission – Climate Take Back, and that’s based on the belief that it’s possible to reverse global warming through radical decarbonization. Influenced by this thinking, are the four areas of their Climate Take Back strategy; Live Zero, Love Carbon, Let Nature Cool and Lead the Industrial Re-Revolution. 

2. IKEA [Rice straw Home décor']

Whoever thought that Rice Straw could be used to make beautiful home décor products, and also solve a major environmental crisis? One company did – IKEA

They recently launched a collection of home accessories made from rice straw that would otherwise be burnt by India's farmers and pollute the air, thereby solving a major problem for India. The homeware collection comprises of lampshades, vessels and mats made using a variety of techniques that use up leftover rice straw – the primary contributor to the smog peaks in northern India. Cotton is woven into the rice straw cords to make them more durable and comfortable underfoot.

IKEA has also produced the Gunrid curtain with a photocatalyst mineral-based surface that purifies the air within the home, by breaking down pollutants when they come into contact with light.

3. Adidas: [Ocean Plastic Trainers]

The heartbreaking picture of the ‘sea horse with the Q Tip’ that broke the internet in May 2018, got many thinking about the impact we have had on our oceans. Experts predict that there is more plastic in the ocean than fish.

But one company- Adidas, is trying to stop some of this plastic before it reaches the oceans. In 2015, they teamed up with Parley to turn plastic to sportswear. Their product UltraBoost - shoe made out of plastic found in the ocean, has had millions of buyers. 

4. Emeco: [Salvaged Aluminium Chairs] 

Another favorite in my list is Emeco. They thought about recycling way back in 1944!! Established in 1944 in Pennsylvania, this American furniture company Emeco, is best known for creating the 1006 Navy Chair, made from salvaged aluminum for US Navy submarines, and still in production today.

Since 1944, Emeco has been building chairs from at least 80 per cent recycled aluminium, and any scrap left over from the manufacturing process is also recycled. While Emeco's aluminium chairs are 100 per cent recyclable, the company believes that the most sustainable aspect of its chairs is in its estimated life span of 150 years.

The company also uses recycled plastic in the production of products such as the ‘111 version of the Navy Chair’, which is made of recycled PET (rPET) from reclaimed plastic water bottles. Since the launch of the chair in 2010, over 30 million plastic bottles have been diverted from landfill, according to Emeco.

The “On and On chair’ , is made of the same rPET material mixed with fibreglass, and can be recycled again and again.

5. Zipcar [Car Sharing]

A unique car sharing service based on the belief that this will result in one million fewer cars on the road, and cities with more green space than parking lots. As per the statistics, every Zipcar takes 13 personally-owned vehicles off the road. In 2019, 90% of Zipsters drove 5,500 miles or less per year, saving 32 million gallons of oil (219 gallons each!)

Many other such brilliant ideas to save our environment have already been implemented by environment conscious individuals' and corporates': These are a few that bring a smile on my face:

  • Eco-friendly Candles, eco-wallet, eco-mobile phone case, eco-herbicide, eco-lamp (reused and recycled materials), ecopolis-board-games.

  • Green buildings.

  • Solar hydrogen fuel cells, solar ovens.

  • Eco-Fashion.

  • Seabin that filters sea litter.

  • Magma range made from Glaskeramik – a new material created from repurposed waste from broken solar panels.

  • Jewellery made from Succulents.

  • Leather products made from Pineapple fibre.

  • Homes from plastic bottles filled with sand.

  • Electric Mobility.


#ClimateConscious individuals

What's on your list? Would love to hear from you all!!

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