Planning around the Year of the Tiger

On Tuesday 1st February celebrations for the Chinese New Year begin!

In China these festivities will continue long after this date, sixteen days to be precise! Sixteen days when factories close and virtually all manufacturing processes stop for the full duration of this holiday period. Some factories will close for even longer to allow for their workers to travel the huge distances to return to their home towns and villages. It is not unusual for workers to travel for several days to see family and friends they may not have seen for almost a year.

The Chinese New Year is therefore very important throughout China and much of South East Asia; of significant global importance, it is very much intertwined with the UKs business culture and it’s planning.

Whilst lead times are important to a project whatever the time of year, planning and scheduling are of upmost importance when the Chinese New Year falls during the production process. The effect this can have on a project’s lead time could cause significant delay and ramifications if not borne in mind at the onset. It can be quite a task to co-ordinate between different regions when moving tools and goods to arrive within a production window. Experience of working with domestic and offshore manufacturers and suppliers coupled with experience of the differing cultures and practices of quite a few countries certainly helps to minimise any delays in production.

The impact of Covid in China is not widely reported here in the West but it is clear from our sources that the planning we all need to make for Chinese New Year relies more than ever on asking the right questions and having suppliers that you have a long term working relationship with. Our close relationships with Chinese suppliers have ensured that our clients have had regular and accurate updates about the situation in China and planned effectively with very little disruption caused.

The Covid pandemic has brought challenges for domestic and offshore manufacturing over the last 2 years and at this time we are thinking of our friends in far away China who we have not seen for many months and say that we hope the year of the Tiger will bring health, happiness and prosperity. Thank you for your continued support and the extraordinary efforts you go to.

Do you need help taking your product idea to manufacture?

Whatever the budget is for tooling, your required quantities and your preferred country of manufacture we will assist with determining the optimum manufacturing solution to meet the demands of the project. Working with our network of manufacturing partners, we can ensure suppliers meet the quality you expect both the in-pre-production trials and once production has started. This assistance proves invaluable when opting for a manufacturer overseas.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements.



Happy New Year. Happy New Success.

Have you planned any New Product Development activity for 2022? If you or your team are repeatedly treading the same ground, Sated Design will offer a fresh perspective and inspire new ideas which could turn into great products.

What we do
Sated Design offer a complete design for manufacturing service, making ideas a reality and guiding clients from initial concept to marketplace-ready product. Based in South West England, we offer a big city service at very competitive rates.

Who we are
Sated Design is a name used for marketing the specific expertise of Hillside Product Design Ltd in designing adult pleasure products. We are guided by Director Chris Howsam, who founded the company in 2003, after a product design consultancy career spanning nearly twenty years. He is supported by a team of exceptional design and engineering experts who all share a passion for creating innovative and successful products.

How we can help
Sated Design provide a wide range of services to take your project from a simple idea to the production line. We’re a full-service consultancy but can step in and assist at any stage of a project to suit your needs.

Don’t just take our word for it
Take a look at our project portfolio.

Talk to us! We are experts in product design. It’s what we do.



Season’s Greetings from Sated Design

And so we say goodbye to another year. During last year’s greeting we were hoping that the worst was behind us and so it was but like many other businesses we are not totally free of the repercussions and ravages of Covid 19. This has the makings of a story that will go on for a long time with ever more twists and turns like a rubbish TV serial way past its switch off date!

Despite these challenges, we as a business continue to adapt to new ways of working and have remained on hand to support our clients at every step.

Sated’s Director Chris Howsam says “The resilience of our business community continues to be tested but it is determined to move forward by adapting to every twist and turn of the plot whilst acting in the best interests of its employees and customers. This has been a challenge we and many other businesses have faced and overcome. So, this year we should say thank you to those who have supporting our decisions, good and bad as we get through to the other side.”

