Designing a circular economy product provides opportunities for creativity. The design phase challenges the creator to think of the circular economy at the global level and be knowledgeable in all areas of a circular economy product’s lifecycle. The most important objective is to produce a morally beautiful product with a long useful life and a plan for its post-life use. At best, it can be a favourite product passed on from generation to generation or a type of clothing associated with a certain culture. A circular economy product can be a pre-consumer or post-consumer product or made of leftover materials. It can also be a product that is made to last longer by repairing it and making it fashionable in a creative way.
Understanding the circular economy starts from the concepts that describe its various phases. The concepts are still taking shape, and they are influenced by expressions used in international contexts. The concepts related to designing circular economy products are linked to general circular economy concepts as well as traditional concepts used in product design in the textile and fashion industry. They are helpful in work and interaction and set objectives for the design of a circular economy product.
Product design requires limits within which the creative and experimental design process takes place. These limits facilitate brainstorming, clarify the design process and make it possible to meet the aesthetic and moral goals for the process. The limits are determined by studying phenomena and sources of inspiration. This study may focus on various materials, nature, architecture, the shapes and colours of the environment or science, art and culture, for example. A well-implemented research and brainstorming phase helps the designer find new perspectives and feeds their creativity.
The product design tools in the textile and fashion industry are evolving. Drawing skills are still needed, even though digital platforms and design software aimed at three-dimensionality and the use of artificial intelligence are becoming more common. Designing a circular economy product from recycled materials directly on a mannequin often speeds up the design process because it allows the functionality and quality of the material to be tested three-dimensionally.
Branding and commercialisation of a circular economy product contribute to the dissemination of the circular economy ideology and the offering of sustainable alternatives to consumers. Kiertoon.eu cooperates with Economy and Youth (TAT) and offers an online learning environment for teachers and students.