We’ve always got at least half an eye on the future here at Cycle of Good, and recently we’ve been busily developing ideas by working alongside the product designers of the future.
Keen students from Huddersfield University, as well as Buxton and Leek College, have been grappling with The Great Inner Tube Design Challenge as part of their product design and art courses and have come up with some exciting prospects. Around 40 students from Huddersfield presented their ideas following an intensive week of workshops where they learned about inner tubes as a material, investigating its limitations and possibilities. Capably led by Glynn Stockton Senior Lecturer from the School of Art, Design & Architecture, the students coolly presented their innovations and blew us away with their imagination! Presenting everything from hammocks, to guitar straps and aprons to suspenders, we loved the thought, care and flair they had applied and we came away with at least 40 new product ideas to trial.
Leek and Buxton College, led by Anne-Liese Fraser, Curriculum Leader Visual & Performing Arts, took a slightly different approach. They focussed as much on the theme of Africa as the recycling idea, by printing bespoke lining fabrics with a distinctly Malawian feel. Their ideas were equally stunning ranging from evening bags to dog collars and they blew us away with a stunning feathered catwalk dress that would not look out of place at a McQueen or Westwood runway collection.
We’ve now recruited the talented Sarah Griffith as our UK based Product Designer, she’ll be refining some of the students’ ideas as well as working on her own designs so that we are able to quickly build and expand the range of products we offer. Sarah makes her first trip to Malawi in June this year so that she can train the Chilomoni based machinists to expertly fabricate the next exciting batch of ideas.
Whenever we incorporate the students ideas into our products, we’ll be crediting them with their design so that they are building their port-folios. One day, when they’re being interviewed by Vogue about their latest collection launch, they’ll look back and say, “You know, it all started with an old inner tube”!
With huge thanks to Huddersfield University and Buxton and Leek College for their time and creativity, we’re looking forward to the partnership continuing long into the future.