Spotted for you this week: a (re)design service for aging homeowners, tattoo decals for orthopedic casts, a mompreneur who repurposes old sweaters, and more. Our next edition is due on 27 January 2010. In the meantime, check out our daily postings on www.springwise.com, send us your tips, and please don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues about us. Much appreciated!

 

 
 

 
January 21, 2010
 

Remember the excitement you felt receiving mail as a child? That's the inspiration behind San Francisco-based Little Passports, a new educational subscription service that aims to turn 5-to-10-year-olds into world travellers, one country at a time. Little Passports delivers monthly travel packages designed to provide a fun, hands-on way for kids to learn about other countries without leaving home. The first shipment in the USD 10.95 per month subscription prepares little voyagers for their global adventure with a mini suitcase, passport, world map and a letter and photo introducing their travel guides, Sam and Sofia.

Each following month, children receive a personalized letter and package from Sam and Sofia, which includes travel-related items like a passport stamp, suitcase sticker and collectible boarding pass to access online games and activities that teach geography, history, culture and vocabulary. As the months pass, little travellers notch up a jetsetter's stamp-filled passport, personalize their suitcase, and pack it with country-specific souvenirs.

In an era dominated by electronic communication, people are embracing concepts from a slower age, like the company that transforms emails into paper letters and one that resurrected the classic telegram. Little Passports combines that nostalgia for 'real' mail and combines it with the convenience of a subscription service. What else could this formula be applied to? (Related: Interactive piggy bank teaches kids about money.)

Website: www.littlepassports.com
Contact: info@littlepassports.com

Spotted by: Jason Ferguson

 

 

 


 
January 20, 2010
 

We've seen the social shopping trend manifested in various forms in recent years, including TeethYou, the Chinese site we covered back in 2007 that let shopping fans show off their favourite purchases. Adding to that concept a heady splash of so-called nowism is Blippy, a Twitter-like effort that lets users automatically publish their shopping transactions in real time for all the world to see.

Launched to the public just last week, California-based Blippy bills itself as “a fun and easy way to see and discuss the things people are buying.” Users begin by creating an account and—much like with Twitter—searching for friends who also use the service. Friends can select to follow each other, meaning that they'll see a constantly updated feed reflecting those people's latest purchases. It's up to each user, however, to choose which categories of purchases they'd like to share by actively linking the accounts they'd like to make public. They can choose to automatically share their purchases at vendors including iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and Blockbuster, for example, or they can publish all those made through a particular credit card, debit card or bank account. They can also deliberately keep more private transactions to a “non-Blippy” account. Visible for each linked account, meanwhile, are the amount spent on each individual purchase, as well as a detailed list of what was bought. Followers who see such transactions can both comment and “like” them as they move through the stream.

There are obviously a number of privacy considerations associated with using Blippy, though the site says it performs “super-human feats” to protect its users' data. The potential benefits, however, are intriguing. In addition to paving the way for affiliate fees through the vendors that get mentioned in its stream, Blippy also stands to increase transparency by facilitating reviews and comparisons. To wit: “Imagine being able to tell if you’re getting ripped off with what you’re paying for a gym membership or on your Comcast bill when compared to what your friends are spending on the same things,” as TechCrunch points out. An API is also reportedly in the works, promising even more transparency in the future. In the meantime, one to watch! (Related: Cheap & simple credit card processing for everyone.)

Website: www.blippy.com
Contact: hello@blippy.com

Spotted by: Benoit Rigaut

 

 

 


 
January 19, 2010
 

Given the remarkable speed with which children can tire of their toys, it's not too surprising that we've seen toy rental services emerge in both the US and—more recently—France. Since the very same phenomenon tends to occur with video games, it makes perfect sense to see a brand-new startup that focuses exclusively on that category of entertainment.

Like both Babyplays and Dim Dom, California-based SmartyRents uses the Netflix model to help parents keep their children aged 9 months to 10 years old challenged and entertained. The effort was launched just last week by two former teachers, which is why it also focuses on games with an educational bent. Included in its inventory, for example, are top games from LeapFrog—including Little Leaps, Clickstart, Leapster and Didj—and from Vtech, including V.Smile Baby, V.Smile, V.Motion and V.Flash. Parents begin by signing up and choosing from among four rental packages, depending on how many games they'd like to have at one time. Monthly pricing ranges from USD 9.99 for one game at a time to USD 24.99 for four games at once. They then choose the games they'd like to start off with—the site even lets them search by the educational skills emphasized—and their selections get sent to their door along with a prepaid mailing envelope to use to return them. Games can be kept for as long as children enjoy them. Sending a game back prompts the next game on the family's list to be sent; alternatively, those that are too hard to part with can be purchased for the site's listed “Love it” price.

