PSS: Product Service System
After doing a little research on what a PSS actually is, I believe that a PSS replaces (or couples) a product with a service. A PSS allows customers the chance to forego paying for the product itself (and whatever maintenance and upkeep it requires), and instead pay to use the product for a bit, and then return it.
From the reading, it was clear to see that product service systems could be the key to a more sustainable world. According to the article “Sustainable Product Service Systems: The New Frontier in Apparel Retailing”, I particularly took note of the following quote from page two:
“Services have been identified as a way to better meet fundamental human needs, like the need for social interaction, personal expression, and to create or innovate”
Maybe this is what our society is missing… Is it possible that designers could make humans more humble, honest, and all around better world citizens by simply creating more product service systems?
This article sent me on a mission. The mission: to find a real-life example of a PSS that is succeeding so that I could better propose an idea of my own. I came across a company called Mio. Mio is a furniture/wall covering/décor/etc. company that is passionate about “green design”. For Mio, it is important that all of their designs maximize environmental, social, and economic returns. Some of the items available on the Mio website include 3-D paper wall coverings, custom cabinets, custom art, and many other products that would be of interest to any interior fanatic. However, another item sold via the Mio website that truly represents PSS is known as “Loop by the Yard”. Loop By the Yard is a reversible, textile-like material that can be used for various do-it-yourself projects. Each order of this “Loop textile” comes with it’s own envelope so you can simply and easily mail it back to Mio for replacement if it gets torn or wears thin. Loop By the Yard can be reversed, cut, sewn, wrinkled, folded, hung or hemmed like a textile. It is flexible, breathable and waterproof, which makes it the perfect product for many indoor and outdoor projects. The textile costs $13 per yard and is available in three different patterns.
This sparked my own brain to begin working on a PSS idea. First of all, I believe that in order for product service systems to succeed, it must be low maintenance for the customer. My proposal is as follows:
I believe that offering customers the chance to return an apparel item after it has been ripped or worn-out is a great solution to the never-ending shopping cycle. The apparel items could be–
A.) Made out of a sustainable textile.
B.) Created to last.
C.) Not too bright or trendy in order to increase the time the customer feels that it is appropriate to wear the garment.
If the apparel items that were sold were budget friendly, comfortable, and always able to be returned, I think that a successful PSS could be created.
I am hopeful that over time humans will crave the basic needs that were discussed in the assigned reading and then will really understand the need for product service systems in our world.