We varied a technology from aerospace so we can make design products from it – from old cloth or natural fibers. Practically plastic as plastics and natural as jute. Our first products are pencils telling stories. No fictional stories, but real ones. Depending on their material, whose dress, T-shirt or suit it contains. Their stories connect people and bring them a little bit closer together.
We want to overcome the gap in our world We live in a globalized world, nevertheless there is a gap between the cultures. We have hundreds of chinese products in our homes and still never talked to a Chinese. Preconception and conflicts develop through distance. Only by merging different cultures and competences, we develop the strength to overcome the gap.
With products, speaking for “the other side”. We collude with “the others” and develop products that tell stories to overstretch continents. Products that at the same time save resources and enable people in the needier places of the world. That’s why we developed a new material
Our new material from aerospace. We, Tine and Uli, researched together for years on new materials for aerospace. We succeeded and modified a technology for carbon processing so we could use natural fibers instead of carbon fibers. Fresh natural fibers like jute, flax or cotton as well as old textiles. We add a waste product of the sugar production and pultrude a very light and stable material under pressure and heat.
No plastics, no wood – but both at the same time. Our material combines the advantages of many materials: - As light as carbon. - As strong as wood. - As plastic as plastics. (At the moment really, it is not as plastic as we want. But we work on that)
Technically speaking, our material is a “biopolymer”, because we process natural ressources. It does not contain fossil resources like mineral oil and the production is almost waste free.
Pencils are only the beginning. For the future, we are thinking about a series of products – from furniture to laptop-cases. This way, we want to design products from natural fibers and old textiles step by step. The material is great!! But how do we overcome the gap we talked about? This we will reaveal further down :)
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
You like meaningful products, sustainable and all the same beautiful? Awesome. Same here.
You love analogue handcraft and fierce haptics? Our pencils are a sign for the craftsmanship: they are robust and uncoated so you can feel the material in the surface.
You would like a pencil, whose lead is not breaking once it hits the floor? Take one of ours. Thanks to our pultrusion technology (that’s what it is ;) ), the lead and the material are so compressed that it makes the lead virtually unbreakable – brute forces aside!
You love being inspired on the go and absorb new stuff like a sponge? Our combination of pencil and pencilcase is ideal for you. The pencilcase is always around your notebook and you have your little set for inspiration always close and united.
You like things telling you a story? Send us an old piece of clothing from you or a loved one. It can carry a special meaning for you – like a wedding dress, a baby romper or a festivel T. We make pencils out of them. A very special keepsake. And along the way finest upcycling!
You like things telling you stories about other people, materials and countries? The Queen, the Noble-One, and the pencilcase do have to tell something themselves. All three are products made of natural fibers, the base for stories from other people and distant places. From cotton pickers from Uganda for example, giving the Queen its body and deserving appreciation for that. From European flaxfibers, packing international knowledge and united in the Noble-One. From Heike in Franconia, living for her passion of sawing and shaping textiles besides being a loving mother.
Why would you support this project?
Because our products help to overcome the gap. And how exactly do we do that? Easy: We turn around the world of the big multinationals in the textile area. The textile world may have the biggest gap of all. In Germany alone 100.000 tons of clothing ends up in landfills. At the same time, the big companies produce vast numbers of new clothing – in countries far far away from here, mostly without love for nature and human. With our material, we can turn this world inside out, from the beginning to the end. Because we use the materials from the source (cotton and other natural fibers), as well as the waste at the end of the chain.
Example: The Queen. “The Queen” contains organic cotton and comes from Africa. She tells the story of the true queens: the cotton farmers. From their lifes and work lots of great products originate, but the profits stay mostly for the multinational companies. The Queen changes things. She contains rain watered GOTS cotton – the most ecological and fairest there is. This is a first step, but not enough in the long run: Our plan ist to establish production units together with the queens and kings at side, this way the value added can stay close and it goes further than delivering just raw material. Doing so we really turned the textile value chain inside out.
We will tell it over and over again. Just like this, our pencils bring the world a step closer. Because just by showing that we all belong together, we can close the gap in our world.
We leave the trees alone and the oil in the ground Back to the material: The material itself is a bridge over the gap. Because the usage of our resources and the climate change are some of the biggest topics today. Wooden pencils for example are produced from grown out trees, but the tree is merely used to 20%, the other 80% are wood chippers and either fired up or made to clamping plates. Also not bad, but are the trees used idealy? Our plants on the other hand only need 4 month to grow and there is no waste in our production process.
Every time, we create a product from our material, we build a small bridge to overcome the gap.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
For now, we produce our first pencils at a self-made production line near Stuttgart. We developed the necessary special devices and machines by ourselves, but use the environment of a cooperation institute. To start with a bigger pencil productions, we need to build our first very own production line here in Germany.
60.000 Euro – funding-threshold: 60.000 Euro enable us to produce for 3 more month in rent near Stuttgart. We start of with a pre-series of “The Noble-One” and “The Queen”.
420.000 Euro – funding-goal: Through the goal we can produce "The Noble-One” and “The Queen” in series and build the necessary modules to make the production of upcycling pencils possible.
Who are the people behind the project?
We are scientists from aerospace, designer and development workers. Uli and Tine add up over 25 years of experience in biopolymers and plastics technology. From their work at the German Aerospace Center also originates the idea, to stir up the pencil world with new materials.
Tine Civil: Dr. Christine Arlt Nerd- factor: Postdoc Materialscientist Social-factor: “Young leader for sustainability“ by the Collective Leadership Institutes e.V., together with WWF and GIZ. Previous: German Aerospace Center (DLR) Strength: Always follows her heart Weaknesses: Cries with shame, when she sees herself in a video.
Uli Civil: Dr. Ulrich Riedel Nerd- factor: Dipl. Ing. Chemics & Postdoc Engineering Social-factor: Loves trees Previous: Johnson Controls, German Aerospace Center (DLR) Strength: Creates crazy ideas for new materials & products. Weaknesses: The craziness doesn’t stop there.
Simon Civil: Simon Einwich, M.Sc. Nerd- factor: No nerd. He is doing Marktingstuff. Social-factor: Doesn’t know anything besides social business. Previous: Teamleader Enactus Passau, Co-initiator headmates GmbH, wombags, and „Iss mal anders“Weaknesses: Strength: The balanced one. Stays cool in the chaos. Weaknesses: Stays still cool even if yelling would already be the better solution.