Whether it's toys or college textbooks, baby clothes, designer dresses or cellphones, freedom from the bonds of ownership is increasingly the way to transumers' hearts. SmartyRents, however, currently serves only the US; one to emulate for kids and parents in other countries?

Website: www.smartyrents.com
Contact: www.smartyrents.com/contact.php

Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

 

 

 


 
January 19, 2010
 

It's increasingly common to see reclaimed goods transformed for other purposes—sailing dhows into furniture, for example, or banners into bags. What's less frequently seen are efforts that preserve the essential functionality of the original goods. British Specialbike is one such instance, and now Canadian EcoRad provides another by transforming old cast-iron radiators into eco-minded electric heat systems.

Cast iron radiators are often seen as remnants of outdated hot-water or steam-based heating systems, and so are frequently scrapped by homeowners updating their homes. Radiators' heavy thermal mass, however, makes them ideal conductors of electric radiant heat, a much more energy-efficient alternative. EcoRad uses an environmentally friendly process to restore and preserve the beauty of old radiators while converting them for use with electric radiant heat. A specially manufactured internally installed electric element replaces the extensive water piping system needed for a central furnace; in addition, each radiator is connected to a programmable thermostat that allows the temperature of each room to be controlled individually for additional efficiency. The company's process uses 99 percent recycled materials, and by recycling old radiators rather than melting them down, 44kg of greenhouse gases are kept out of the atmosphere for every 100kg of melted cast iron. The resulting unit is used much like an electric baseboard heater, EcoRad says. An assortment of finishes are available, and conversion takes four to eight weeks. EcoRad's pricing begins at CAD 475 for transforming an old radiator; alternatively, it also offers a line of already-refurbished ones, featuring styles dating back to 1850, starting at CAD 695.

Offering myriad eco-benefits along with a way to preserve old homes' architectural heritage, EcoRad is an excellent example of green-minded innovation. One to partner with or emulate in other chilly parts of the world...? (Related: Community-focused deconstruction & salvage.)

Website: www.ecorad.ca
Contact: info@ecorad.ca

Spotted by: R.P.

 

 

 


 
January 18, 2010
 


It's a rare consumer product indeed that leaves no room for improvement, but many are downright problematic due to annoyances such as sharp corners, rough edges or weak construction. Sugru is a new silicone material that lets consumers “hack” such products themselves to make them more comfortable and useful for a longer time.

The brain-child of an Irish product design student in London, Sugru can be moulded by hand or with simple tools. It sticks to things and cures at room temperature to a tough and durable yet soft-touch silicone. Available in a wide range of colours, Sugru is waterproof, flexible and dishwasher-safe once it's cured; it's also temperature resistant between -60 and 180 degrees C. Potential applications demonstrated on the Sugru site include covering up sharp corners, fixing broken ceramics, strengthening handles and straightforward beautification. A “Multi Hack Pack” of Sugru is priced at GBP 7, including free international shipping.

Sugru sold out of its first 1,000 packs in just six hours last month, and is currently focusing on ramping up production. One to partner with to help make that happen...? (Related: Customers get paid for input on new products.)

Website: www.sugru.com
Contact: jane@sugru.com

Spotted by: Icon Magazine via Collyn Ahart

 

 

 


 
January 18, 2010
 

Timing is everything, as a wise Greek poet once said, and in few areas is that more true than pop-up retail. Case in point: Recognizing that many consumers are particularly focused on fitness at the start of a new year, Gap has transformed its rotating New York City concept store into a workout haven for a month.

Through a partnership with fitness chain Crunch, Gap's temporary Fitness Lab at 680 5th Ave. now features workout attire from its new GapBody Sport collection along with demonstrations by Crunch personal trainers, discounts and opportunities to win free stuff. Shoppers at the store, which will remain open through Feb. 7, can win free Crunch guest passes, for example; in addition, each day one lucky winner is chosen to receive a free, year-long, all-access Crunch membership. Existing Crunch members, meanwhile, can enter to win a USD 500 Gap gift card, Racked reported.

