First Circular Design Concepts Slippers (based on strategies)

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Circular Design Strategies, Dis- and Reassembly, Ease of maintenance and Repair, Product Durability, Standardization & Compatibility

After exploring the possibilities within the Products That Lasts strategies the next step in the project is to decide which business models fit the design challenge.
But firstly the conclusions are looked at again to create the best next step in the process of this project.
This is a sum up of the conclusions that were found when looking at the strategies combined with the user survey and context:

  • Main functions: comfortable to wear, keep feet warm (for ergonomics and elderly reasons anti slip is also considered necessary in the design)
  • To make the slippers to last longer: increase the quality of the sole (durability), increase the breathability or/and give the ability to wash the slippers
  • People prefer to spend a maximum of 20 € on a pair of slippers.
  • Slippers are worn at home, in a hotel or guesthouse.
  • The scope of the context can be widened by creating other possibilities to wear slippers to give people the comfort of walking like being at home.
    Options here can be places where people are indoors but have to walk a lot or sit still and get the warmth and comfort of slippers: At fairs, at the cinema or theater, at the library, at the faculty, in school etc. (!)

  • Modularity fits within many strategies:
    For re-and disassembly for ease in refurbishing or recycling, to make them adapt to any season, size adjustability for standardisation and compatibility, washability, ease in repair and maintenance, change of trends (but this can also mean the top of the slipper can change into a consumable, this can be both good or bad. Example: trendy top that can be changed each season to the wishes of the consumer bút it is designed with a biodegradable fabric so the consumer can just compost when the end of life is reached)

  • Ruggedisation would mean improvement of the sole for stressed use, also timeless design would mean the slipper will last longer provided that washability needs to be adapted within this concept.
  • Added value can be a slipper service for ease of maintenance and repair. This would mean the ease to adjust, repair and maintain slippers over time to make them last longer.

What shows thus far is that the strategies for circular design for slippers at this stage is really narrowed down to product design level. It leaves not much space for any service design or out of the box design though spins. However; there is enough to work with to diverse into a strategy that fits business model in the next step.

The next step in the process is to explore the business models, find design possibilities, and try to make them fit with (one or more of) the strategies.

The concepts that would be generated from these conclusions would be:
Idea 1: Slippers for all-year round, improvement of the sole and right choice of breathable material. The slippers can be washed in total. The price can be a little over 20€, because this would mean an investing for the long-lasting slippers. The consumers needs to get the awareness of spending more for a more durable slipper. The design needs to be timeless and for both genders attractive in aesthetics.

Idea 2: Slippers that are made into two or three parts using modularity. Create two types of tops that can fit the sole during summer or winter. Sole needs to be improved and hardened to make this possible. The top can possibly be made of a biodegradable material, when it comes to its end of life the consumer can compost it.

Idea3: Slippers that are made with modularity for the purpose of sharing and hygiene within sharing. The slippers are made out of multiple parts making it easy to wash the lining/inlay or for ease in maintenance and repair. These slippers can be used in public spaces (design possibility within new context)

There are a lot of opportunities (see ideas above), now it is up to the business model archetypes and business validation to see which ideas are plausible to continue to work on.

Slippers strategy: Ease of Maintenance and Repair

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Circular Design Strategies, Ease of maintenance and Repair
For Design for Ease of Maintenance and Repair  three main findings came forward when exploring the possibilities within this strategy:
  1.  Washable in water washing machines (30 degrees Celsius)
  2. Design for the weakest link, from the survey: the weakest link/part of slippers are the sole
  3. Maybe still ‘click-on-top’ adopt modularity
  4. Repairing service by the company. When the brandname and customer values are high in the company the slippers can be sold at higher cost if this means that they both last longer and for example get the service added that when the slipper is broken within 2 years that they can send it back to the company for a repair service.

The conclusions are similar to the ones from standardisation and compatibility, from the survey conducted a very strong signal came forward in the question ‘suggestion for improvements’ that people want to be able to wash their slippers because that would make them keep their slippers longer. Also having a stronger sole, because the breaking of the sole is the main reason for disposal.
Better sole!

It might be an idea to add a service to the slippers: Having a service included in the brand makes it unique and creates a great marketing tool for media attention. (!)