“I wish all of our clients and colleagues a safe and restful break over the holidays. I feel sure that 2022 will see new energy, new ideas and new success, so let’s look forward to that as 2021 draws to a close.”

If you would like to embark on a new product development in 2022, we’d be delighted to hear more about it. Contact us today to start your project.



The truth about plastic: Part 2 – Where does plastic waste come from?

In the previous article we established that we all need a certain amount of plastic in our lives. We all know that plastic does not miraculously disappear once it’s thrown away and that our plastic waste can end up in other people’s back yards and in our oceans. If you use plastic you will create plastic waste.

We have been heartened and impressed by the innovation of companies like Devon Contract Waste and their desire to deal with the mounting plastic problem but sadly we saw first-hand how their efforts are frustrated by the amount of different plastics we have in our world, and the risks contaminated consumer plastics pose to recycling effectively.

There’s also a serious and global overuse problem that needs dealing with.

Nature put a waterproof skin on an apple so why does the apple have to be sold in a waterproof plastic bag? We all experience the frustration of finding an item hidden within three layers of packaging. It’s reasonable to ask, “Why do we tolerate the waste of such a precious resource as plastics for inappropriate single use packaging?”

The key word here is inappropriate. It is inappropriate to put a plastic bag around an apple for the journey from the shop shelf to the fruit bowl and then put that apple and bag into another carrier bag and throw both away at the journeys end. Unbelievably the cost of the packaging around the product is often a bigger constituent cost of the whole than the product within. It is absurd and we have to reconcile the fact that the consumer then throws the packaging away.

Where is the benefit in that for either the customer or the planet?

We all have a part to play by being savvy about using plastics and refusing to accept wasteful and unnecessary plastics, especially in packaging. So the next time you purchase a product, look at the amount of packaging and ask if it’s necessary? Can it be recycled in your household waste? If the answer to both these questions is “no” then it’s time to challenge the use of this plastic with those retailers and manufacturers to be more responsible.

We can also be more responsible at this time of year when everyone is hoping to receive gifts already presented in the finest, most attractive packaging and which are then further gift wrapped. We are not trying to take anything away from the love and sentiment behind those gifts but we hope there will be a moment for each and every one of us to reflect on the bulging bags of rubbish being disposed of between Christmas and New Year.

Can next year be different? Maybe the new year’s resolution for everyone including businesses and retailers would be a pledge to do something positive to save the planet from drowning in plastic waste.



The truth about plastic: Part 1 – Is plastic-free feasible?

The inconvenient and very awkward truth about the problem of plastic is overuse and the global reluctance to address this. Unless you elect to live in the stone age you need plastics. Within minutes of getting out of bed into a life without plastics you would be uncomfortable and very unsafe. As you step out of bed many of us put our feet on a carpet containing plastic fibres. The bristles in our toothbrushes are variants of the same fibres. The water flowing through the tap can only flow because the valves in the taps and the rest of the system are made from elastomers.

Making a plastic free breakfast would be almost impossible for the vast majority of us who could not cook on an open fire because the electricity in the circuits relies on insulated switching gear. The copper used in making the wiring has to be mined. The other metals used in making pipes for liquids and gas also have to be mined. Mining and refining rely on equipment and processes that cannot happen without thousands of plastic parts, not forgetting the miles and miles of electrical insulation around the wires of countless circuits. So, it does not matter where the electricity, water or gas could come from if it can’t be delivered to or used at the point of need in a plastic free world.

Without the heating on to fight off a chilly morning or make a warm drink some will succumb to infection and end up with bacterial pneumonia. The chances of dying from this common infection would substantially increase to about 1 in 3 without antibiotics. The production of antibiotics requires highly technical plastics used in piping for air and nutrient delivery systems. The loss of life caused by unavailability of antibiotics would be catastrophic in a plastic free world.

The huge worldwide effort to fight Covid has only been possible because of the use of plastics at the heart of the infrastructure that guarantee vaccine identity, purity, sterility, efficacy and safety that we have all been desperate for.

