The Circular Potential of Modular Design

wikkelhouse modules

Modular design, or modularity, refers to an object or system that is made up of smaller independent components, or modules, that may be separated, recombined, and used interchangeably across different units of the object or system it belongs to.

Modular design has been adopted by circular economy practitioners as a means by which to make refurbishment, repair, and upgrade far easier, thus extending product lifetimes and reducing the number of products and materials that are disposed of prematurely.

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Shifting to a leasing ownership model

buyer and supplier shaking hands

Leasing, in which a person rents rather than buys a product from a company, has been heralded as a new circular ownership model with the potential to extend products’ useful lifetime, improve resource efficiency, reduce virgin resource intake, and reduce value and material losses to the economy.

That all sounds great for the environment and the economy, but what about the costs of setting up and maintaining a model of sales that requires complex contract and production coordination, maintenance costs, and recovery methods? What benefit does leasing rather than selling products bring to a business? And is renting rather than owning something that customers want?

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