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face-lifting electrical appliances

Modern kitchen appliances are no longer designed to last. Instead, they are produced as cheaply as possible, likely having a lifespan of only a few years, then disposed of when they: no longer seem to function, don’t match the new kitchen aesthetic, or even when the user is bored of seeing the same appliance.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is already at over 50 million tonnes a year globally, and continually on the rise.

how can these organisations continue producing such disposable appliances?

The main competitor on the market, Dualit, offers repairable appliances as part of their business model, but don’t make it easy for the consumers to carry the repair out.

this needs to change.

For this project, I wanted more durable components to not have their service life cut short. I wanted replacement modules to be as low cost as possible. I wanted to offer easy customisation to keep the appliance on trend. All while still providing a relatively stable income for organisations after creating a longer lasting product.

Therefore, I proposed the appliance have a longer-lasting ‘chassis’ that strikes a balance between longevity and repairability, and an easily replaceable cover that allows a visual change of the appliance, without the cost and environmental harm of a new unit.

This strategy is likely to increase the initial purchase cost of the appliance but be much cheaper to repair/replace over time; making it a competitive option for those that can already afford the mid-range appliances.

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