– Upcycling as a way of reaching sustainability
April 12th, 2018
Helping to create a sustainable society is vital for many reasons. Every ambitious company today has a philosophy and policy they adhere to. For a company like Elodie Details, children are our future quite literally, and we spoke with founder and creative director Linda Sätterström about her ideas and ambitions on this subject.
- What does sustainability mean at Elodie Details?
Like most other companies these days we do work to make sure that as many products as possible are OEKO-TEX certified and we use GOTS-certified cotton whenever we can. But the sustainability aspect we are most passionate about can be summarized with “buy less”. Any time a product gets replaced because it’s used up, it has instantly doubled its environmental impact. So, in our opinion the most effective way of reducing your impact is to buy fewer products.
- And what does Elodie Details as a company do to support that aspect?
Well, at the heart of it is obviously high-quality products that you should be able to pass down to younger siblings, family or friends. The life expectancy of most of our products is a lot longer than many competing brands. But with a bit of the creative thinking there are other fun ways to support the “Buy Less” initiative. This is where terms like multi-use and upcycling come in to play.
I’m constantly looking for ways that our product can get a second life once the toddler years are over. Like re-using your organizer as a make-up bag, or the Play Mat in any other room of the house. This is why we design Diaper Bags that work equally well as a laptop-bag, weekend-bag or gym-bag – both style-wise and function-wise. This ambition is also part of why we often choose to apply more grown up aesthetics to products that have traditionally been designed with a bit more childish motives. You’ll probably be more likely to upcycle a blanket in to a pillow case if you as a parent enjoy the print of the blanket. Or use a StoreMyStuff in the living room if it doesn’t have a Disney motif.
- How are consumers reacting to this?
I’m not sure that many people are aware of our focus on multi-use and upcycling yet, but we are trying to raise awareness. What I do know is that Elodie Details as a brand has a reputation for long lasting products. There are buy-and-sell groups on Facebook in many countries with tens of thousands of members. I’m obviously proud of this. A high second-hand value equals low environmental impact, is one of our in-house mantras.
- What’s your advice to me as a consumer to support sustainability?
You can and should choose products with the proper certifications of course. But equally important, whenever you’re getting ready to toss something out you should ask yourself – “Can anyone else benefit from this product?” or “What can I make from this?” before putting it in the trash.
Not every product can be transformed to new purposes, but with the DIY-attitude that’s at the core of Elodie Details’ business (where it all started with a homemade pacifier clip), it’s a fun and rewarding challenge to see how far we can take it.
You can turn a Pearl Velvet Blanket in to a soft and comfortable pillow case. Our Nesting Candle, once used up, becomes a very pretty flower pot or crayon holder. A retired Muslin Blanket is seriously the best window cleaning rag there is. The list goes on and we want to make it longer. So, I’m challenging both my team and our customers to contribute with their ideas. We’re going to start regularly posting little DIY-guides on how to upcycle or re-purpose our products in to something new. Be on the look-out for #EDupcycling on social media!