1-P1070403

A “bubble” stretching from provincial China to our high streets

While China increases capacity to manufacture ever more of the same kinds of products, is it stimulating internal consumption fast enough to compensate for our “meh” with the latest shiny gadget we are all supposed to buy?

Scarcity rare earths

Worn thin: the limits of a “logic of innovation”

People overwhelmingly value battery life over “thin”. Numerous studies have backed the idea that people want battery life more than any other “innovation”. So why do manufacturers seem to sideline this straight-forward desire in favour of “thin”?

1275092_423169007787146_2104793327_o

The footprint of those iPhones

The estimated manufacturing footprint of 80 million iPhone 6 projected to be sold (6,460 kilotonnes) will be greater than the total annual carbon footprint of the London boroughs of Westminster, Lambeth and Camden – of over 770,000 people and all of the business activity in three central areas of one of the world’s richest cities.

12168791274_47a2b2451f_z

Tiny houses, decluttering and late consumerist disorders

The “declutter” and “tiny house” trends are a consumerist purging. They run the risk of becoming transformed from ways of thinking to passive services and a pret-a-ocuper products. It is comparatively easy to throw or give away. It is harder to change our relationship with stuff.

B3iQgbPIAAE-AfV

The UK adopts the single-most noxious event in American consumer culture

At a time when we hear incessant attacks on immigration, we see this country handing itself over to the single-most destructive, noxious event in American consumer culture: “Black Friday”

Photo by Friends of the Earth Hackney

Why we care about measurement – introducing our Fixometer concept

People love to get their gadgets fixed. There is absolutely no doubt about it. But what we would like to more clearly demonstrate the environmental benefits to repairing.

14743270735_282e85c8d8_z

Open data for a truly circular economy

We talked at the Nesta Hot Topics session on how “open data” can help us use things for longer, and have a better idea of how they are recycled at end of life. Open data means what it says on the tin. Data sets are that accessible, useable and made available to the general public. […]

sustainable design

Sustainable design: focus on gadget longevity

We spoke at the Indie Tech Summit in July. There was a great deal of discussion about the broken business models for apps and online services, which are essentially based on corporate surveillance. The user gets a free product in exchange for selling his or her data. And very few users understand what they are […]

Polar Bear Mother and Cubs on Sea Ice

Designing for more visible waste prevention

You may recall, a year ago, we celebrated a “polar bear” worth of electronic waste prevented by our participants and volunteers. Now we’re headed towards a ton of electronic waste, which would be more like a whole polar bear family! To celebrate, and to up our game, we are creating an easy-to-use online tool to […]