Far from fading away, the longstanding pop-up retail concept seems to just be getting stronger—both for major brands and for minipreneurs—and timely tie-ins stand to make its impact even greater. An example worth emulating for pop-ups the world over! (Related: Appealing to gravanity of smokers who plan to quitA public incentive to stick to one's goalsFitness class by Reebok and Cirque du Soleil.)

Website: www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=250293389784
Contact: www.gapinc.com/public/About/abt_contact.shtml

Spotted by: Racked via Judy McRae

 

 

 


 
January 16, 2010
 

There are plenty of opportunities for companies to demonstrate their generosity even during the best of times, but when disaster strikes, there's a much greater potential to make a difference. That, no doubt, was part of the motivation behind last year's Bushfire Housing, and it's also surely at work in social gaming company Zynga's Haiti Relief Fund.

Starting this past Thursday, Zynga is conducting a special relief campaign in three of its top games—FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Zynga Poker—which together reach more than 40 million users daily. Specifically, players of those games can now purchase limited-edition in-game social goods, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards supporting emergency aid in Haiti. Within FarmVille, there's white corn that will not wither if left unattended for a week; in Mafia Wars, there's a Haitian drum. Zynga Poker fans, meanwhile, can buy a special chip package in exchange for a rare premium item. Users can also donate directly to the World Food Programme, which has set up an emergency response team to distribute food and other relief to thousands in Haiti.

Yet another shining example of the corporate generosity now being expected by what our sister site calls Generation G, Zynga's Haiti Relief Fund is one to be emulated as soon—and as often—as possible! (Related: Donated site helps families keep their homes.)

Website: www.zynga.com
Contact: businessdevelopment@zynga.com

 

 

 


 
January 15, 2010
 

Much the way French wellness shop HOJO aims to help keep senior citizens healthy and independent for as long as possible, so UK home renovation firm Ruby Slippers hopes to help them enjoy their homes for as long as they can.

Launched just last week, Ruby Slippers specialises in combining good design with practical functionality that can help people enjoy their home throughout their retirement years. At the heart of the Ruby Slippers service is a concept it calls “ageless design,” which essentially boils down to accommodating the effects of aging in an invisible way through smart design features that are not just stylish but also geared toward safety and comfort. Kitchens, for example, can be redesigned with colour-contrasting work surfaces and flooring for enhanced visual orientation; effortless single-lever taps; and a flush hob with level burners for safer transfer of hot pans. Bathrooms, meanwhile, can be redone to feature European-style level-access showers, stylish grab rails and an outward-opening bathroom door to ensure emergency access in case someone falls.

Far from diminishing a home with ugly tools focused purely on functionality, Ruby Slippers instead aims to make homes not just more livable for seniors, but also more attractive. An “Ageless Home” audit service is available from Ruby Slippers at a special introductory price of GBP 250 including a full home audit and a written report of recommendations. Also available are design review—priced at GBP 250 as well—and handyman service for GBP 30 per hour.

There were more than 519 million people aged 65 and over around the world last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and that's expected to triple to 1.53 billion by 2050. Time to tailor some services to seniors in your part of the world...? (Related: Helping seniors relocateDriving service for seniorsSupermarkets for seniors.)

Website: www.rubyss.co.uk
Contact: info@rubyss.co.uk

Spotted by: Top Trends via Raymond Kollau

 

 

 


 
January 14, 2010
 

We've seen myriad examples of hotels partnering with non-hotel brands, including W Hotels' collaboration with Puma for in-hotel fitness services, as well as sponsored rooms in various hotels. Now taking the branding even further is La Casa del Camino Hotel in Laguna Beach., Calif., where every one of the hotel's 10 newly renovated suites features a different, immersive branded experience.

Billabong Suite 206, for example, is designed to be a surfer's paradise, with artwork including a 3D piece that tells the company's history through images of surfers, palm trees and the Billabong logo cut into reclaimed wood. Glacéau Suite 315, meanwhile, features aquatic hues and fabrics made, appropriately, from recycled plastic bottles. Other brands involved include Rip Curl, etnies, Roxy, Quiksilver, L* Space and Lost International. A different designer was recruited to create the theme in each branded suite; together, they are all part of the Casa Surf Project in the Riviera Magazine Design series. Pricing for each suite begins at about USD 250 per night, and a portion of the proceeds is donated to charity during the hotel's first year. Pets are welcome.

Whereas many of the in-hotel branding efforts we've covered have amounted to tryvertising initiatives, this one is closer to a collection of brand spaces, offering patrons an immersive look at each brand's signature style. In addition to tapping into the name recognition of those brands, of course, La Casa del Camino's use of corporate sponsorship also no doubt helped subsidize the costs of renovation. A model to emulate, particularly during tough economic times! (Related: Beer cans that sleep twoHotel as retail space.)

