Innovation That Matters

Reusable connector turns trash into toys

As consumers see domestic refuse grow and their spending budgets shrink, making do with less becomes increasingly attractive. Aptly-named Make Do from Australia shows that this needn’t be doom and gloom: their product enables people of all ages to make fun stuff out of waste materials such as cardboard, plastic and fabric. A Make Do “Kit for One” (USD 25) consists of a construction tool that cuts and perforates materials safely, 8 hinges and 30 connectors, which use a ziptag-style mechanism to fasten pieces together. As for what can be made, the imagination is the limit—suggestions on the site range from cufflinks to stage sets, and all manner of toys. Although such items can also be made using traditional glue and sticky tape, the focus of Make Do is on ensuring that everything involved is reusable. Packaged in a recycled cardboard tube, the components are designed to last, and are made from materials that can be recycled. The people behind Make Do aim to “inspire social change through playful creativity”. That’s social change on two counts: sustainable living and (re)kindling the imagination. Make Do adds value in the form of community workshops, educational resources for teachers, a newsletter/blog for inspiration and—with a nod to the open-source zeitgeist—downloadable construction plans. Spotted by: Justine Hofman



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