Products of Change


Thu 16 Mar 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

POC's Circular Design Course offers industry attendees 'the full package'

It was a 360º view of London and a full day of learning that attendees of the first Products of Change Circular Packaging Design Course were met with earlier this week, as the educational course made its successful debut on Blackfriars on Tuesday. Offering a snapshot of the cross-industry collaboration at the heart of the Products of Change mission, the full-day workshop brought together members from across the consumer products industries, from toys and brand owners to housewares and licensed sports merch specialists. Led by Mike Swain and Richard Coles, two titans of the UK packaging scene, the course provided both a deep dive into the many areas impacting upon packaging design, including legislative pressures, sustainable demands, and of course consumer influence.

Attendees from Mattel, Paramount, Addo Play, and TDP Textiles joined those from FOCO, Robert Welch, Inside Out Toys, and Talking Tables for a day of idea exploring and education
It also offered attendees the room for ideas around approaches to design and materials to percolate. Christopher Doyle, creative director at Inside Out Toys, who attended the course’s three-hour online session and the full-day in-person workshop, said: “I learnt a phenomenal amount, all of which is extremely useful for us at Inside Out Toys. I’m already putting together a presentation of short-term and long-term goals. “I felt like a sponge, absorbing all the information from everyone. It was brilliant.” Mike Swain, Products of Change’s Ambassador for Packaging, called upon his 30 years’ experience of the packaging industry to co-develop the course alongside Richard Coles, a packaging expert and part time packaging design course lecturer at Greenwich University. The course offered attendees a foundational understanding of the circular economy, the legislative changes taking place to nudge the consumer products sectors towards it, and the principles needed to design fit-for-purpose packaging for a more circular system.
Informa provided the conference space while London provided the views as the backdrop to the in-person workshop in the UK capital this week.
The course also offered various case studies that Mike and Richard had personal experience of and the learning taken from each. Course attendees included design experts from the likes of Paramount, Mattel, Addo Play, Inside Out Toys, the housewares specialist Robert Welch, Talking Tables, TDP Textiles, and FOCO. The full-day workshop was held at the Informa Offices in London’s Blackfriars. “The Circular Packaging Design Course has really helped me re-think my company’s approach to prioritising packaging and how I can explain how complex it really is,” said Teresa Hookins, creative director at the toy experts, Addo Play. “The course was so informative and helpful to those wanting to influence packaging and its impact on the earth we live on.”
Products of Change's Ambassador for Packaging, Mike Swain taking a well-earned break at the Circular Packaging Design Course this week.
The Circular Packaging Design Course has been constructed in a way to encourage attendees to approach the subject of packaging from a new perspective and think upon ways to influence customers to do the same by seeing the value in packaging and its relationship to the product they are purchasing. Encouraged by the positive reaction to the educational course, Products of Change is looking at future dates for further courses. Stay tuned and stay connected via the Products of Change newsletter and membership hub here.