Website: www.casasurfproject.com
Contact: stay@casaresortsinc.com

Spotted by: Adam Hicks

 

 

 


 
January 13, 2010
 

When we wrote about Lufthansa's MySkyStatus tool last October, it gave travellers the option of having their flight status updates posted automatically to either Facebook or Twitter. Some 17,000 automatic tweets have since been posted as a result, and now the German airline has expanded the free service with new capabilities.

Still available for passengers on any airline, the MySkyStatus tool now gives users the option of having their departure, in-flight location and arrival updates sent via email as well. Travellers can choose who will receive their updates and when; they can also add a personalised message. In addition, a new drop-down menu lets them share their reason for flying.

There's no doubt it's a real-time world out there, with heavy emphasis on up-to-the-minute updates on as many platforms as possible, and personalisation capabilities make the deal even sweeter. Keep the (branded) conversation-boosters coming!

Website: www.myskystatus.com
Contact: konzern.lufthansa.com/en/service/contact.html

 

 

 


 
January 12, 2010
 

Facebook may have 350 million or so users, but there are still plenty of friends and loved ones out there who can't connect online. We've already covered UK-based Peggy Mail, which lets Facebook users sent printed postcards to their offline friends, and now there's News from YOUs, which goes a step further by enabling them to send a complete, personal newsletter instead.

News from YOUs is a Facebook application currently in the works that will automatically share users' Facebook news and photos in a printed newsletter aimed at grandparents and other offline relations. Users will begin by logging onto Facebook and opening the News from YOUs application. They then select the friends and family members on Facebook whose news and photos they want to include. From that selection they can edit content as they wish, deleting status posts or updates as they see fit. Next, they indicate who they want the newsletter sent to, and Detroit-based News from YOUs will do the rest, printing the custom newsletter and putting it in the mail.

There's no word yet on News from YOUs' pricing or availability, but it seems safe to say there's still plenty more room for more apps to bridge the online and offline worlds. Keep the OFF=ON innovations coming! (Related: An online address for the offline world.)

Website: www.newsfromyous.com
Contact: info@newsfromyous.com

Spotted by: Margarita Barry

 

 

 


 
January 12, 2010
 

The mobile apps continue to come fast and furious in industries far and wide. One of our latest spottings? An iPhone app from insurer State Farm that lets customers look up policy information, record accident details and submit claims.

Available both for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, State Farm Pocket Agent is a free application with features for all consumers, whether or not they're already customers. Its On the Road feature, for example, uses the iPhone's GPS to help users find the nearest hotel or gas station or call a tow truck, taxi, locksmith or rental car service. A built-in checklist, on the other hand, reminds drivers what to do when they're in an accident. Then, of course, there's a way to look for nearby agents. Registered State Farm customers, meanwhile, can do all that plus look up their policy information, record accident details and submit claims, including photos of the accident taken with their iPhone cameras.

Serving as a sort of mobile brand butler, as our sister site would say, Pocket Agent is just one of many examples of the myriad new opportunities enabled by the iPhone and Android platforms. Make consumers' lives easier when they need it most, and they're more likely to become—and remain—loyal customers. (Related: Real-time flight reviews via Android and iPhoneZipcar's iPhone app finds and unlocks carsAdidas creates free iPhone guide to Berlin's street artING app for G1 phone uses camera & compass to show nearest ATM.)

Website: www.statefarm.com/iphone/index.asp?WT.svl=104

Spotted by: Chris

 

 

 


 
January 11, 2010
 

If there's anything less pleasant than breaking a bone, it's having to stare at a drab, ugly and increasingly dirty cast over the weeks or months it takes for recovery. Enter Casttoo, a Colorado firm that makes tattoo-like decals to transform those unsightly orthopedic eyesores into graphic works of art.

Available in a wide variety of original designs based on themes including fantastical creatures, tribal images, sports and holidays, Casttoo's decals are crafted from an adhesive film that fuses with the plaster cast in seconds when blasted with a hot hairdryer. Prices range from USD 20 for a small design suitable for children's wrist and arm casts to USD 40 for an extra-large design that fully covers an adult half-leg or full arm. International shipping is available, as are customized designs; consumers can even send Casttoo a digital file of their X-ray for conversion into an on-cast decal. Through a partnership with 3M, meanwhile, Casttoo offers “starter kits” for clinics and hospitals including customized logos and 100 decals in a variety of sizes.

