The primary products that young adult consumers spend discretionary income on, when in the process of defining their extended selves, are furniture and clothing. This study compares use, disposal, and redesign practices of these products by young adult Millennials. This age cohort is in the process of defining a new lifecycle model of product use. A convenience sample of 238 university students in San Francisco, California responded to Likert scale and ranking statements regarding perceptions and practices with clothing and furniture consumption, use, reuse and redesign. Perceptions regarding use and waste were similar for clothing and furniture products, highlighting the cross-disciplinary view of these categories. Preferences for purchase of both clothing and furniture were based on the ability of product reuse or redesign. Dominant preferences for product disposal were to donate and give away. In lieu of disposal, subjects practiced updating and redesigning clothing and furniture, extending the product lifecycle. The extension of product life through redesign and reuse of disposed items contributes to the category of post-use, thereby further defining the Millenial view. Anticipated to be the largest age cohort and market segment in history, understanding Millennials’ preferences for purchase of reusable and redesignable products is essential, as they are anticipated to have a continued impact on economic and societal trends. Their ability to reuse or redesign clothing and furniture has significant ramifications for the design industries. Their sensitivity to the extended life of products is critical to marketing for the future. A new model of extended product life, critical for product design, marketing and retailing, was developed based on the research findings. The model illustrates an understanding and awareness of actions that lead to new product lifecycles.
|Keywords:||Product Lifecycle, Reuse, Redesign, Cross-disciplinary Design, Millennial|
Assistant Professor, Interior Design, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA
Associate Professor, Apparel Design and Merchandising, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA