Humans and products are a collaborative network. Since the turn of the century, designers have
increasingly focused on the role of humans in the value delivered by a product. Beyond the
manufacturing and embedded functionalities of products, what value a product delivers to the user and
to the environment, depends a great deal on how it is used. Consider the case of a plastic bag that is
inherently an “unsustainable” product. The plastic bag can be discarded after a one-time use or can be
reused multiple times, thereby delivering higher value to the user and somewhat reducing its own
Designers today strongly believe that humans play a crucial role in determining the sustainability of a
product. A part of it comes from how judiciously (or wastefully) they use a product and the rest comes
from how psychologically they perceive the product. A product can be very impressively designed and
manufactured, but if it fails to be cherished by the user, it is likely to be discarded before it even reaches
the end of its life. After all, industrial design logic is not always what people naturally love.
At Dzukou, when we design or curate our products, we lay special attention to the human component.
This has a big hand in making the product sustainable or unsustainable. On the manufacturing side, we
specifically use only eco-materials such as wood, bamboo, linen, silk, reed, metal, etc. that fully
biodegrade once discarded into the environment. We also adopt a minimalistic approach to design
which brings down material consumption.
But what makes our products interesting is how we look at the human side.
Since the inception of Dzukou, we have deeply focused on designing our products to be exceptionally
functional and experiential. Not only are our products high-quality, they are designed to have long
life-spans. They are also designed to be experiential for the consumer. We focus on organic forms, nude
visuals elements and matte surface textures to make the products feel natural and organic. We in
Dzukou believe - the better the experience the user has with the product, there is more likelihood for
long-term use. More importantly, products that give a great feel tend to create an intimate connection,
and people seldom get bored of such products. Soon a sort of bonding develops, and people tend to
preserve such products even longer.
Dzukou also embraces craftsmanship and handmade goods as key elements in our product lines. In
fact, we view handicraft products as having more potential to further our sustainability goals compared
to factory made eco-friendly goods.The reason being, such products have a high degree of human
involvement on both ends: production as well as consumption. To elaborate: -
- Handicraft production gives us a direct opportunity to work with craft communities. Procuring their
products not only empower them economically, but also gives them a sense of self-actualization of
their work. Companies working with craft communities often like to believe that such communities
only need economic empowerment. But in reality, craft communities also look for recognition of their
creative work when global chains and the factory system are making their work inconspicuous in
modern society. We in dzukou are enabling the producer to have her fingerprints on the product.
- We work with craftsmen to tinker and experiment with the eco-materials from their environment to
bring out more innovative products. This process stimulates their creativity as well as brings out novel
substitutes for plastic. substitutes for plastic. We believe that there are better ways to help these
craftsmen than just by purchasing their products – collaborating with them and helping them
understand how the modern markets function can go a long way in their sustainability.
- Handicraft products are usually superior in quality to their machine – made counterparts. If you
compare handwoven cotton textiles and the ones from the mills, you would understand what we are
talking about. Moreover, handmade products typically have longer life spans - both in terms of quality
and the innate emotional value for the users. Imagine a handmade brooch from your grandmother. It is
likely to be preserved in the family as an heirloom, even passed on from generation to generation. We
at Dzukou attempt to emulate the same humane touch in products of everyday use.
In this industrial world, we have products that wash our dishes, do our laundry, chop our vegetables and
other such chores. And hey! even better - we have smart machines that can even understand our minds.
However, it won’t be wrong to say that in the whole process, humans have been assigned a backseat in
determining the sustainability of a product – this is one aspect which is frequently unexplored by
companies today. The insouciance is partly due to the mindset that if consumers keep a product longer,
the lesser the company can make in profits by churning out new designs. In general, companies stand to
profit when consumers get bored of their products gradually and wish to substitute them with newer
versions . We, at Dzukou, on the other hand, are part of the cohort of new eco-brannds that focus on
meaningful consumption for our buyers rather than mere profitability. We plan to create impact by
making products that last long both in usage as well as in emotional value.
When we set our goal of sustainability, we assume a wholesome view of the production-consumption
cycle. We strive to make our products sustainable not just at the production level but also at the
consumption level. If humans decide what designs we make, what products we create and how
successful we are as a company, why keep them passive? We believe that no consumer should feel like
the passive end user of a factory chain. Every consumer deserves a product that they can not just use,
but cherish. Even better, what if we could tinker with the traditional factory system by a small bit and
involve the craft communities who make amazing products with their skill and creativity? It is an
amazing feeling when we connect these craft communities with the final buyers across the world and
they discover how appreciated their work is by people living continents and oceans away from them.
The world is a small place and Dzukou is trying to reiterate it.
Sustainability is a human game. As much as it is a game of design, materials, manufacturing processes,
environmental policies and company practices.
Éco Packaging Labels
Nine out of ten times we are attracted to products that we see in stores for their packaging. And labels
form an important graphical and informational part in any packaging. However, labels can have several
environmentally unfriendly components such as plastics, metals, inks and adhesives. However, with
growing concern over how unsustainable the current packaging industry is, more and more companies
today try to make their labels environmentally friendly. We pick some of the very interesting ideas that
have been used in labels for making them more eco-friendly.