Industrial Design and Circular Economy

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Industrial Design Courses in The Netherlands have been evolving for some time to incorporate modules related to the environmental impacts associated with the products.

Similar modules could be incorporated for textiles as products, the market for virgin or secondary materials etc…;

Design for circular economy (DfCE) is closely linked to design for sustainability (DfS). Particularly since around 2000, DfS has moved beyond a pure environmental focus to also include economic and social aspects, i.e. the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. In DfS, the starting point generally is a product and its eco-impacts, which are to be minimized while also preserving value and human quality. DfCE has a different starting point: it aims to optimize the economic potential of available resources through new business models, while also restoring natural resources and enhancing human health (i.e. increasing positive impacts versus reducing negative impacts). So, while in the long run the two concepts may amount to the same result, the short-term path is markedly different. DfCE can also be linked to design for recycling (DfR), but here the main difference is that DfR quickly takes a pure material view. DfCE looks at extending the life cycle of products, systems and components before going to the material level, preserving the value in the product life cycle.  

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