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. (!)

Slippers strategy: Design for Durability

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Circular Design Strategies, Product Durability

For Design for Durability  three main findings came forward when exploring the possibilities within this strategy:

  1. Ruggedisation: The slippers sole needs to be improved to guarantee longer life span
  2. Product simplification: The slippers should be super easy in usage and also in design simplified
  3. Design for stressed used: Everyday, for at least 5 years, this means super durable
Ugg slippers
Thick strong rubber foam sole improves durability
Not gender specific design – simple model but not yet for all year round








Improve the quality of the sole for longer life span, this is a found user insight from the survey that was done. This also adds to very stressed use.
Also when people complain about sweatiness in the slippers; when the slippers are made to be easy washable they would keep them for longer because the hygiene can be stretched over a longer period of time.

Slippers strategy: Attachment and Trust

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Circular Design Strategies, Product Attachment and Trust

For Design for Attachment & Trust  two main findings came forward when exploring the possibilities within this strategy:

  1. Trust – Quality: Trust the slippers will last long by improving the quality of the sole
  2. Consciousness – Comfort of use: The product is very comfortable to wear, it is soft and fluffyExamples:
Ugg slippers
Durability and comfort
unicorn slipper
Special aesthetics
Bought somewhere special






Another reason for attachment and trust can be that the slippers were either given to the user by someone special, it was bought in a special place or it has special aesthetics, something only the user would understand for liking them so much.

When looking at the user survey the most important attachment comes from the fact that the slippers are long lasting because of the durability of the sole. Comfort is the main function of wearing slippers.


User, context, market

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Product Analysis

User survey
To get an insight in slipper users and their buying and usage behaviour a questionnaire has been conducted to get an overview of the consumers drives to wear slippers. There were a couple of interesting values derived from this survey that will help to create a greater understanding of the user and spot problems they have with slippers to create a design brief for this project.

The age results are based on the people I can personally reach by sending out a survey. Therefor the spending habit might be less than what it would have been if it were filled in at random. People I can reach are mostly in between 20-30 and still student. Please keep this in mind while reviewing the results.

65 people have filled in the form that was created using Google Forms. 43 of those people are female, 22 men.
26 of 43 female and 9 of 22 men wear slippers when they arrive home.

The questions that were asked:
Gender, age group (per 10years), multiple answers for ‘what do you wear on your feet when you arrive home’, why do you wear this, what type of slipper do you have (1 to 3 like stated above), which two functions are most important in a slipper, what is more important: same pair of slippers for longer period (high quality) or trendy pair of slippers for short period (bad quality), which seasons do you wear slippers, why specifically in these seasons, what is the life span of your slippers, how much money do you spend on slippers, where do you buy them, and if they could improve anything – what would it be.


From the open questions asked why people wear slippers in specific seasons and what they would improve if they could it shows that 8 people state that they get sweaty feet, which is also the reason they wear socks in their slippers, and that for improvements 11 people say that they want more breathability and therefor also the ability to wash them, it’s either a breathable slipper or one that can be washed. Also, 19 people actually complain about the quality of the sole of their slippers, for improvements they want long lasting slippers but the sole doesn’t allow to last long.
Only one person has written down he wants to be able to personalise the slipper so he can distinguish which pair is his.
Over 10 people buy their slippers at ‘van Haren’ followed by others who buy their slippers also at ‘cheap’ shoe stores through the Netherlands. Their spending pattern is biggest from 10 to 20 euros, with the complaints about the low quality of the sole this can be a big design finding for further progress when the product design itself needs to be improved to make it circular.

– Most important functions: comfortable to wear, keep feet warm
– The sole is the main reason for disposal, better sole would mean it lasts longer
– Increase the breathability or/and give the ability to wash the slippers
– People prefer to spend a maximum of 20 €

The reason people wear slippers is that they take of their regular shoes when they come home to air their feet, feel comfortable and don’t walk with the outside shoes through the house, protection of dirt. Therefor slippers are considered only used inside the house. Slippers can therefore also be used in contexts that are homey but not the users home itself, such like they want to wear slippers on holiday, when they are over at friends or family or in a hotel. When a hotels delivers a good service they provide their guests with comfortable slippers, this makes the guests feel like being at home and therefor this could enhance the experience of the visit.

Kids at home






Slippers are mainly worn:
– At home
– In a hotel
When a hotel wants to provide a good and comfortable stay for their guests they can really try to make them feel like being at home, therefore it would be great to invest in good slippers.

Prices & Market
The slipper market is a very broad one. To make it easy it can be divided into different market segments which would than relate to the price of the slippers.
There are many types of slippers all over the world, but when specifically looking at the market in the Netherlands it would be in the following range:

Low-end: Bristol, Scapino, van Haren < 15€
Middle: Hema, middle class shoe stores and street markets where they sell sheep wool slippers 10 – 25€
High-end: High-end shoe stores UGG, Minetonka, the North Face etc. 30 – 120€ +

From the survey was derived that 25% of participants spend less than 10 € on their slippers,
30% (the biggest group) spends in between 10 and 15€ on their slippers, 20% in between 15 and 20€, 13% in between 20 and 30€ and 13% over 30€.
That means 75% of people spend less than 20€ on slippers.

This is the target group that is used for this design case.
They are the ones that complain about the bad quality of their slippers and they are the ones that need to understand that most of the time durability comes with a price,
because using better materials would already improve the quality a lot.
They are the ones that can change their consuming behaviour in a more aware one.

All the slippers from the high-end market segment are designed with ‘hard’ good quality soles.

This circular design case will focus on the 75% group of people who spend less than 20€ on a pair of slipper but do complain about the bad quality. Hey! Something can be changed here…


Disposal behaviour

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From the survey conducted is found that most people dispose their slippers because of the bad quality of the sole. 19 out of 65 applicants actually state that they would like to see an improvement in the quality of the sole, which would in reaction be the reason for them to keep them longer instead of rapid consuming.
11 people state that breathability, and 8 sweaty feet need to be fixed within the design of the slippers. When those are put together (sweaty feet is a result of non breathable slippers) it means 19 people again want their slippers to be breathable and washable, which in return would result in longer lasting slippers.

24 people dispose their slippers after having them for an average of 2 years
13 people dispose them within a year (!)
12 people keep them for over 4 years
10 people dispose them after an average of 4 years
More than half of the applicants of the survey dispose their slippers within 2 years.
This life span  be doubled at least, it needs to go up till at least 5.

Better sole (Yesss)
Breathability and washability.
Desired: life span, disposal behaviour after 5 years