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Our current material culture drives a system of production, manufacturing, transportation, and disposal that directly and indirectly impacts human lives every step of the way. This economy of goods makes its mark on the physical landscape through devastated environments, polluted waterways, and toxic air— often exposing lower income communities at much higher rates.

However, many companies and communities are beginning to work together to transform our material and product economies into a system based on equitable access and fair treatment. Databases like JUST provides public access to organizations and companies with transparent policies and practices, whose business models are built around the ideas of an equitable workforce and community development.

"Imagine truly sustainable goods in our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, villages, towns and cities— products that are Socially Just, Culturally Rich and Ecologically Restorative." (Living Product Institute)

DESIGN STRATEGIES

KEY PRODUCT CONSIDERATIONS

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Corporate Workplace
Does the manufacturer have transparent corporate policies?
What reporting and elevations are being done?
Is the corporate culture rooted in social equity?
Assessed through resources like: B Corp, RE100, UN Global Compact, JUST

Supply Chain
Are all aspects of the supply chain being approached ethically and responsibly?
Assessed through resources like: Cradle to Cradle, FACTS, Living Product Challenge

Community Support
What impacts, both positive and negative, are being passed on the local communities?
Does the manufacturer facilitate community programs?
Measured through resources like: WELL, JUST

PRODUCT & MANUFACTURER HIGHLIGHTS

WORDS OF INSPIRATION

ANA ISABEL BAPTISTA ON "GLOBAL GOODS, LOCAL IMPACTS"
Watch as Ana Isabel Baptista, PhD looks at the relationship between material health and community in her hometown through a deep dive into 'Goods' and 'Garbage' at the 2019 Design Frontiers Symposium hosted by the Healthy Materials Lab.

FURTHER READING

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Also In This Series: WASTE, WATER, CIRCULARITY, CARBON, HEALTH

↑  Glossary