The durability and long term of products and materials the challenge of product development and purchasing decisions

Socks break out after just a few uses. The gluing of the shoes loosens, and the insoles and outsoles wear out quickly. Zippers break. The elastic bands of the pants stretch to the bump so that the trousers, otherwise fit, will not stay on their feet. Cars rust and wear and otherwise cause frequent maintenance and repair work. Buildings have to be repaired; water pipes burst. The paintings do not last. In the razor, the small plastic tab breaks so that the trimmer does not get stuck. There are many examples, too short, of products and materials.

Manufacturers have even intended to make the product wearing out enough to sell. But if a product wears out and breaks too easily and quickly, I think the same customer will no longer buy that product, brand unless it is cheap enough. Must buy when more durable is not available. Durability can increase the price of a product. But if you think of a sustainable product, it could cost more and if you save in the long run, the money saved can be used for some other consumption. It saves energy, materials and time, and at the same time saves the environment as products are more durable. The recyclability of products also improves when they are longer lasting.

The supply of long-lasting products increases the competitiveness of the company and the purchasing power of its customers. If you think in the long run: Customers do not need as much revenue when products last longer. Employees do not have to pay as much as they can come along even with the smaller income or can reduce working hours. Businesses can increase the supply of products and services if people have more purchasing power. Wage earning as such is not an end in itself, but a way for people to get along. If consumers make less money and businesses do less, then there is not much work to be done and so much capital required. Longer-term sustainability of buildings, equipment and facilities will reduce investment costs and thus the need for capital. However, in the beginning, when it comes to developing and producing more sustainably, it can attract more capital, expertise and time. Even more durable materials can cost more.

Also, the conditions of use and how the product is utilized determine durability. Under the conditions of use to which the product is to be subjected, the product and the material shall at least remain for a reasonably long time. Could nanotechnology and other new and old methods help to develop products that are more durable and long-lasting, but without harming the environment and health. Humidity, temperature, friction, tensile strength, resistance of chemicals and the design and methods themselves, aging, etc., should be taken into account, among other factors. Price, practicality, design, lightness, manufacturability, marketability, etc. have to be taken into account at the same time.

Sustainable products and materials are environmentally necessary and profitable for society as a whole, at least in the long run. Good reuse and recycling capabilities are also essential. Environmentally sound disposal after decommissioning is also necessary. This is a challenge for product development and also for buyers and sellers to provide customers with more sustainable products. Customers should also receive unbiased and tested information about product and material durability to make purchasing decisions easier.

So, I challenge you to develop more durable shoes, socks, clothing, building equipment, etc. and look for sale more durable products with good price-quality ratio!

Veikko J. Pyhtilä, 22.4.2016