Sustainability is a two way street which involves both the manufacturing and market sides. What value does a fair trade basket have if it falls apart after a few uses? Or what is the true cost of a purse if the planet and people were exploited while making it?
The way we see it, the manufacturing and design both contribute to the sustainability of an item.
Care needs to be given to ensure manufacturing is a process that can be renewed and not stripped bare. Water supply, air quality, protection of natural ecosystems, and safe waste management are all under consideration.
A supply chain includes all the people and resources it took to get a product from the supplier to the customer. It includes raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, and distributing.
Social responsibility refers to how a corporation cares for the people and the materials involved in its supply chain. It includes good labor practices, adherence to human rights, a safe work environment, and fair living wages.
Form follows function, meaning the right materials need to be assigned to the right tasks. A delicate linen, while beautiful and renewable, may not be the right choice for an everyday tote.
One of the most important aspects of sustainability involves how well a product is made. Will it hold up to the task it was given?
While trends are fun, they are often short lived. A design that stands the test of time is less likely to be cast aside as fads come and go.