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Circular Economy

Built to Last: The Case for Durable Design

September 10, 2020

What are the implications of building long-lasting, durable products, and what opportunities arise from keeping products in service?

"They don't build things like they used to..." This age-old lament seems aptly fit for our era of single-use disposables and planned obsolescence. For the nostalgic, the quality conscious and the eco-friendly consumer, product longevity is a desirable trait. But when competing with lower production costs and repeat purchase revenue, durable doesn’t always add up to the financial value of disposable. How can you make a financial case for durability? What metrics should you weigh when considering it? Can you build customer loyalty by building to last? This discussion explores these questions as it builds the case for durable design.

  • Deonna Anderson, Associate Editor, GreenBiz Group  
  • Christine Riley Miller, Director of Sustainability, Samsonite
  • Lauren Smith, Product Sustainability Manager, Columbia Sportswear