For our next act we’d like to welcome to the ever growing TreeHugger stage, the TreeHugger product label. Yes that’s right it is not just about reading or watching that smooth flat computer screen anymore, TreeHugger is getting physical, you can hold us in your hands and stroke us! We love reviewing all the amazing eco-design work that’s going on out there in the big wide world, but there is no doubt that we are extremely tough critics and when a product is only halfway there TH writers and readers are not afraid to say it. So Graham Hill, Lord of the TreeHugger Manor, decided it would be a good challenge to design a range of TreeHugger products which conform to our own very exacting standards, i.e. 100% eco-products, or as close as we can possibly get. Graham enlisted the talents of Petz Scholtus, as his trusty eco-designer sidekick, and they hit the ground running. The first product out of the Hill/Scholtus/TreeHugger design stable is the amazingly tactile StuffBump! StuffBump? Yes StuffBump - a fantastic and fun storage system which, using a clever die cut pattern, allows a flat piece of material to be opened up and stuffed with small belongings, thus becoming a bump. After a pregnancy of nine months Graham and Petz have given birth to the StuffBump – and my is it a gorgeous TreeHugger offspring! A first run of prototypes have been manufactured and are currently being tested. We are excited to say that the super cool online store Target have taken a limited run of 30, so if you are very quick you could be the proud owner of a limited edition TreeHugger first series StuffBump. Oooh your treehugging friends are gonna be sooooooo jealous! You can show it off to everyone who comes round because this baby goes on the wall for everyone to admire. It depends on what you want to put in it of course; the StuffBump has been designed by Petz and Graham to store underwear, socks, scarves, lingerie, soft toys etc. You can tidy away anything that can be rolled into a ball and stuffed into a snug space. For those people who might not be so proud of their underwear collection the StuffBump can also be discreetly hidden away, for example on the inside of your wardrobe door. The magic of the StuffBump is that it expands as it is gradually stuffed with things. The StuffBump has the potential to enlarge to several times its original size just by gently pulling the felt. When it is empty it can be kept flat, either on the wall or stored away.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty eco-details that we know you all want to know. How was it made? Where was it made? What is it made of? Is it really 100% eco-friendly? The StuffBump was designed and produced in Catalonia, Spain; the materials and labour are locally sourced. The StuffBump is made from two materials: the back is 100% recycled cardboard, from Eco-Reciclat, and the front is 100% natural felt. They are sewn together; there are no glues involved. The cardboard can be recycled and the felt can be composted at the end of its life. A great deal of time and energy was put into sourcing these two materials. It was a real challenge to find high quality 100% natural felt at an affordable price. Most felt has at least a small percentage of viscose or other synthetic materials included in the wool mix.
The labour is also an important part of an eco-product, it’s no good having eco-materials without ethical labour. This first StuffBump series has been produced by CIRE, The Centre of Initiatives for Reintegration. The aim of CIRE is to promote productive work in the prisons of Catalonia. The StuffBumps were made by the inmates of Barcelona’s prison where CIRE have workshops. The inmates learn new skills in the workshops. The professional training they receive there prepares them for potential future employment and the money they earn can be saved for when they get out of prison.
All the instructions and information about what the StuffBump is and how it can be used are printed on the back of the cardboard. This obviates the need for any extra labelling or packaging. Check out Petz’s super cute graphics and Federico Slivka's cool layout! The local production of the StuffBump has meant that the transportation footprint has been kept down to a minimum. However in order to make it available to more people than just the citizens of Barcelona the ecological impact caused by the transportation of the final product cannot be avoided. We would like to point out though that the StuffBump is incredibly economical with both materials and space, therefore they weigh hardly anything and we can get a lot of them into one box.
So what is the future for the StuffBump? So far only 200 have been made and they are spread out between Spain and the US at strategic vending points (see below). We are excited that several big design stores have agreed to test the StuffBump market and the reception so far has been brilliant. This initial reaction has encouraged TreeHugger to go ahead with a second series of 730, which will also be made in the Barcelona prison by CIRE. Providing everyone loves it – and we know you will - the third series will be on a much larger scale. TreeHugger is currently looking for ethical production opportunities so, if anyone can has any specific knowledge in this area, we would be very grateful for any advice you might like to share with us. Apart from all the info above we should point out that the StuffBump is the first-born from the fertile TreeHugger product line. There will be many more TreeHugger eco-products to grace your living/working spaces in the future, so watch this space!
The StuffBump is available at:
Target: Red Hot Shop, from sunday 16th to the 22nd April.