Whether it's casts, cars, garage doors or parking lot walls, opportunities abound in bringing a splash of art and personalization to an otherwise unadorned part of life. Next up, we'd expect to see Casttoo allow customers to upload their own designs, beyond personal X-rays—and maybe even kick off a crowdsourcing effort whereby the best such customer-made creations are ultimately voted into production (with rewards, of course, for their creators).

Website: www.casttoo.com
Contact: casttoo@me.com

Spotted by: Debi Gordon

 

 

 


 
January 11, 2010
 

Wish lists are a familiar feature on many e-commerce sites, but usually require that a gift-giver purchase a whole item for the recipient. Now bringing more flexibility to the equation is Best Buy's new Pitch In Card, which lets consumers donate the amount of their choice towards the recipient's purchase plans.

Similar in many ways to DreamBank's crowdfunded model of gift-giving, the Pitch In Card allows friends and family to contribute any amount between USD 5 and USD 9,999.99 to a consumer's account, whenever the mood strikes them. Creating a card is free for the recipient, and there's no expiration date; it can be reloaded and used again on the next gift-giving occasion. Donors, meanwhile, can add funds to the account online or at an in-store kiosk; each time they do, the recipient receives an email to let them know. Once they have enough funds on their card, they can use it to shop at a Best Buy store or BestBuy.com.

Though undoubtedly a useful option for gift-givers and recipients alike—not to mention Best Buy itself—it seems surprising that there are no built-in discounts or rewards for users of the Pitch In card. Sears' like-minded Christmas Club card, for instance, rewards cardholders with an extra 3 percent on all contributions made in advance of the holiday season. Alternatively, how about incorporating some kind of charitable donation as an added incentive, the way DreamBank does? Either way, of course, it's further evidence of the increasing use of the crowdfunding model. Make it easy for gift-givers to spend at your store, and you'll receive some sweet little gifts yourself! ;-) (Related: Making birthday parties charitable & greenGift-giving simplified through a prepaid planPrepaid MasterCard for teens adds a social twist.)

Website: www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=pcat17226&type=page&DCMP=rdr0002007
Contact: www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=cat12104&type=page

Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

 

 

 


 
January 8, 2010
 

Transparency tyranny has already forced countless industries to be more honest, as we've been documenting for several years. The latest to succumb? Ski resorts, which were shown by a recent Dartmouth study to exaggerate their snow conditions on weekends by as much as 23 percent in the hopes of attracting more skiers. Thanks to a free iPhone application, however, skiers need rely on the resorts' own reports no more; instead, they have access to real-time reports from their peers.

Available both as an iPhone app and as a Google Gadget, Ski Report lets skiers view and publish first-hand ski reports and photos right from the slopes. They can track their favourite trails at a glance, as well as locating nearby ski areas via GPS coordinates. Powder points highlight areas with the most snowfall, while live ski area cams and weather forecasts for ski areas are also available. The iPhone app and Google Gadget cover ski areas within the U.S. and Canada, while the SkiReport.com website includes 700 areas worldwide.

It should be noted that there are also related apps out there from brands such as REI, whose interest in the community is certainly understandable. Seems to us, though, that the ones who really ought to be sponsoring this kind of thing are the ski resorts themselves. The Dartmouth study found that resorts exaggerated considerably less after the Ski Report app came out, and that the improvement was most evident at resorts with good iPhone reception. Had that improvement been at the resorts' own initiative, they could have been the ones to lead the innovation rather than being forced to follow along behind. Dispense with the deception, embrace openness and community instead, and make the transparency triumph your own! ;-) (Related: Mobile apps hit the slopesSki lift tickets at a discount.)

Website: www.skireport.com/iphone/
Contact: contact@skireport.com

Spotted by: Rick Noyes

 

 

 


 
January 7, 2010
 

When we first covered the prize-winning Layar augmented reality browser back in September, we had a feeling applications would soon start start popping up all over the innovation landscape. Sure enough, just a month or so later we saw the technology used at a music festival, and now it's being put to work to reveal insights about Dutch architecture.

