If products embarrass, businesses may fail

1 min read

The decision by Wyevale Garden Centres to drop patio heaters took only ten minutes, according to sustainable product expert and advisor Professor Alan Knight, which was quickly followed by a similar decision by B&Q and a resulting fall in sales for the importer of 37 per cent.

Speaking to the just held Kent 2020 Vision event, he said that all designers, manufacturers and importers should be asking themselves, “Does your product make the world a better place or a worse place? What would your product say if it could? Would it be embarrassing? Will you flourish or wither and die because you have the wrong story?” He also noted that, “Local is coming through as important”, rather than always importing from cheap sources far away, and that the move to be ‘green’ and sustainable was not being driven by consumers as much as it was by governments under the influence of pressure groups and the press. However, he made it clear that he thought this was no bad thing, since he observed that at present, if the earth was being run as a business, “Your bank manager would not let you invest in planet earth”.