Two words loom large in corporate manufacturing today; they are ‘irrepairable’ and ‘obsolescence’. Today’s business model is often described as ‘take, make & dispose of’ and coupled together they mean users like us are literally forced to replace products instead of being given the option of repairing them. This is solely so that manufacturers can maximise profits; at our expense financially and the planet’s expense environmentally.
This process is a linear business model. Products are made, consumed and dumped and it goes on ad infinitum until either our money or resources run out. Not good for users and simply appalling for the environment and our childrens’ futures – but extremely profitable in the short term.
There is a growing alternative – The Circular Economy – design, use, fix & return. It’s a movement driven by increasing recognition and realisation that the current linear business is genuinely impossible to sustain.
The whole point of the circular economy, for me at least, is to drive forward by looking back. Back to a time where we designed for longevity, repairability and the ability to recover and reuse most, if not all, of the materials used in order to minimise environmental impact and protect our finite earthly resources.
TapMedic’s invention was heavily influenced by the utter wastefulness of the linear business model as written about elsewhere on this site. The awful impacts in all manner of spheres were identified so we decided to make absolutely sure our design would demonstrate that the circular economy could be both morally and financially rewarding for all involved.
Just like energy in physics (it’s never lost but only changes ‘state’), there can be no ultimate loss or gain. In designing TapMedic what we have done is turn the winners and losers from the linear model on its head. Where once shareholders and corporations made money at the expense of users and installers, we wish to give it instead to users and installers – with some for us too.
TapMedic will be made in Europe. We do not exploit countries where people are paid little just to maximise profits. We do not ship halfway across the globe at huge cost to our environment and our childrens’ futures. Where possible, we make locally and instead of destroying livelihoods for literally fractions of a penny we aim to bring skilled jobs and family stability back. We encourage reuse, we encourage, endorse and facilitate repair. We encourage and facilitate any feedback on how we can make what we do and how we do it better for our planet.
At a headline level we do not seem to offer much; after all, what’s a few new tap cartridges? However, our embarrassingly simple concept is applicable globally. The 3 million we see as our annual market here in the UK is but the tip of the iceberg of an existing the worldwide market waiting for us.
When we looked at the market for taps globally in places like social housing and health, we found a couple of manufacturers consistently outperforming everyone else. It turns out these guys win by offering continuity of supply above all else. That is, they offer a long life time for their kit by supplying spares. However, the initial cost of the taps and the ongoing spares costs are still astronomical. Using TapMedic, lower cost taps could be specified saving millions in itself and, more importantly, ongoing maintenance would cost less than 10% of manufacturers prices for an almost infinite period. Again saving endless millions.
That, dear reader, makes TapMedic a true contributor to the Circular Economy… What do you think?