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How can deadstock from manufacturers or pre-consumer waste from retailers be prevented?

Global Context:

By some accounts, the system behind large-scale manufacturing is faulty. There are batches of products that due to certain defects never make the shelf, and there are batches of products that never leave the shelf of retailers (pre-consumer waste) and thus return to the manufacturer, becoming deadstock. This is considered waste and is eventually destroyed by incineration to generate energy (Incineration-based waste-to-energy technology). It not only creates a huge waste of resources, as these materials, products and their components may still be circulated to generate value, but also produces pollutants which are detrimental to human health. Our project aims to solve this issue.

Year: 2017

Recognition: Accepted for Venice Design Biennale

Client: Studio's social innovation project

Solved: TRASHURE  is an innovative business model for large-scale upcycling.

How it works: We source the products from manufacturers (deadstock) or retailers (pre-consumer waste), designers redesign, than reshape & combine, automated warehouse system select and place parts in boxes with assembly instructions. Finally, customers assembly their product at home. Consequently, we propose an elegant system design for a circular solution for waste streams that only have linear solutions. In other words, a large-scale upcycling project. 
This is NOT upcycling. The problem with upcycling today is that it focuses on one object at a time which is very energy and time consuming and can’t be scaled. Almost always, the resulting product bears the stigma of cheap, unaesthetic design, more often than not being the result of a hobby or a DIY project. 


Ellen MacArthur Foundation's butterfly diagram revised by TRASHURE.

TRASHURE focuses on showcasing a business model, that, by employing a series of tools like obstructive design, aims on expanding the butterfly/system diagram from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation by adding a new layer between the discarded goods (both from the manufacturer and service provider) and energy recovery. (see butterfly diagram revised by TRASHURE).
the beneficial outcomes are sixfold:

  • we generate more value by keeping the materials and their components circulating at the highest utility at all time;

  • we eliminate the emission of dangerous pollutants detrimental to human health that result from incineration; 

  • we reduce carbon footprint from transportation;

  • we reduce the depletion of harmful gases resulting from incineration that are currently causing dramatic changes to the Earth’s atmosphere—changes that could become irreversible in the near future;

  • we encourage creativity through the practice of obstructive design;

  • we encourage users/customers to build their own products, thus resulting in lower acquisition costs.

All photos © Conscious Fashion Week 




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