Loop - The Future of Kitchen Appliances
This video shows how to disassemble the toaster.
This video shows how to disassemble the toaster.
Loop is a series of kitchen appliances using one modular cable for all products.
All parts of the product are separable, making repairs and recycling possible.
Repairing the product is a big part of our concept.
What it does
Loop is using only one modular cable for all kitchen appliances. We often throw away fully functioning cables, an unnecessary waste we rarely think of. Loop is designed through Design For Disassembly which makes repairs and recycling possible.
The inspiration came from visiting a recycling station for electronic waste in Sweden. We were shocked with how many fully functioning products were thrown away - or products which could have been easily repaired. There was a container filled with cables - some of them in their original packaging. We wanted to design a series of kitchen appliances with an environmentally friendly approach. This was done by focusing on four important aspects: a modular cable, design for disassembly, circular economy system and timeless design. Since the project was made under a time limit, our main focus was on one of the products from the series, the toaster.
How it works
To be able to use a Loop product you have to plug the cable into the outlet and then into the product. The reason why Loop is using one single cable for all products is to reduce the impact on the environment by forcing the customer to make an active choice in how many cables to buy. How many are really necessary? Loop is designed through a method called Design For Disassembly which makes every material recyclable and repairs possible since no parts are held together with permanent fixings. Today many electronic devices are held together by glue which makes separation of materials difficult, but this method is becoming more and more common and something we want to include in our product. The inner parts are put together by a hooking system where each part can be replaced or fixed individually, and the remaining parts are held together by the legs which function as screws. This means no glue or permanent fixings, and each material can still be recycled.
Our main goal with this project was to create a new way to look at kitchen appliances. Today we buy new things and throw away the old when they feel a bit worn out or out of fashion. Sometimes all they would need is a little bit of repairing. Another big problem is all the cables we have in our homes, and we don’t even know what to do with them. One important factor was to make the cable more valuable than it is today. The devices in our homes needs to start using the same cables to reduce unnecessary waste, and in the beginning we wanted our series to use a USB-C cable which is slowly becoming the standard for computers and cellphones. But after a while we realised that this was not possible, a USB-C can today provide 100 W, most kitchen appliances require at least 1000 W. Therefore we decided to design our own standard for kitchen appliances, half blue-sky, half reality. Another important factor was the timeless design. How can we make sure that the product will not get thrown away because of the aesthetics? So that in 20 years it still feels like something nice and not old and out of style? We did a lot of research on timeless design and made mock-ups and models to create a series of products with an as long lifetime as possible through a timeless and discreet design.
How it is different
Loop kitchen appliances is different because it is putting the value of the product and the materials in the product in focus. Our focus has been on creating a product which will be as long lasting as possible. A new way of looking at and valuing our products. To make this work we have to start making a business out of the repairs to make the economy circular to close the loop. The series is fully repairable and because of this we designed a system for how these products would be repaired - focusing on the Swedish market since we are from Sweden. There is an existing system of tool repairers - where the tool manufacturer collaborates with the different repair stations. We would like to connect Loop to these stations - and have designed the service and an app showing how this would be done. This combined with the highlighted value of the cable is what makes Loop unique.
Since we have tried to make this project as feasible as possible, we would love to put this product on the market. We would love to get in contact with producers and see what they think about the project and to develop prototypes even further to see what possibilities there are with this concept. The goal with the project is to make the lifetime of our products longer, while at the same time making a circular economy possible through putting a value in repairing the product instead of throwing it away.