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From consumer to caretaker – a circular experiment

Can a digital bond between product, user and maker form circular habits that do good for people, planet and business? Can we support a change of mindset from consumption to care, maximize user value and keep our garments in a circular ecosystem? These are the fundamental questions that Houdini Sportswear, Europe's most progressive, sustainable outdoor brand, has invited us to explore together with Prototype, Eon Group and YKK. The first creation is just about to reach the hands of early users.

When Houdini Sportswear reached out to One Day Interact in spring 2021, their goal was to collaborate, explore and move fast on a small budget with a cross functional remote team.

The scope was to design and develop a first small version, a “seed”, that could reach customers early and evolve over time with users involved as co-creators. Houdini also wanted to incorporate Eon Group’s traceable product id and YKK’s Near Field Communication (NFC) zipper.

The major challenge was to design a service that would not compete with the user’s nature experience. We used Houdini’s two principles “Connect to nature” and “Stop counting start feeling” to guide us in the process.


Houdini wanted to:

  • Innovate with the intention to nudge and support circular habits.
  • Start small with the intention to scale over time.
  • Move fast with a moderate budget.
  • Collaborate and include minds from both, tech, design, marketing, product and management. 
  • Design with their own notions and feelings as guide, as opposed to initial user studies.    
  • Include up and coming green tech.
  • Minimize, user distraction.


We formed a cross functional team with CEO Eva Karlsson, Jesper Danielsson – Head of design & product, Angelica Molin – Head of E-Commerce at Houdini Sportswear, Linda Almqvist – Tech lead, Jonna Sellén – Co-Tech lead, programmers Hilda Robertsson and Eric Andersson at Prototyp.

We facilitated the process through Miro and defined scope and goals, did user journey mappings, ideated and built light weight prototypes with Adobe XD. We designed the UX and UI with a small design system, co-edited copy and did icons and illustrations. Prototyp did all the coding.


We did:

  • Design thinking and sprint approach.
  • Facilitation over Miro.
  • User journey mappings and collaborative ideation.
  • Service design.
  • UX- and UI design.
  • Prototypes
  • Co-editing of copy.
  • Illustration

After several iterations and code development we now have a first small version that goes out to Houdini Friends and a selected few. Follow Houdini Sportswear for more. 

Version 1.0 includes:

  • The connection between garment and user.
  • The story of the garment.
  • The story of the service.
  • Garment features and how to wear for maximum value.
  • How to care for and repair the garment.
  • “Life line” were user can logg adventures and other events.
  • How to pass it on and keep it in the Houdini ecosystem.
  • Feedback feature and invitation for co-creators.

In collaboration with Houdini, EON, YKK and Prototyp we conceptualized, designed and developed a digital product with aim to inspire and guide to circular use.

Exploring how digital design can support the critical transformation from linear to circular is truly exciting, especially in collaboration with such geniuses at One Day Interact, Prototyp, EON and YKK. Design, whether of products, materials, digital or systems, is our most powerful tool for this transformation. I can’t wait to invite some of our users in the co-creative process ahead!

We strongly believe that every designer and manufacturer of products and services has the obligation and opportunity to rethink how they impact people and our planet. To collaborate with a progressive outdoor brand like Houdini and a cutting edge code lab as Prototyp, on how to help customers become circular caretakers through digital experiences, is fun, challenging and feels truly meaningful.

Digital products and services can have an immense power, and all I ever wanted as a developer is to use that power for a good cause. This sustainable project has been one of the most rewarding and fun I’ve worked with. I’m so proud of everyone involved in this little service. We’re all eager to hear the response from Houdini users and follow this project’s journey into the future of the circular economy.


Care to know more about this project?
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Charli Kasselbäck

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