All Posts By

shawn

Upcyling: Cool New Products Made From Reused Materials

By | Sustainability | No Comments

With consumers becoming more conscious of eco-friendly products and production, more companies are offering goods that have been upcycled—made from byproducts or unwanted materials that have been creatively reused. A phrase coined by William McDonough in one of my favorite books aptly titled, “The Upcycle,” Upcycling is a great way to practice sustainability, and in some cases, it even results in better supply-chain methods. From home furnishings to clothing and jewelry to the upholstery on car seats, upcycled products are available in a wide range of markets, and knowing about them can help you become a smarter consumer. Here are…

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Lighting has come a long way: Plumen low-energy light bulbs.

LED Luminaries: New and Improved Energy-Efficient Lighting

By | DFL Philosophy, Sustainability | No Comments

When energy-saving lighting first hit the market, many of them were less than luminary in terms of style and cost-not to mention that ghastly glow. But awareness around efficiency has spread, even at the mass level: In 2012, the Montreal hockey arena, Bell Centre, replaced its old bulbs with 140 LEDs. The same year, New York City’s Central Park completed a massive installation of 1,600 LEDs. Companies have developed better energy-efficient alternatives for the home, too. The British company Plumen, for example, offers high-design, low-energy light bulbs, pendants, chandeliers, and shades at affordable prices. (They ship to the U.S. with…

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Sustainable Tourism: Change How You Travel

By | Travel | No Comments

As the year ramps up, we checked in on one of the most inspiring campaigns of 2017. The United Nations designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development to bring awareness to travel and sustainability among the public and private sector decision-makers. Tourism, the largest export category in many developing countries, now accounts for 10% of world GDP as well as one in every eleven jobs. Changing how we travel impacts our planet—and big-name companies are leading the charge with impressive initiatives. In the sector of airline travel, JetBlue bought 330,000 million gallons of biofuel (made from…

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A Beacon for Learning: Repurpose School Bags

By | DFL Philosophy, Sustainability | No Comments

                                                                            Faced with the problems of both plastic waste proliferating in her neighborhoods and the lack of book bags for the local children, social entrepreneur Thato Kgatlanye set out to create a business that addressed these in a way that could make a difference as well as a profit. What emerged was Repurpose Schoolbags, a company with a product that uses recycled plastic…

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Adidas x Parley for the Oceans: From Trash to Trainers

By | DFL Philosophy, Retail & Marketing, Sustainability | No Comments

The subject of raw materials vs. recycled materials is a constant debate in product development. Many times the cost of recycled material is higher on paper than using raw material, which can push companies to use new resources to maintain a better margin. But what happens when the value of using recycled materials goes beyond the bottom line and starts positively impacting the world? Shoemaker Adidas teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to address this very issue. Parley is an organization which is dedicated to the preservation of the oceans through clean up initiatives, awareness campaigns, and partnerships with…

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Designed for Life: Let’s Build Something That Lasts.

By | DFL Philosophy, Sustainability | No Comments

Welcome to Designed For Life, an organization created to enable people to buy less by inspiring companies to create better. We are a group of designers, entrepreneurs, and consumers that work together to make this vision a reality. But what makes something Designed for Life? It’s a combination of sustainability, adaptability, and utility that gives a product a lifespan as long as ours. Hopefully longer. Planned obsolescence is an outdated business model and we’re here to offer a better way.” Nothing Lasts Forever. But let’s build things that can. At today’s rate of population and industry growth, it’s apparent that…

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The Piano Chair: You Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em.

By | DFL Philosophy, Sustainability | No Comments

Designing a product that is functional, desirable, and attractive while at the same time having a minimal impact on the environment is no easy task. It’s not as simple as making a beautiful product with recyclable materials and calling it a day. The entire production process can be refined to minimize waste, pollution, and extend the life of the product. It also needs to utilize reusable materials for after the product is no longer needed. One of the winners of this year’s Cradle to Cradle Product Design Competition personifies the ethos of a product that is conscious of the environment and…

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Saigon Ridealong

By | Travel, Vlog Posts | No Comments

I’ve built, operated, or partnered with Lovesac factories in Utah, Mexico, California, Texas, North Carolina, and China over the years. But this was my very first trip to Vietnam. We are exploring a new factory relationship in Vietnam to manufacture our Outdoor Sactionals. Labor is less expensive than China in Vietnam and there are many entrepreneurs excited to do the work—not to mention people who are happy to have good paying manufacturing jobs in good conditions. Vietnam as I see it today reminds me very much of China 10 years ago and Taiwan 20 years ago. I was living in…

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Unsustainability Stems From Bad Accounting

By | Sustainability, Uncategorized, Vlog Posts | No Comments

One of my top 3 most inspiring books of all time is: Natural Capitalism, by Paul Hawken. This book played a huge role in the development of the Designed For Life philosophy, as well as in shaping my own life and behaviors. It is the subject if my most recent CEO blog post for #TextbookTuesday, where I discuss the content of whatever I’m reading at the time. Natural Capitalism is the kind of book that leaves the reader forever changed. This book is not just a bleeding-heart pleading with society to live better. It is both a rigorous empirical study…

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