Apple didn't invent the mp3 player nor the smart phone, but they sure know how to bring to market versions of the genre that make people sit up and take notice. And such might be the case with Milkmuny. This new start-up business, from Portland, Oregon, sells a very funky origami-like wallet made of discarded milk and juice cartons.
We previous seen foil cartons turned into totebags and handbags, as well as food wrappers become purses and shoulder bags. So the idea isn't totally new. But the socially and environmentally responsible business model behind Milkmuny may just be the creme de la creme, so to speak.
Milkmuny is the brainchild of Portland based industrial designer, John Schreiber. Disturbed to learn that of the 510,000 tons of milk and juice cartons produced annually in the USA less than .05% end up recycled, he set out to do something about it. 100 days later he had a new business, complete with cutest product promo video I've seen in a long time (made with his Canon G9 compact camera).
But back to that business model. Milkmuny pays money for collected cartons to charities, schools and groups who need fundraising capital. It washes them and via a bit of clever folding and fabrication engineers a couple of designs for multi-pocketed wallets. These are sold for about $10 bucks. A portion of the sale finds its way to 1% for the planet.
Plastic 'waxed' cartons stay out of landfill; community groups get much needed funds; customers get a cool wallet of reused materials complete with a 45 day warranty; Milkmuny make some dough for their trouble, and donate a percentage of profits to environment groups.
Plus the wallets look just as useful as the recycled Jimi wallet although in the case of the Milkmuny it takes much less energy to reuse cartons, than to recycle plastic.
As John says in his media release, "I wanted to challenge traditional design thinking and create a mass produced product that didn't expend more energy to create or require more resources to produce but was also aesthetically pleasing and uncompromisingly functional."
All the best to the team at Milkmuny as they develop the product range further.
::Milkmuny, via tipster Ian Y.
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