Hello Emelie James and Emelie Runnquist, could you explain what you do to me like I’m five?
James: My job as Sustainability Design Manager is to give guidance in brand strategies from a bigger sustainability picture, and then drive sustainability objectives in new products, starting from the very first phase of product design.
Runnquist: Trying to use both my brain halves, I’m Design & Product Lead at Urbanears.
You’ve made a very ambitious sustainability pledge. Aren’t you afraid of failing?
Runnquist: I’m an optimist and I’m not afraid of failing a couple of times along the road to 2030, as long as we learn from our mistakes. Also I believe the challenge of the global climate crisis can, and will, accelerate the speed of innovation. Much like the World Wars did in the 20th Century. The digital leap we all took during the pandemic is another example.
James: We’ve also been told previously that some of our goals have been unrealistic. Like the recycled plastic we’re using for our upcoming in-ear product. We were told we wouldn’t be able to reach the desired quality and our desired colors with recycled material. But by sourcing custom recycled material, we did it. Looking ahead, we need to make similar breakthroughs in lots of other areas.
Where does the recycled plastic come from?
James: We have a close partnership with a plastic recycler, with whom we have developed a construction plastic with high quality, which can be made in a rainbow of colours made by 100% preloved products. The source varies a little depending on the final colour, but old water cooler bottles – you know the ones you see in offices around the world – are a source, and also old car lights.
Runnquist: And air conditioners, also from offices. Feels good knowing we turn boring corporate objects into colorful music devices.