Dr Michael Braungart and William McDonough are heros of our planet that are making us rethink how products are developed via their Cradle to Cradle concepts. These men created a system based on the idea of demanding consumer goods that go beyond being less bad, to encouraging brands to produce products that support a circular economy. Goods for good is their basic idea. A circular economy is supported by good designs developed with good intentions where products can be upcycled. Their idea is to create products that provide our planet with biological and technical nutrients that take into account – what happens to them next. They have proven that products can be superbly efficient without creating scarcity and fear to future generations.
We as consumers are accustomed to cradle to grave products that end up in a landfill or at best recycled. Most consumers do not realize that recycling should be at the bottom of the chain of, reduce – reuse – recycle. Waste has become so common that we as consumer stopped demanding less waste from brands and most just gave in to the concept of recycling as the common answer. We as consumers look at goods as dead objects. We do not consider their life once we are done with them, we never think of their cycle for future generations. Recycling is a dead end for all products. If we look beyond recycling we can come to see that products can have infinite possibilities.
What if we could purchase products with the future intentionally developed into the design?
Cradle to Cradle supports brands that wish to create safe, healthy and reusable products designed to come back. Healthy by design provides consumer goods with future benefits designed right in. Products that look to what is next, as now. For consumers this can become a new way to look at waste as treasure and a wealth that can benefit society. We can use this time in history to transition and blend less bad with more good to produce products that create beneficial biological/technical nutrients that support a living planet. The idea is to create value through manufacturing practices and product development to create a circular economy to encourage re-cology and move away from the current system of take – make – waste.
What if all boxes could instantly become garden compost and never once see the trash bin? What if your car was designed to be returned to the dealership to reclaim their raw materials as perpetual assets to made it into a whole new car? What if your carpet was leased and when you wanted to change the color it was unsnapped from the floor to be returned and used to make a brand new carpet without additional inputs? Cradle to Cradle says it is time for consumers to rethink how we use, purchase and consume goods. The future is here and if we want precious commodities to be available for future generations – recycling will no longer get the job done.
Many of the items we use today are made from recycled goods that were never intended for the end use we currently seeing them in. Recycled water bottles and PVC were never meant to be used in carpets, clothing, upholstery, children’s toys or any other consumer goods for that matter. As a result we as people and planet are exposed to chemicals that are not fit for humans or the environment.
Cradle to Cradle concepts ask us as consumers to demand that brands develop the future into their products. We can put our money where our mouth is by purchasing only products that support abundance without impoverishing the world. We can move away from the tragedy of the commons and ask for products that do not harm, but actually protect our precious ecological resources..
When designing Ama Sea Beauty products I wanted to create a value based line that is a steward of the planet and one that consumers could be proud to bring into their lives and their homes. Our planet is a common inheritance that supports and enriches us all and it is here for the living, today and in the future. The planet is only on loan and we should be responsible to leave it better than we found it. Ama Sea was developed to put people and planet before profit. Our planet has endless potential and all products made from this day forward should honor all future infants of all species. The time is here and we all must act now to support human and ecological health if we are all to thrive on a living planet.
Cradle to Cradle offers us simple solutions as a New Way to love our planet before it is too late.