Is it possible for an aware and concerned individual to live guilt-free in the 21st century? There is increasing evidence that people have a genuine desire to accurately establish the implications of their consumption choices, not only for themselves but also for their fellow humans and for the planet. In this Guilt-Free? issue of Viewpoint we aim to visualise the potential of design-led solutions and show how these can support positive progress towards to world we live in.
There is a strong and widespread sense that all is far from well in the wider world and a growing feeling that we all need to step up to respond to a variety of issues that are hard to ignore – and translate our concerns into action.
The environment is perhaps top of the list, as plastic-choked waters, deforestation, drought, flood and wildlife in crisis become more than just images from far-away places.
People want their consumption choices to actively support the causes they recognise as significant and to be confident that they are doing all they can to reduce personal and collective guilt.
Design and material innovation thus has a key role to play: consumers are more likely to work towards guilt-free living if they have appealing, affordable, readily available options.
This is by no means an impossible dream: we have plenty of alternatives – and we need to activate them.