Imagine a future where the culture around consumption had evolved so far that responsibly manufactured products were the norm rather than the exception – a future of guilt-free living.
In Viewpoint #42, the Guilt-Free edition, we explore how that future could become reality. A groundswell of popular horror at the ravaging of the planet, both in environmental and human terms, has become a potent force. We don’t want to sacrifice our oceans for a new drinking bottle every day or a microbeaded facial scrub – nor do we want to find ourselves eating our own rubbish when that plastic finds its way back into the food chain. We don’t want a throwaway £10 dress if it was made using modern-day slavery.
Brands, governments and organisations alike are being forced to take notice – and some of them, at least, are welcoming the imperative. Long-standing forces for good in the retail world such as Ikea and Patagonia are being joined by a host of others, including some of the largest corporations on the planet – who are belatedly recognising that sustainability makes not only good sense for securing our future but also good financial sense.
The importance of design’s role in guilt-free living cannot be overstated. People want to make consumption decisions that actively do good, or at the very least, do no harm. But these products need to be readily available, attractive and affordable – and therein lies the challenge for the creative community.