What is it?

Planned obsolescence is an action taken which aims to intentionally reduce a product's lifespan so as to encourage it to be repurchased earlier than necessary. Exacerbated by publicity and marketing, it is able to predict when a product will be out of order as soon as it is designed, encourage the user to replace it and thereby encourage consumption.
Planned obsolescence can come in to play due to one of three reasons:
  • Functionality- when the product no longer works, and it can't be fixed nor can the defected pieces be changed.
  • Psychological- when it relies on fashion or when the consumer is actively encouraged to repurchase the product due to aesthetic reasons.
  • Technological- when the service is no longer guaranteed, or updates are too large for the existing system.

Why did planned obsolescence first come about?

Theorised by Bernard London in 1932 , the main aim of planned obsolescence was to boost growth following the Great Depression. Beneficial for both the economy and society, it supports a model based on production, consumption and investment, the creation of wealth and employment and the support for public spending, which are in turn funded by VAT. But decades have passed, and the model is now showing its limits...

How to fight against planned obsolescence?

Other than the need for change, a greater public, political and economic awareness is emerging, and with it new models: rental, repair, refurbishment, recycling, sustainable and responsible production and certification methods. Legislation has now intervened, such as in France, which was the first country in the world to ban this practice in 2015. Finally, more respectful manufacturers are now making quality-based choices to reduce resource waste and guarantee a longer lifespan for their products. For 40 years, Laurastar has made fighting against planned obsolescence one of its main priorities. Therefore, all Laurastar appliances, thanks to their robustness and the quality of their design, come with a 10 year repair guarantee. They can stay with their users for an entire generation.
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Towards a more ethical world

By tackling the harmful effects of over-consumption, and in turn over-production, the fight against planned obsolescence offers a solution to preserving the environment but also adopting a more ethical attitude. Both businesses and manufacturers have a role to play. The fight against planned obsolescence is part of a bigger movement for a fairer, more inclusive, and more environmentally friendly world, and it's up to everyone to understand this and join in the fight.