To recap on AR: when a camera-equipped smartphone is pointed at a scene, AR apps will superimpose information and links relevant to the location. SARA, which was created by the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) in partnership with IN10 Communicatie and Layar, is billed as the world’s first mobile architecture application featuring augmented reality with 3D models. Users of the technology simply hold up their smartphone to see photos, video, 3D models, scale models and other details about buildings currently in situ as well as those from the past and any planned for the future. The app is currently showcasing the new Market Hall in Rotterdam's Blaak district. Although it's still under construction, those with the app can view a 3D model of how the finished building will look. SARA also allows users to add their own information about any building or map tours of their favourite architecture. Beginning next month, the entire city of Rotterdam will be viewable through SARA; within five years, NAi expects the whole country to be covered. The technology was launched last month on the Layar platform and will be downloadable from the Apple App Store and Android Market beginning next month.

It's not hard to imagine augmented reality apps like SARA becoming a key component of tourism, giving visitors to an area insight about not just the architecture but also historical events and other points of interest. The possibilities are virtually limitless; time to get to work! (Related: iPhone app helps road warriors find a place to workLouis Vuitton's walking tours of Beijing, Shanghai & Hong Kong.)

Website: en.nai.nl/exhibitions/sara
Contact: info@nai.nl

 

 

 


 
January 7, 2010
 

Moore's law may dictate that computing performance can double about every two years, but the fact remains that most personal computers to date have been built on roughly the same, work-focused paradigm. Netbooks have begun to push things closer to the web, but now a new contender is taking that several steps further with a home computer it calls a "webbook" that was created from scratch to mimic TV.

Launched in November, Litl is a clutter-free, zero-maintenance home computer for the whole family. Focusing initially on photo sharing and the web, the Boston-based team behind Litl set out to redesign the computer from the bottom up for simplicity and ease of use. The device's operating system, for example, revolves around an intuitive, web-linked interface that eliminates menus, icons, windows and folders. Instead, it uses a system reminiscent of Apple's iPhone OS, whereby each application takes up the full screen and a simple click returns the user to the homepage. There's no hard drive to fail, and the computer takes care of all maintenance updates overnight.

Perhaps even more interesting, however, is that when it's not being used as a conventional laptop, the webbook’s 12-inch screen and keyboard flip around its patented hinge so the computer can stand upright like an easel. A 178-degree viewing “cone” allows many people to clearly view the screen at the same time, while a hinge-mounted scroll wheel for changing web “channels” and an optional remote further enhance the device's TV-like experience. For expanded viewing, Litl also offers plug-and-play connectivity to large-screen, high-definition TVs. The device currently features several proprietary channels dedicated to content from Flickr, Shutterfly, Facebook and the Weather Channel; thanks to its use of cloud-based storage, meanwhile, sharing with other Litl users is easy. The “always on” Litl computer is available online for USD 699 with a free, two-year unconditional satisfaction guarantee.

Judging by the success netbooks have already achieved, there's clearly something to the idea of focusing home computers on the web—many, in fact, predict that will be the future of personal computing. Litl says it will soon provide the technical details necessary for independent developers and potential partners to create custom channels of their own, so for app-minded entrepreneurs, this could be one to get in on early. For all others, it's definitely one to watch! (Related: Spillproof cooking coach: a touchpad made for kitchens.)

Website: www.litl.com
Contact: inquiries@litl.com

Spotted by: Ruben Vermeersch

 

 

 


 
January 6, 2010
 

Consumers with cashmere sweaters they no longer want to wear can already send them to teddylux to have them converted into stuffed animals. For those who prefer upcycling with a more utilitarian result, however, there's now Reknit, which turns old sweaters into scarves and other practical goods.

Each month, Reknit will unravel old sweaters and re-knit them into a different item; this January, it's scarves. Consumers begin by choosing from two different scarf styles—each priced at USD 30—and sending their old sweaters to Boston-based Reknit. Then, “my mom will turn your old sweater into a new scarf,” as the site's creator explains it. Visitors to the site even get to vote on which type of items “mom” will convert sweaters into next month: a beanie, an iPod case, cut-off gloves or socks. (Spoiler alert: the cut-off gloves are currently in the lead.)

There's no denying the environmental benefits of upcycling, but at least as compelling are the business reasons. Want a pattern to follow? Knit one row of green for eco appeal, then purl two rows for a story worth repeating. Next, finish it off with a fringe and a flourish and watch as the orders come in! ;-) (Related: Leather jackets remade into designer bagsStray single gloves matched & sold to new ownersDesign your own hat & choose your own knitting granny.)

Website: www.rekn.it
Contact: www.rekn.it/contact

Spotted by: You Might Find Yourself

 

 

 


 

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