The truth is that plastics are not the problem, it’s the abuse of the resource of plastics that is the problem. If we treated all plastic (which are petroleum derived products) as a finite and therefore precious resource we would then reserve plastics for important uses. Here is the crunch. What do we all agree is the correct use of plastics? Is it the millions of tons of excessive single use plastic packaging, or the seals, electrical insulation and technical mouldings, sheets and tubes we all derive enormous benefit from?

In every sphere of life we all need a certain amount of guaranteed high quality plastic to meet the compliance demands of manufacturing. This can include medical, industrial, aeronautical, food and thousands of other important applications. To put it bluntly, would anyone accept a surgical implant made from grubby old food pots, no matter how much you washed them out before hand?
In our opinion the only viable option is to reduce the use of plastics for only those purposes where it really matters. This is where product designers can make the most difference. By using materials sensibly and designing proper products for a proper purpose we can use plastics in the right way and live with them in our world.



How much do our sex lives impact on climate change?

The adult toy industry is estimated to be worth £36.1 billion by 2027 and encompasses electronic products, clothing, lubricants and contraceptives within its remit. All of these products will have a carbon footprint and an impact on climate change. Clearly some more than others – 10 million latex condoms are reportedly manufactured each year and disposed of in landfill after a single use. Many water-based or organic lubricants cannot be used with most condoms because of the risks of breakages.

So there lies a problem. Being responsible and protecting ourselves (i.e. using proper methods of contraception) can be in direct conflict with protecting our planet. The environmental costs of contraception will need to be off-set but it is our choice as a consumer if and how we choose to do this. For example, pledging a meat-free day, walking instead of using the car, showering instead of using the bath can all act as carbon offsets in exchange for our extracurricular activity!

Many pleasure product manufacturers are now considering ethical design – rechargeable toys and ethically made lingerie now feature in the majority of online and bricks and mortar retail outlets. Manufacturing poorly designed and poorly made novelty products is not justified. Not only does this damage the reputation of our industry but these products are manufactured waste products that shamefully clog up the planet.

We touched on the latest ISO 3533 safety standards for sex toys in our last article. Although voluntary, these standards will help set a quality bar within the industry.

At Sated Design, we can do our bit by ensuring that every product we design has a purpose and is designed with quality and longevity in mind. We invite our clients to think about the bigger picture too through their innovation.

It isn’t always possible to do the best thing for our planet in order to protect our own selves, however by being design savvy and off setting with ethical consideration we will go a way towards reducing our carbon footprint.

If you have an idea for a new adult toy or wish to review a current one we’d be happy to discuss this with you. Contact us today.



We’re in ETO Magazine!

We are delighted that our opinion on the latest ISO 3533 standards for adult pleasure products features as part of an industry standards article in the November issue of ETO Magazine.

Read the full article here.

Billed as the “Pleasure Products Trade Magazine”, ETO is a respected B2B publication distributed to adult retailers and manufacturers based in the UK. The publication has a total readership of 15,000.

Let us know your views…..

Do you think the new safety standard, even voluntary, well help to improve the reputation of our industry? We’d love to hear from you!

If you have an idea for a new adult toy or wish to review a current one, we’d be happy to discuss this with you. Contact us today.



A long time coming – The adult toy industry finally gets a set of quality standards

Sated Design’s mission has always been to bring legitimate product design into the ‘wild west’ of adult toys. News of the new ISO 3533: Sex toys design and safety standards is music to our ears when so many products in the marketplace are badly designed, poorly made and risk harming the end users.

Considering how and where adult toys are used, a lack of safety and quality standards particularly with regards to materials has posed huge risks to the professionalism and reputation of the industry. The disregards of some for even the most basic diligence in materials and design has caused medical related problems for end users; so much so that the formation of the new ISO 3533 was reported as being initially proposed by medical professionals, concerned by the number of sex toy related surgical procedures and ailments they were seeing.

