Planned obsolescence is the idea that an item is designed to break so consumers will be forced to buy something new. Gone are the days of fixing things, and now everyday appliances with minor problems or outdated design are sent to landfills.
Bluntly, this shortened product lifecycle doesn't do the world many favors. Products are built cheaply — perhaps unsafely — and break quickly. It's just as quick and cost effective to buy another item, and thus more of our unwanted plastic appliances pile up anywhere around the globe that will take them.
Often the plastic guts may be damaged, but the interior electric parts are still viable and when sent off for waste they become toxic to the people and land around them.
If you think this sucks, you aren't alone. Gaspard Tiné-Berè, a student at the Royal College of Art in London agrees. To drive his point home he's created an innovative line of appliances called "Short-Circuit," made from upcycled throwaways and cork.
His collection of appliances are minimalist by design — as he's collected only the working elements from items already thrown away and combined them with salvaged glassware like beakers and wine bottles. He adds cork to finish off the main structure of the products since it is waterproof, anti-bacterial and naturally insulating.
The result of all those old products is something that looks uniquely new and desirable.
In addition to making the Short-Circuit line of products from cast-offs, the items are even more economically and ecologically sound when you realize they required no mould to make them and can easily be updated or repaired as needed.
And of course, when it really is time to say goodbye to these pieces, you can recycle them properly.