By focusing on a familiar and highly accessible product, a child's doll, this study explores in rich detail the social and environmental costs of globalization. However, the book goes beyond a simple critique of the doll-making industry and seeks to present models of sustainable production and lay out a framework for designing more sustainable products. The careful selection of three case studies based in Germany, China, and Peru provides evidence of the possibilities and problems we encounter in seeking production systems that are just and fair, respectful of communities, and protective of human health and the environment. These case studies offer a broad menu of options for going beyond 'green' products. This is a fine, upbeat book for those interested in how we should make products in a sustainable future. --Ken Geiser, Ph.D., Professor of Work Environment, Co-Director, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell
The case studies in Beyond Child's Play beautifully illustrate the importance of addressing the environmental and social histories that lie behind some of the most lovable and seemingly benign objects found in our societies dolls. Dr. Sally Edwards defines a powerful framework for creating sustainable products that demonstrate as much care for the workers who create them as for the children for whom they are purchased. While most design and sustainability practitioners acknowledge the importance of the social side of sustainability in product design, they typically only practice eco-design. Edwards lays out a framework for sustainable product design that clearly defines the parameters for what it means to make products that not only are beneficial for consumers, economically viable, and environmentally sound, but also are safe for workers and beneficial for local communities. For too long, consideration of these elements has been deferred. This book will be of much benefit to product designers and to anyone interested in or engaged with corporate sustainability initiatives. --Lauren Heine, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor, Clean Production Action, Principal, Lauren Hein Group LLC, Bellingham, WA
Those of us interested in how the stuff we use everyday is produced tend to think of the manufacturing process as polluting and hazardous to workers. Even the final product is usually of questionable value. Sally Edwards uses case studies of doll production to show that, yes, mass production of this seemingly benign object is harmful, and she documents the nature of the harms. More importantly, she shows us that there are alternative ways of making things that are good for workers and good for communities. This is an important book for anyone who has ever thought about where, how, and by whom everyday things are made, and is not pleased with the current reality. --Beth Rosenberg, Sc.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health & Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston
About the Author
Sally Edwards is a research associate at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She conducts research on sustainable product design and has convened a multi-stakeholder initiative of toy manufacturers, retailers, designers, children's environmental health advocates, academics, and government policymakers to improve the sustainability of children's products. Dr. Edwards has wide-ranging experience in the field of environmental health, including 14 years in the public sector (at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boston and Anchorage, Alaska, and in the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation). Her work in state and federal government included hazardous waste clean-up, risk assessment and communication, comparative risk analysis, strategic planning, pollution prevention, and sustainable development. As an environmental consultant, she assisted the Devens Enterprise Commission with the sustainable redevelopment of Devens, a former U.S. Army base located west of Boston. She received a B.A. from Stanford University and a master's degree in environmental health science from Harvard University, and completed her doctorate in work environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.