Every day. Sustainability. Proven.

As I’ve transitioned from Industrial Design into CMF Design, more often than not, I’ve received skepticism. Doubts about the field itself, whether the subject matter has a weight in an already saturated art industry, or the fact that most people think it is pure fluff. Whenever someone asks me to describe what I do, I struggle to find words that can capture what Color, Materials, and Finishes is all about. Sure, we choose color. Sounds easy. Yes, we pick materials. Anyone can do that, right? A few of us would beg to differ. But how can I describe to people what the field is truly about? I finally found a company I can use as an example that has made CMF an integral part of their design, business plan, and way of life. Nespresso.


My mother recently bought a machine and has absolutely raved about it since the day she opened the package a few months ago. I had the biggest sneaking suspicion it was just like any other overpriced coffee machine you could buy. Until I tried it today.

The machine itself is great. Nothing to really report on there. Seems easy to use, well made, and efficient. I make a cappuccino and my mom starts taking the discarded pods from the back of the machine and placing them into a plastic bag with a mailing address on the front. My mom has never been a stickler for recycling in the past, so I ask what it was. She explains to me how Nespresso takes back all of the used pods to be reprocessed. I’m fascinated. I research the company and find a campaign titled “capsule end-of-life.” I’m not sure if that phrase is still used, but check out the hyperlink. They have great visuals accompanied by concise and well-done content.

Their pods were chosen to be made out of aluminum for several reasons. One of the biggest being its flexibility in application and recyclability. Nespresso has created a business plan that was founded on the premise of cyclical thinking. More than probably 90% of the time, a company sells a product to a consumer, and never sees it again. A company is not responsible for the way a product is disposed of; completely defeating the purpose of those “green” materials they invested in towards the beginning of the process. Nespresso is changing that mindset and now succeeding at the most efficient and truly sustainable way of business. And I am so happy to be able to geek out about their company to the next culprit who unknowingly asks about my studies!