Thinking on the point of my design problem where the company makes products using ‘traditional’ methods I thought the design should implement the use of raw exposed materials like shown with historic books and hand crafted items.

This then led onto the idea of mixing the current modern view on materials of keeping them clean and sustainable, creating a product and packaging that can be aesthetically pleasing, practical and good for the environment.

To create something that is sustainable is to create something that doesn’t deplete natural resources and can keep environmental balance(Google sustainability definition,2017). This can be achieved by choosing materials that are reusable, easily replaced or biodegradable so that the old useless products can go back to fuelling the growth of natural life. An example would be in wooden products, the products can be made from materials that come from sustainable forests where three trees are planted for ever one used, or using the old wood from abandoned/dismissed boats.

The idea of creating sustainable products and packaging is becoming more widely anticipated and expected by all general public in modern society because of the threat of global warming many believe to be true.

Ways in which I can incorporate this idea into my own work this project is by taking advantage of the fact it is books and stationary, where I can collect all my materials from trusted sustainable sources, or on the other hand I could look at it in a more experimental way and think of different ways I can make the same effect by using unusual materials, like using mushrooms to create ink and paper, and figuring new ways to make multi purposeful packaging.

Sustainability icons

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– Biodegradable


Being biodegradable is where a substance is capable of erosion by natural means, by weather or by living organisms. This allows for the substance to avoid causing pollution to the environment. When this icon is displayed on a product or packaging this shows that it is a biodegradable product.

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– Locally made


This shows that the product has been crafted in the local area, this helps fuel local businesses helping the local area to grow and flourish.

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– Locally sourced


Similar to the previous icon this is to fuel local businesses however this can also impact local trade and when food is involved can have health benefits, for example local honey can help prevent hay fever for that year if consumed often.

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– Low energy


With a society heavily reliant on electricity and energy this is design to reduce the amount used with the product therefore reducing the energy consumption in tern helping reduce the use of fossil fuels.

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– Low waste


With waste being one of the biggest problems today with so much wasted food and packaging, this icon signifies that the product contains little waste and most likely the waste that is left is also kept under one of the other icon categories in order to keep waste to a bare minimum.

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– No toxins


Many products in the past have been made using harmful substances in the making, making the product itself dangerous if handled incorrectly, examples being in the production of glues and the like throughout history is known to be toxic. This icon lets  you, the customer know that this product doesn’t contain any of that and that this won’t cause any harm to either you or the environment once you have finished with it.

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– Recyclable


This is shown by many different icons. It portrays that the product is recyclable and therefore won’t harm the environment and encourages you to put the waste into the recyclables bin. To recycle is to prepare or treat the waste so that it can be reused so that there, in the end, is no waste and can repeat it’s lifecycle around again.

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– Recycled


This is similar to the recyclable icon and again can be seen to have many different icons. This tells us that the materials used in this product have already been through the recycling process at least once before, products labelled with this also often are recyclable however there may be some cases where the material has reached the end of it line and cannot be used again.

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– Social enterprise


This is not an icon typically used on product and packaging design as it is irrelevant to them both. Social enterprise is a way of identifying and bringing about social change; it is ‘A hybrid of government intervention and pure business entrepreneurship’ (Harvard Business Review, 2017).

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– Traditional craftsmanship


This icon means the product is created using traditional means and techniques, this could mean there is almost if not no digital production involved resulting in less energy usage in the production. On the other hand this can also mean the product will be more expensive because some of the products just cannot be mass produced using traditional means meaning a greater cost in the production value because of the increased time and physical energy required.

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– Well-managed resources


This is probably one of the most commonly though of sustainability areas when the subject is brought up as mentioned earlier in this post this means that the resources used during the making of the product/packaging are well looked after and often means the materials will be replaced with two times more of the resource to replace what has been taken (when referring to natural resources) and energy may be used sparingly and only what is needed.


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