In our opinion there is no excuse for producing a product that risks harming its user and there are many safety standards which are sidestepped by crafty use of product descriptions. It is common knowledge that adult toy products can still fall in the “novelty product” category which means a set of tight industry standards are not applied. And yet, as the adult toy industry grows strongly (some estimate that its value will reach more than $36.1 billion by 2027), the industry is still struggling to be taken seriously.

Many resellers and a great many more consumers remain ignorant to the risks a badly designed adult toy can cause. Adoption of the voluntary ISO 3533 by designers and manufacturers with support from marketing could prove to be a great mechanism to raise awareness and use market forces to drive away those few who spoil it for everyone else. The certification will mean recognition for those who are producing best in class, high quality products. This will raise the bar for the quality of adult toys and the longer term hope is that this will percolate down to the consumers via the retailers so consumers will understand how to make the right product choices.

Sated Design is a company of product designers who are working on the cutting edge of new materials, processes and technologies in an incredibly diverse range of disciplines. It is our ethos that every adult toy product we design will be safe and fit for purpose. We welcome any standard, voluntary or otherwise that supports the work we do.

If you have an idea for a new adult toy or wish to review a current one we’d be happy to discuss this with you. Contact us today.



The ElectraStim project.

We were delighted to work once again with our client ElectraStim on a brand-new electro-stimulation device to celebrate their 20 years in the SexTech industry.

Our services can be easily tailored to suit the client and, in this instance we were commissioned to create an external case for the internal electronic components of the new product. ElectraStim had already produced their internal electronic components and had a well-defined specification for the size, shape, style and construction of the case that they wanted so we were able to take their specification and quickly interpret what was required. Read more in our portfolio.

The new KIX product looks great, and we wish ElectraStim every success with launching it into the marketplace.

If you’ve got an idea for a new adult toy product or need a bit of help with refreshing a current one, we can help you on your journey. We understand the drive you have to satisfy the desires of your customers and it’s our aim to satisfy your needs for quality, innovation and product design.
Contact us today.



Considering to new ‘right to repair’ law

Lat Thursday the UK’s ‘right to repair’ law came into force. Designed to tackle “built in obsolescence”, the new law is a supposed step change towards tackling our e-waste mountain, consumerism and ultimately climate change.

However does this new law actually go far enough? Or is it just another missed opportunity?

At present it appears the new legislation means manufacturers have to provide replacement parts but there is no cap on the costs of those replacement parts or indeed the call out charge for a trained engineer to come out and fit them, if required. Reading through the comments attached to a BBC article, there is a clear desire from consumers to ‘do their bit’ but this law is met with skepticism because fundamentally it still works out cheaper and more convenient to just go out and buy a new product.

Back in 2019 when Sated Design’s Director Chris attempted to repair his lawnmower, he was thwarted by a poor design and the inability to get hold of the replacement parts. This resulted in another product being thrown in to landfill unnecessarily.

If this ‘right to repair’ mindset has any chance of working out, it needs to be considered at the design stage of any product before being spread to manufacturers and to consumers.

Imagine if all designers had a mindset for designing not only for assembly, but also for disassembly. If they created products with repair in mind; considering the ease of disassembly, material separation for recycling and were intuitive to fix. As designers, we have a responsibility to be mindful of the end of use of the products we design.

Visualise having the ability to easily fix your expensive product yourself, perhaps you’ll even get enjoyment from it or learn something new.

So in conclusion, this new ‘right to repair’ law is addressing this problem to a small extent, but in reality it’s merely scratching the surface. The law needs to go further and be fundamental to every aspect of a product’s development in order for it to truly make a difference.

Here at Sated Design, we consider all these elements throughout the product development process. If you have an idea you want to develop, we can assist with the above issues and together we can create great products that literally do not cost the earth. Because after all, is it really right that so much is thrown away?