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Developing and trialling new, more resource efficient, product offerings (Reuse and Repair of Vacuum Cleaners) - EV0554

This research project will increase understanding of consumers’ perceptions of dirt, damage and maintenance in the context of product life-times and trial strategies for resource efficiency based on design for product longevity. The focus will be on vacuum cleaners, but the findings will be explored in relation to other consumer products that are significantly affected by dirt, ranging from computer keyboards to bicycles.
The primary objectives of the research are:

I. To investigate consumer perceptions of dirtiness and brokenness using vacuum cleaners as a case study, including how they define quality/durability, cleanliness, efficiency and performance, and to identify the real motivations for replacement and the barriers to good maintenance.
II. To verify the consistency between consumers’ perception and the actual status of discarded vacuum cleaners and to classify perceived dirtiness and brokenness in relation to people’s attitudes to cleanliness and maintenance.
III. To plan and trial design interventions to improve maintainability and longevity of vacuum cleaners, fostering the active engagement of consumers and manufacturers to make more with less for longer.
IV. To make recommendations relating to other products susceptible to dirt, including policy, based on findings from the interventions.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : Dirt Technical Report Final   (1705k)
• TRP - Technical Report : Dirt Technical Report Appendices Final   (5554k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £137,108
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Nottingham Trent University
Fields of Study
Sustainable Consumption and Production