October 18, 2018

Terri Winter — battling the culture of Throwawayism.

We caught up with Terri Winter to discuss her passion for good design and how we all need to stop throwing things away.

Terri Winter in her office


In 2001 the world was a different place; most Australians were still on dial up internet, the first Harry Potter film had just been released, and innovative, well-designed products were harder to access in Australia. Globe-trotting Terri, wanted to bring global design to a local audience, starting Top3 by Design in 2001.

The original concept of Top3 by Design was to curate a range of products to make informed product choices easier for consumers. Now, coming up to 18 years later, amongst an increasingly online retail landscape, Top3 by Design’s curated range is still relevant for different reasons.

…the concept is the same, but the reason behind the editing is different. In a world where you can buy anything — what do you buy? What we offer at Top3, both in store and online, is our curated product mix. It is the way we put things together, as well as the research into quality and design.
In reality there is some element of design in every product — it really just comes down to how much emphasis and thought was put into it. Bad design adds to the worlds woes and creates landfill. GOOD design ensures that products function well, are long lasting and actually fit into our daily lives so that we actually use them. A product that we resonate with will be meaningful to us and will be put to good use.
Top3 by Design’s Richmond store


Terri’s passion for good product design is not only a key part of Top3 by Design’s retail offer, but a critical tool in the fight against the culture of “throwawayism” in today’s society.

The best sustainability in design is product designed to last. If we can reduce landfill and “throwawayism” it will be a huge step forward for everyone. Fast fashion, fast food and crappy homewares that end up in council pickups every other week have become too readily accepted as “normal”. Well designed product that is meaningful in our lives and reduces our throw-away culture is my passion and the way forward. People should not feel ashamed to want things. We just need to ensure our purchases are considered and thoughtful. We can ALL buy less and buy better.
Top3 by Design’s Monaro Mall store


Terri and her team work hard to deliver only the very best design — in both product and in customer experience. Staying ahead of the curve and adopting technology that speaks to her audience which includes design professionals, the Top3 team has invested in augmented reality shopping and also inspiration boards to help consumers put together a complete look, constantly rethinking the Top3 experience within an evolving landscape. So how hard does Terri work?

I like to start work early several days a week and be in the office by 6am. Then I always try and leave by 5pm and I do my yoga of an afternoon — it is a separation from my working day. can put dinner on while I am doing it then homework with my younger son. Then there would generally be some emails and work catch-up after dinner.
Terri presenting for Channel 10’s Australia By Design program


Terri balances her busy role at Top3 by Design not only with family life as a mother to two teenage boys (15 & 18 years old), but with other commitments within the design community; as a regular judge of the annual Australian Good Design Awards, and as a presenter on Channel 10’s Australia By Design — Innovations. With such a busy schedule, how does Terri manage time for healthy eating?

Yoghurt is definitely a go-to, and since getting my own BeetBox, bringing leftovers to work next day means I am cutting way back on my previous naughty habit of muesli bars… So thank you!!
I have to admit I have never really been one to take my lunch to work. I pack my son’s lunch every day so it is actually silly not to do mine sometimes too. In the end I started to feel guilty about all the take-away containers when I bought [takeaway] lunch… Now it is quick and easy to bring my lunch a couple of days a week at least — whatever is left from the night before.

Almost all of Terri’s staff bring their lunch to work, and enjoy getting away from their desk in the kitchen area for a break. Although Terri admits she often eats at her desk and doesn’t lead by example in this area.

I am terrible with eating at my desk — but I don’t want my team to do it — I want them to take a break!

You can visit Terri and her team at Top3 By Design’s stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, or check out the product range online at top3.com.au

You can watch Terri as a presenter on Channel 10’s Australia By Design — Innovation television series here; australiabydesign.com.au/abd-innovation/

This article was originally published at beetbox.com