Waste is produced all across retail design and a simple way of categorising this is as pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. The goal is, of course, to avoid as much of this as possible through good design methodology.
To reduce pre-consumer waste, we now make every effort to use recycled materials across our designs (or virgin materials that we know can be recycled), avoiding materials that are laminated or bonded together.
All materials are supplied to factories in industry standard sizes, so as designers, it’s our responsibility to understand this and use this knowledge to drive our design process so that we seek to eliminate waste material.
We can design concepts which will live on beyond their intended usage as well. Smart design that allows for new demands and range extensions or adjustments can prolong their life, and in some circumstances it is possible to design for “end-of-life”. To do so means we must ensure we consider key factors;
• Where is the fixture and who owns it?
• Will retailers have their own recycling process in place?
• What lifespan has been designed into the fixture?
• Will anyone want to retain or reuse any elements?
• What regulations or legislation exist in a particular maket?
• Who is expected to break down the fixture before recycling?