Circular design

Material loops in circular design model

Unlock the power of circular design

Circularity is not just a buzzword; it’s an approach that transforms and revolutionizes the way products are designed, manufactured, and consumed. By embracing circular design, you can minimize waste, preserve valuable resources, and create products that have a positive impact on both the environment and your business.

What is circular design?

Core of the circular design methodology is to close material loops and keep biological and technical material streams separate. Furthermore, the intention is to make the material loops as small as possible. Thus prefer to re-use a product or its components, instead of shredding and melting its materials for recycling. We’ve always found this diagram of the Ellen MacArthur Organization a very insightful and explanatory image.

What’s in it for you?

Historically, a manufacturer’s habit is to make more profit through more sales. Thus, the more you sell, the more you gain. In a circular perspective, the profit often comes from different areas. What remains is that an end user has a problem that needs to be solved. But if this person can lease, rent, or buy a product with buyback guarantee – the manufacturer can profit while keeping control over the material streams.

And what about Cradle-to-cradle?

In short, Cradle to cradle (C2C) encourages the maximum reuse of resources and the elimination of the concept of waste. For us, this fits within the circular approach, albeit that C2C might go a bit further in that all materials are inherently safe and can be recycled perpetually.

Designing product + service

Going circular requires us to rethink current business models. Does your customer really need ownership of a product? Doesn’t it suffice to give your customers access to certain functionality or performance, via renting, leasing, or buyback constructions?

Exploded view of wheelchair - disassembly for circular design
Image of supply chain manufacturers

Towards a circular business model

We understand that each manufacturer’s journey towards circularity is unique. Choosing circular design is an investment in a better future. By embracing circularity, you can differentiate your brand, gain a competitive edge, get more involved employees and contribute to a more sustainable world. From conducting comprehensive audits to identify areas for improvement to providing guidance on sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, we are here to support you at every step of your circular transformation.

Get your hands on those failed products

The best place for a failed product is to be at the organization that developed it in the first place. As a manufacturer, you have the know-how to refurbish it, to upgrade it. You can learn from how the product fails. And better still, your company now has an incentive to think about dis-assembly and possible re-use or refurbishment during the development already.

Modular and upgradable products

Circularity often goes hand in hand with modularity. Modular products can be repaired and upgraded more easily. A good example is Fairphone, the company that makes the modular and upgradable phones. And, because of their example, other competitors are inclined to follow along the way.

Involving your supply chain

Once you start to think about material loops, a typical question that arises is: “how sustainable are our suppliers?” We’ve seen that by just asking, a whole supply chain can start thinking about sustainability efforts. We’ll help you to map out your supply chain in terms of sustainability.

View of recycling facility

Using materials efficiently

The circular paradigm doesn´t make that we shouldn’t think about eco-efficiency. This is the more traditional approach to sustainable development. Doing Life cycle analysis (LCA) to find out the impact of design choices on the environment. Only use materials that are necessary, and not more. Use materials that have the lowest overall impact on the environment (including fabrication and end-of-life).

Future-proof your business with circular products

By moving towards the circular economy, you future-proof your business in a rapidly changing world. Consumers increasingly prioritize sustainability and are drawn to brands that offer eco-friendly alternatives. Circular design allows you to differentiate your products, build customer trust, and tap into new markets driven by conscious consumption.

Join the movement towards a circular world

Make a positive impact on the environment, your brand, and your business by embracing circular design with Studio Rotor. Together, let’s create a more sustainable future, where circular products are the norm. Looking forward to hearing about your ambitions. Contact us today to start your circular transformation and unlock the full potential of circular design for your business.