If business is to effectively tackle issues of waste, reductions in energy and resource use then innovative conceptions of product design and business models must be envisioned. New inter-related notions of product design and production that integrate ‘the local’ within the greater global context are needed. Such a direction would not only ameliorate environmental damage but also offer socio-economic opportunities at the local level through employment and culturally relevant design. These issues are addressed by presenting a case for designing ephemeral products for sustainability. Today, we generally conceive of products as independent, inviolable and durable objects which, as we know, are disposed of at increasingly alarming rates. In contrast, ‘products’ here are conceived as temporary concentrations of elements that provide a certain functional benefit. An approach to ephemeral design is presented and illustrated which allows component elements to be readily ‘re-concentrated’ in new ways to fulfil new functions.