Longer Lasting Products: Alternatives To The Throwaway Society

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Dr Tim Cooper
Gower Publishing, Ltd., Sep 28, 2012 - Business & Economics - 460 pages
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The present economic system requires us to consume and throw away more and more goods. Yet often it's our desire, and the best interests of the environment, for these goods to last. The contributors to this book, who comprise many of the most significant international thinkers in the field, explore how longer lasting products could offer enhanced value while reducing environmental impacts. If we created fewer but better quality products, looked after them carefully and invested more in repair, renovation and upgrading, would this direct our economy onto a more sustainable course? The solution sounds simple, yet it requires a seismic shift in how we think, whether as producers or consumers, and our voracious appetite for novelty.

The complex range of issues associated with product life-spans demands a multidisciplinary approach. The book covers historical context, design, engineering, marketing, law, government policy, consumer behaviour and systems of provision. It addresses the whole range of consumer durables – vehicles, kitchen appliances, audio-visual equipment and other domestic products, furniture and floor coverings, hardware, garden tools, clothing, household textiles, recreational goods and DIY goods – as well as the re-use of packaging.

Longer Lasting Products provides policy makers, those involved in product design, manufacturing and marketing, and all of us as consumers, with clear and compelling guidance as to how we can move away from a throwaway culture towards an economy sustained by more durable goods.

 

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Contents

List of Figures
14
List of Tables
20
The Significance of Product Longevity
29
Reevaluating Obsolescence and Planning for It
39
1 Aesthetic obsolescence new wornin and wornout fashion
46
SubjectObject Relationships and Emotionally Durable
61
Defying Obsolescence
77
Lighting Bugs batteryilluminated
80
1 Potential policy measures
227
Rethinking Marketing
243
1 Contrasting the sustainability and conventional marketing
264
Marketing Durability
273
1 Advertisement promoting longevity with specific reference
277
1 Recommended information on product lifespans
288
Can Durability Provide a Strong Marketing Platform?
297
1 Marketing platforms for durability
303

8 Car boot sale
96
Understanding Replacement Behaviour and Exploring
107
1 The replacement decision as a deterioration of the actual
110
1 Product characteristics affecting the replacement decision
118
5 Comparison of design strategies from workshop with lists
124
5 Telecommunication device Teletangram
125
Slowness and Nourishing
133
1 Expressions of slow activism
137
1 Model for design and wellbeing
142
2 Rebotijo summer jug
144
user
146
Durability Function and Performance
157
1 Evolution of shares in life cycle costs for a car over a 50year
161
1 Advantages in manufacturing aftersales services
167
Durability and the Law
181
The Law on Guarantees and Repair Work
195
Policies for Longevity
215
Consumer Influences on Product LifeSpans
319
1 Taxonomy of consumer influences on product lifespans
324
1 Simplified conceptual framework
325
5 Key factors affecting consumer influence on product lifespans
331
6 Examples of inconsistent consumer behaviour
339
Product Life Cycle Management Through IT
351
1 The ELIMA system
354
Systems and Practices in
367
1 Cardboard nappy box used as toy box
371
10 First design test
385
Household Furniture
393
1 Methods of discarding bulky items typically resulting
398
1 Source of household bulky items by discard route
399
3 Consumers opinions of the reuse potential of bulky waste
404
6 A typical reuse organization
410
Index
417
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About the author (2012)

Tim Cooper is Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption at Nottingham Trent University. After graduating from the University of Bath, he worked as an economist in the construction industry for over a decade before undertaking research at the New Economics Foundation, where he developed his interest in the life-span of consumer durables. He was awarded a PhD from Sheffield Hallam University, where he worked from 1995 until 2010 and established the Centre for Sustainable Consumption. Dr Cooper's current research interests are multidisciplinary, embracing design, consumer behaviour, public policy and environmental ethics. He has participated in several European research projects and in 2004 was awarded funding by the EPSRC to establish the Research Network on Product Life Spans, which he continues to manage. He has advised the Research Council of Norway, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and the Belgium Federal Science Policy Office, and was Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Environment Committee for its enquiry Reducing the Environmental Impact of Consumer Products.

Tim Cooper, Brian Burns, Jonathan Chapman, Miles Park, Nicole van Nes, Alastair Fuad-Luke, Walter Stahel., Cowan Ervine, Christian Twigg-Flesner, Ken Peattie, Kirsty Christer, Dorothy Mackenzie, Kenisha Garnett, Siān Evans, Matthew Simon, Janet Shipton, Tom Fisher, Anthony Curran.

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