The intent of the Beauty Petal is to recognize the need for beauty to enrich our lives and to honor the impacts of the things we make. As a society, we are often surrounded by ugly and inhumane material things that are manufactured and consumed with little thought to the short- or long-term environmental impacts of their life cycles. If we do not care for the things we utilize every day, then why should we extend care outward to our communities and the natural world?
Ideal Conditions and Current Limitations
The Living Product Challenge envisions product design and packaging that elevates our spirits and inspires us to be better than we currently are. Mandating beauty is, by definition, an impossible task. And yet, the level of discussion and, ultimately, the results are elevated through attempting difficult but critical tasks. In this Petal, the Imperatives are based on genuine efforts, thoughtfully applied. We do not begin to assume we can judge beauty and project our own aesthetic values on others. But we do want to understand people’s objectives and know that an effort was made to enrich people’s lives with each physical thing that we contributed to the world, whatever its size or intended use. This intentionality of good design and graceful execution must carry forth into a program for educating the public about the environmental qualities of each Living Product they create.
There are no current limitations to this Petal other than our imaginations and what we as a society choose to value.
The manufacturer must demonstrate that the product gives more than it takes over its entire life cycle, meaning that its handprint is larger than its footprint in relation to one or more sustainability impact categories: human health, climate, energy, water, waste or ecological impacts.
The Positive Handprinting Imperative is achieved when the manufacturer demonstrates that it is achieving handprints that actually exceed the cradle-to-gate footprint of its product for at least one impact category.
The product must contain design features intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture and spirit appropriate to its function. The product must be artfully designed and pleasing to use.
For all registered products, educational materials about the design, manufacturing, use and disposal of the product must be provided to the public so that they understand how the product achieved the Living Product Challenge, including:
- A Living Product feature on the manufacturer’s website for as long as the product is manufactured and sold.
- Interpretive signage explaining the Living Product manufacturing process at the manufacturing facility.
- An ongoing training program to educate workers at the manufacturing facility about the Living Product Imperatives.
- At least one day per year open to the public of non-sensitive/secure areas of the manufacturing facility.
- Completion of a Living Product case study for inclusion on the Institute’s website.