Designerbox began delivering boxes in the manner of gourmet surprises to its subscribers in 2012, and since 2019 several firms have come knocking at its door in search of sustainable, Europe-made alternatives to omnipresent mass-produced and Chinese gifts. This is a trend that raises questions... Is it about genuine conscientious decision-making or is it just the way it is post-Covid? Philippe Lehr, associate director at Designerbox, enlightens us.
We’ve all been offered branded pens and gadgets in the street or given them as gifts... But how do you see the business gifts and goodies sector today?
It covers all kinds of products, ranging indeed from 10-cent goodies to smart speakers. Price constraints come into it, but also habits dating from the era when China was the workshop fo the world... We need time and a few electric shocks to change the way we think, especially about supply channels.
Écureuil Didy pour la caisse d'Épargne
Why, in your opinion, are firms looking at alternative ways of working today? we simply stop giving or producing useless gifts?
We will always need to thank, to give pleasure – and all excuses for doing this are good! On the other hand, perhaps we can do better with less and get out of the mode of wanting more and more choice. Working on the experience and thinking local in terms of manufacture will allow us to give meaning back to the gesture of giving...
This is part of the raison d’être of Designerbox and perhaps what brings firms knocking at Designerbox’s door.How does this link with design? in what way can design respond? And in what way could this sector represent an opportunity?
The gift sector in general is a colossal market and in my view represents a real opportunity for the whole design eco-system, from designers to artisans. Design is not just making something beautiful and useful. One of the missions of the designer is to do the maximum with the minimum of materials. If this challenge is met and if we keep the supply chain to a minimum, it’s wholly possible to compete with the prices of goods from Asia, as well as offering the advantages of greater flexibility, zero over-production and shorter waiting times.
So in your opinion: Genuine conscientious decision-making or just a trend?
Genuine conscientiousness, but it will take time to renew what’s on offer and for customers to get their heads’ round the inevitable increase in prices, however minimal.
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