Opportunities for “future shapers”

“Those who are late will be punished by life itself.” This quote by Mikhail Gorbachev is as topical as ever for companies that do not adjust to the changing ecological and social frame conditions. The future with eco design belongs to the farsighted “future shapers”.

Many enterprises still act as if there was no such thing as climate change. “This is unfortunate because companies can tap into especially big opportunities here,” stresses Bianca Seidel, company consultant and eco-design expert working for the value-based consulting Bianca Seidel Consulting. “With future-proof products and services entrepreneurs can secure a competitive edge by already using innovative solutions today to build a world worth living in for tomorrow.”

For these future shapers eco design is an efficient tool. Because eco design goes far beyond the purely ecological design of products. Here commercial, ecological, social, ethical, technical and legal aspects are considered for a holistic approach to product development. This is how products and services are created that live up to changing framework conditions. Energy generation company RWE and the automotive sector also had to learn these days how important this is. We will soon find out whether they were too late. One thing is for sure: if companies fail to master this turnaround, others that are more agile and innovative in responding to the challenges of our age will take their place.

Companies like the Dutch jeans label MUD. Here shoppers lease rather than buy their jeans. After the expiry of the lease period they return their jeans and MUD recycles them. This saves water. MUD can save some 40% of the more than 7,000 l of water required for manufacturing a pair of conventional jeans. On top of this, the company strives to reduce the CO2 emissions during production and is committed to fair working conditions.

VAUDE company pursues a different strategy with its Green Shape Core Collection. It aims to only use the most sustainable functional textiles for this outdoor collection. What is more, the company drives developments in fields where suitable solutions are missing. This is why mineral-oil based plastics are replaced by vegetal-oil based man-made materials. Certified natural materials are innovatively linked with recyclable or bio-based functional materials. Furthermore, all materials finally used are subjected to critical tests according to ecological and social standards.

These two examples show what eco design is all about. Materials and resources are to be used as efficiently as possible while social and ethical aspects are considered in product development and manufacturing at the same time.

Learn more about eco design during the lecture “Make fashion great again” on the PromoTex Expo stage, Forum 13 in Hall 13 A16, on 9 January from 10.15 am – 11.00 am.

Photo Fashion: Vaude
Photo Cotton: MUD