Welcome to the July/August issue of Materials World

From trainers to tumble dryers, this issue drives home the importance of design, materials selection and manufacturing in creating the products so pertinent to our everyday lives.

When these stages in product development have such a huge impact on functionality, it’s no wonder our authors point to these areas when it comes to identifying improvements in their environmental footprints.

On one hand, researchers from Queen Mary University and the University of Arts London, UK, explore if the number of components and, in turn, materials used within the average trainer could be reduced without compromising functionality and comfort in A shoe in. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, estimates that assembling a pair of trainers requires, staggeringly, more than 360 stages.

On the other hand, laser surface texturing goes for a spin to reduce the energy consumption of the humble tumble dryer in Drying out the laundry. The products might be poles apart but the principles for driving change are similar. In this vein, the medical device sector also has its own mountain to climb around its emissions and waste footprint - see Cleaning up healthcare and Healthy approach.

And regardless of which individual, team, or country you may, or may not support, in the range of sports hitting fever pitch as we go to print, you will hopefully enjoy reading how the principles of circular economy are being explored on the field in football - Football at the grassroots - and cricket - Padding up. Perhaps it might bring some comfort if things don’t go your team’s way. We hope you enjoy this issue.

Rupal Mehta, Editor