Sugru: Hack things better, Hackney style!

A friend recently told me about the wonderful Sugru, an invention that makes your life better and it’s certainly sorted out a few pairs of my shoes. I wasn’t surprised to find out that such an amazing product has its home in Hackney 🙂

I asked inventor Jane ni Dhulchaointigh a few questions to find out more …

This is one of the most popular uses for sugru – it’s great for protecting mobiles from everyday drops and scratches

What is Sugru?

Sugru is a new air-curing rubber I invented to give everyone an easy way to adapt, modify, improve and repair their stuff to make it work better for them.

Why did you create it?

We’re very used to adapting, personalising and extending our homes – so why can’t we treat products more like this too? If your food processor rattles, shouldn’t you be able to make it work quietly? If your shoes give you blisters, you shouldn’t have to put up with it or go off and buy another pair, you should be able to make it better. sugru can help 🙂

This bikeseat had a rip in the seat that let rainwater in…pretty inconvenient! Sugru stuck well to the leather and waterproofed the tear.

What’s your favourite sugru hack that’s come from your customers?

A sugru user in Germany, Stefan, modified his digital camera so his 3 year old budding photographer could take photos without fear of dropping it. We replicated it to see how good it was and spent an hour or so throwing it around our yard. It was robust 🙂

Why Hackney?

Hackney is where we found the best space for what we needed at an affordable price, and since almost all of us live in East London, we can cycle or walk to work. We have a factory, office and design studio and we needed a space that was adaptable and big enough.

Who are FormFormForm?

FormFormForm is the Company behind sugru, we’re a team of product designers, material scientists, production specialists and business partners. There’s a lot of serious technical work, and a lot of super interesting creative work and some nutty stuff too. Our team is brilliant, I love them.

This is a hack from a user, who made a textured cable tidy. Sugru works well for this as it cures to be both solid and flexible, and holds its shape well.

How did you start?

I broke my balls putting in 6 years R&D before I achieved the material properties I wanted, it was a really long slog and a long time to be broke. But definitely worth it 🙂

What’s next for you guys?

We’re growing fast. There are people using sugru now in 76 countries around the world, and it’s turning into a bit of a repairing revolution! People are tired of having to buy new stuff all the time, and all the waste, so they’re taking much more interest in repairing and maintaining, which is brilliant to see. Over half our community is in the US now, so we set up a Company there this year to start supplying stores there too. Our next big challenge is growing into retail. So far we’re mainly an online business (which we love, it’s so much easier and funner) but I believe that sugru is even more useful than sellotape or blutack, so to become that universal, we need to work with shops too. We’re looking forward to cracking that one 🙂

This is a fun hack from one of the Sugru users – he made cool new hairdos for his legomen 🙂

Anything else you’d like to add?

We’d love to connect with other Companies in Hackney, especially other manufacturers – I love the idea that our City is a place that makes things, not just sells and consumes things, and I think there’s a lot of potential for people to know more about this – it’s something to be very proud of.

-o0o-

You can see more about Sugru and more hack ideas over on their website

We have a competition running until 19th November 2011 to be in the chance of winning some Sugru over here.

Or you can get your own Sugru from the website over here,

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