Made Thought launches subscription platform to eradicate plastic from design process

The “world’s first” tool is supported by the likes of David Chipperfield. Its aim? To prompt designers and leaders to “eradicate one trillion pieces of plastic waste” by 2025.

13 January 2023


PlasticFree is a new online tool created by Made Thought, funded by A Plastic Planet. It is the world’s first materials and systems solutions platform, according to the design agency. The site currently features reports on over 100 plastic-free alternatives, connections to makers and insights into trending materials and system changes. It is supported by an advisory council of 40 designers, scientists and leaders, including David Chipperfield, Shaway Yeh, Thomas Heatherwick and WeTransfer co-founder Damian Bradfield.

The core idea behind PlasticFree is to design out waste at the very beginning of the creative process, with educational resources and daily industry updates seen as key ways to meet this goal. For example, the platform offers 125 case studies showing how and where alternative materials have been used to better existing products. But also examples of where “materials purporting to be plastic-free have been brought to market but don’t meet the EU’s strict ‘plastic-free’ definition – of a polymer that has been chemically altered”, explains a release. In this way, PlasticFree also hopes to tackle the “minefield of misinformation” that exists around single-use materials.

The platform is not a free service, instead operating on a subscription basis. An individual membership starts at £250 a year, with memberships for a whole agency of up to 20 members plus onboarding coming in at £5,000 annually. However, the site outlines it offers special membership rates customised depending on enterprise size.

“We’re getting to the point where we realise that nearly everything needs to be redesigned,” explains Made Thought’s Ben Parker. “Many of the systems don’t work and we can no longer just continue to be complicit in designing into these broken systems as creatives. PlasticFree is a unique inspiration platform for the creative industry that empowers and educates creatives to design differently from the start.”

A Plastic Planet, who are focused on material solutions without plastic, is a partner on the project. Co-founder, Sian Sutherland, adds: “There is significant power held by the 160m global creatives to help us rethink how we take, make and waste, to reimagine different systems and material uses in a very different way from today.” Sutherland continues: “If we can ignite and empower creatives by giving them trusted, relevant data and inspiring case studies, we believe we can change everything much faster.”

GalleryMade Thought / A Plastic Planet: PlasticFree (Copyright © PlasticFree, 2023)

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Made Thought / A Plastic Planet: PlasticFree (Copyright © PlasticFree, 2023)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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