Designed to last

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By designing things that are of a high quality and very durable, you are ensuring they stay out of the waste stream for a long time. Offering a parts replacement or repairs service also ensures that the product doesn’t have to be thrown out if a minor breakage occurs.


R.M.Williams boots

R.M.Williams boots
Boot, one of pair, men’s, right foot, leather, style number B543, R.M.Williams, South Australia 1997.

These boots are made to be durable and have a very long lifespan.

R.M. Williams not only make boots to last, they also offer a factory repair service. The soles are stitched on, rather than glued, so they can be replaced when the old soles wears out. This means that R.M. Williams’ boots can provide years and years of good service before being discarded.

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Women’s fashion

Women's fashion
Outfit, women’s, skirt and top, silk taffeta/ metal sequins/ metallic embroidery, designed and made by Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson for their label, Easton Pearson Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, beading and embroidery made in Mumbai, India, 2000.

Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson designed this outfit with artisans in India. They transcended current fashions to create garments that would not conform to any particular fashion trend and therefore be worn over a long period of time.

Designing heirloom fashion ensures that garments stay out of the waste stream once a ‘trend’ is over.

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Driza-Bone coat

Driza-Bone coat
Coat, mens, Driza-Bone, cotton, E Le Roy Pty Ltd, Australia, 1950-1954.

This iconic oilskin coat has been produced by Driza-Bone since 1898.

The coats are made specifically for the Australian outdoor way of life and are extremely rugged. Driza-Bone coats have been standard issue for enlisted men for two world wars and travelled with the Australian explorers from the Antarctic to the mountains of the Himalayas.

With proper maintenance Driza-Bone garments are made to last a lifetime, ensuring they do not end up in the waste stream after just a few uses.

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‘Stoway’ Stroller

Stoway Stroller
Stroller, ‘Stoway’, vinyl / canvas / rubber / metal / cotton / plastic / wood, designed by Harold Cornish, made by Keencraft Manufacturing Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1949-1960.
Stoway Stroller

The Stoway stroller was produced by a combination of one person’s inventiveness and attention to detail, and another’s business acumen. The result was a go-anywhere, transverse (cross-wise) folding stroller that weighed only 2 kg, making it particularly suitable for weary mothers to use on Sydney’s trams or buses. The transverse folding operation prefigured the design of many later folding strollers. The lightweight design of the stroller means it takes less energy to ship to customers. In some ways the Stoway fitted today’s ideals of ecodesign: the canvas and vinyl seats were easy to replace; and the factory even supplied do-it-yourself re-upholstering kits.

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The Powerhouse Museum has collected examples of design for more than 130 years. This database shows how some items in its collection meet one or more criteria for design for the environment.

Sustainable design database topics:

Designed for easy reuse
Designed for energy efficiency
Designed for service substitution
Designed to be degradable
Designed to last
Designed to minimise packaging
Designed to use recycled materials
Designed to use renewable resources
Designed to use waste by-products


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