Sprouting Shoes and Rescued Ewes

The LOLA show participants on Tuesday shared some really wild and exciting sustainability ideas as food for thought for the week. I absolutely loved the idea that Casey shared with us about OAT biodegradable shoes that will grow flowers and plants when you bury them. I didn’t think it was possible to create a shoe that was absolutely 100% biodegradable that didn’t even use any glue! I really enjoyed this story because the creator even said in the short video that if you dream it you can make it happen. Not only is this idea great in that it diverts waste from the landfill, it also promotes social sustainability because it allows the owner of the shoe to feel a sense of giving back to the environment when they no longer want their shoes. I wish that they had women’s options, because I would totally buy a pair of these! In addition, Jade’s find about a company called Izzy Lane who rescues sheep from slaughter houses to make luxury knit products also gives people who own the product a greater product attachment knowing that they contributed to an ethical cause. They even get a little tag on their product that says how many sheep have been saved to date. I think that these ideas are so great because they really do help support the idea that people make better attachments to products based on emotional or physical experiences. The most important thing I learned from the LOLA show and the reading about product services systems is that people will make product attachments (leading to sustainability) when they can truly experience a product or service.

The article we read a couple weeks ago about designing for product attachment was hard to grasp because it seems like this is a very hard thing to design for since so many factors are out of the designer’s control. This week’s learning is important because it helped me connect the ideas between product attachment and user experience. We can’t necessarily design a product and say “the user will form an attachment because the product addresses all instrumental values.” However, we can provide a product that gives a story or experience to make the user have an attachment to that item. The company North Circular that Jade shared with us has little grannies in Britain knit the products that are then sent to the users with a story about the granny that knitted their product. This is a perfect example of the experience along with the product that I am talking about. Casey’s example is also great because the user gets to experience the shoes in a functional way, and when they no longer want them they can experience planting them and enjoying the beautiful flowers that grow.

The article about product service systems talks about the same idea of providing an experience to individuals through bundling products with services. If a service is attached to a product that is offered, the user gets a better experience than if they just bought the product alone. One example that I can think of is going to the nail salon to get a pedicure. You could just buy nail polish at Wal-Mart and paint your own toes, but people go to the salon for the total experience. I think this is a product service system because they are still offering a product (nail polish), but you get the added experience from the service the salon offers: a nice massaging chair to sit in, washing and massaging your feet, clipping your toenails, and painting a pretty design. The overall experience is one of feeling relaxed and pampered. My learning is useful and relevant to me because it helps me better understand why I choose the products and services I do, and why I am attached to certain things that I have. It also makes me realize that I myself would much rather have a story or experience attached to a product then just a boring product that does not provide any type of feeling or emotion. One example is a little gift that my grandma gave me a long time ago. It’s a little box with tiny little dolls inside that were made by Guatemalan children. While I have no use for this product whatsoever, I just cannot throw it away knowing who made it. Just as the people who buy a North Circular beanie will feel about the grannies that knitted it.

The article about product service systems offered a great overview of what types of product service systems there are and how these can be economically viable and sustainable, but it did not provide a lot of examples. From what the article was saying I almost just felt like product service systems are just services in general. I may be wrong here, but is there a difference between product service systems and just services such as dry-cleaning or car rentals? I would like to learn more about what the differences are (if any), and some examples of product service systems that are already in the market.

I am an interior merchandising student. I may be off track with my PSS idea relating to interiors, but I would love any feedback about my idea. My grandma has a china cabinet full of expensive china that she uses for dinner parties and holidays such as Thanksgiving. Other than that, it just sits in the cabinet. During my internship this summer, brides would always come in and register for expensive china. I remember thinking to myself, “Do people really still buy china?” I just thought that my grandma had it because it is more from that generation, but apparently I was wrong. I personally would not ever have any use for fine china except on very rare occasion such as a holiday, and I sure would not want to pay the price to never use it at all. My PSS idea is a service in which you could rent fine china, glassware, stemware, and table linens for dinner parties or special occasions. You could pay a fee to rent whichever items you needed, have them delivered, and even set up. This way you don’t have to fuss with the table while you are busy cooking and preparing for your guests. This may be a silly idea, but I just know that I am not fancy at all and would never want to actually own a set of china, but it would be nice to have this service if I ever wanted to impress my family, coworkers, or friends.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Sprouting Shoes and Rescued Ewes

  1. Dr. Cosette Armstrong says:

    Yes, there is a big difference between services and a PSS. Chiefly, the idea is that the product and service are coupled in a way that reduces overall environmental impact while also enhancing consumer satisfaction. This is inspired by the fact that the value of a material object is often less about its materiality and more about the function or utility it may provide. The PSS idea for sustainability purposes is that we might supplement the sale of material products with the sale of services that add value to the product involved, generating revenue alternatively from the latter. The trick is that these two things, the product and the service, reinforce and support each other in some way (sold together in many cases) for the purpose of overall impact reduction while continuing to meet human needs and satisfaction.

  2. Dr. Cosette Armstrong says:

    Great title, by the way!

  3. gerbil23 says:

    This was such a creative title! It grabbed my attention and made me want to read more into the actual post. This is a refreshing point of view for me because I’m an Interior Design student and often have trouble relating to the readings but this has helped me better understand things tremendously. As for your idea, it is not silly at all. I think that it’s a valid point and would also be interested in this type of service because I do not currently have the space or funds to store such beautiful china or glassware. This sort of service would create a valuable product link between the consumer and our economy – which is what we ideally want in order for them to fully reinforce and support each other.

  4. lovepokes13 says:

    Thank you! I’m glad that my point of view helped you understand the reading better. I myself often have trouble with the readings, and reading other people’s blog posts always gives me some great alternative perspectives and helps me piece things together that I don’t quite understand.

  5. dhm2013 says:

    I like the idea because my sister has a family and her husband owns his own business and they just don’t have time to get everything ready. They have entertain guest quite a bit from business parties to personal parties and they would use this service. My sister also stresses out about everything being perfect so one less thing for them to worry about!

    • lovepokes13 says:

      I am the same way about wanting everything to be perfect and that’s part of the reason I thought of this idea. I’m so not a professional on place settings or anything like that so I thought it would be cool to have a service that did it for you.

    • Business parties! Thats what I would use them for! As a Interior Design major and in the residential area we have clients come to our personal homes ALL THE TIME! We entertain them while showcasing our abilities through out personal home! But when it comes to fine dining, even my boss forgets to use the fine china! But who has the space! This is a great idea! They do have this available for weddings/receptions, but those come in large packages! If a smaller package was available I think this idea would be perfect for business related dinner. I did not even think that a business dinner would be an application! Glad you brought it up!

  6. scubagirl88 says:

    First off I’m glad to see someone else was just as excited as I was at the Lola show about the GREEN shoes. I would so buy them if they had women’s shoes, but if they are still available when I have a baby I might think about it. How cute would it be to give them the plant when they are old enough. Secondly, your product idea is really neat. This summer I rented a garage apartment from a lady. Her daughter just got married and they went to garage sales and consignment shops to get forks. She had thousands of forks and after the wedding I asked her what she was going to do with them and she told me that she was just going to box them up for the next wedding. It would be a good idea if she could just rent it out for someone to use instead of letting them collect dust and then have to wash them all over again. I might have to mention the idea to her. Thanks!!

    • lovepokes13 says:

      I know!! I thought the shoes were soooo cool, and I especially liked the idea of the baby shoe that would become a tree. You could even take a picture of your child in front of the tree each year and watch them grow together. How special! That would be a good suggestion for that lady, especially since it took so long to collect all the forks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.