Students devise circular economy service models for Touchpoint

The assignment received from Touchpoint, a manufacturer of ecological work clothing, invited students to develop solutions for the leasing of work clothes.

How do you make a work clothes leasing service as easy and cost-effective as possible for business customers while, at the same time, also ensuring responsible recycling of clothes and the reuse of materials? These were some of the questions that Laurea’s students worked on when devising solutions to the assignment given by Touchpoint.

A Finnish company founded in 2008, Touchpoint designs and manufactures ecological clothing for work. When making outfits for restaurant, nursing and other similar work, the company aims to use materials as effectively as possible and utilise recycled materials.

-    We wanted the assignment to give the student teams as much leeway as possible to think outside of the box regarding the solutions for work clothes leasing. The students did, in fact, come up with many different approaches, which I found to be extremely welcome, says Outi Luukko, Managing Director of Touchpoint, describing the company’s assignment.

“Interesting assignment”

The Service Design study unit on offer at Laurea’s Leppävaara campus was attended by students from various degree programmes, including exchange students. The study unit, which took place in the autumn semester, culminated on 7 December when the teams of students presented their ideas to the client.

The teams employed service design methods to develop five different solutions for Touchpoint. In their proposals, the students offered ideas for various mobile applications, the brand look, web pages as well as ecological transportation and packaging solutions.

Niina Härkönen and Julia Taari, students of Business Management, and Markus Kasperi, student of Business Information Systems, were part of a team that worked on a work clothes leasing service for educational institutions.

-    They found the study unit and assignment to be interesting. According to them, it was fun to collaborate on an idea that might really be adopted by a company.

-    The spirit in our team was excellent from the very beginning. The task never felt exasperating, and all the team members came up with good ideas throughout the project.

“Original ideas from students”

After the ideas had been presented, Managing Director Luukko thanked the students for their good ideas. She was satisfied with the students’ performance during the project:

-    The students were clearly motivated and took a serious approach to the assignment. Their work showed that they had put their heart into it and made a real effort, says Luukko.

Touchpoint has previous experience of student cooperation and was one of the cooperation partners when Laurea organised last spring’s RESTO competition for hospitality management students.

-    At best, projects carried out with students provide us with new perspectives that might never have occurred to us. Students aren’t part of our operations in the same way, which enables them to seek new perspectives open-mindedly, Luukko adds.