When we set out to develop a TRULY ECO MANNEQUIN our aim was to create a product that matched or exceeded the market standard for quality, strength and creative opportunity.
Achieving this resulted not only in a fully patented solution (unique in the mannequin world in it’s own right) but also the potential for a radical new way to manufacture previously made fibre glass forms across a whole host of complimentary industries.
There are a small number of mannequins which also claim to be eco friendly, and we take great pride in knowing that our product stands alone in meeting a number of key objectives and being truly eco friendly, patented and the Real Deal.
No compromise – visual display is focused on creativity and the ability of brands to express themselves. Our goal was to ensure that this creativity did not need to be restricted simply because the solution was an eco one.
From cradle to grave – we thought about the process from every possible angle. Choosing the correct material wasn’t simply a decision based on natural or synthetic options, consideration had to be given to factors such as the food chain, to ensure that utilisation of the material could not adversely affect a food supply process. Additionally we needed to solve the issue of fibreglass remaining in landfill for thousands of years, or requiring expensive and energy inefficient disposal.
Strength to weight – the popularity of fibreglass display figures is partially a result of their low weight, high strength properties, combined with the ability to mould and form intricate shapes and details. It’s vital that any eco solution does not add weight, or reduce strength because the instore environment can be a challenging place for a mannequin to live.
Cost effective – inline with our commitment to no compromise we understood that the cost of any product is key for brands and retailers when you consider the number of mannequins that brands can own across their store portfolios.
These are quite a challenging set of objectives! Each one in it’s own right can be solved to some degree, but we wanted to produce a solution which achieved all of these targets and more, because an eco solution is only truly successful if it does not require compromise.
Here’s how we did it:
We found a material that is a natural plant fibre, we then utilised this material not in it’s raw state, but after it has been used in the form of hessian coffee or rice sacks. The mannequins are therefore produced from a recycled, natural plant fibre material – a double benefit.
This base material was combined with a bio resin made from non-food based vegetable oils, and through a carefully controlled and innovative manufacture process this is formed into a hard cast moulding.
The careful combination of materials and processes ensures that there are no creative compromises and full detailed results can be achieved. From realistic faces and hands, to organic or even crisp edge shapes so it can be made into any design you choose.
We trialled and now utilise a number of water based paints, so that even down to the final coat of colour the mannequin maintains it’s eco credentials. (Once painted you cannot tell the difference between an eco and a fibreglass mannequin – but we know which one we would rather have.)
Everything was tested – from drop tests to assess the strength, to CO2 and full cradle to grave eco credentials. This testing was done independently and we are proud to have achieved our objectives in all areas.
It has been proven to reduce carbon emission by up to 60% compared to conventional GRP mannequins.
It is inherently bio-degradable, which means that it can be placed in landfill and over time it will disappear or alternatively it can be recycled into furniture.
No cost increase – this is key for us – why should eco cost more? The answer is it shouldn’t and our eco figures receive no price increase because we believe retailers should be encouraged to replace their existing fibreglass mannequins once their useful working life has been met.
Future potential – we are already exploring and manufacturing furniture and visual display props through our innovative eco manufacturing process as a direct replacement for fibreglass solutions.
It is fully patented in the UK and has patents pending in numerous other countries.
We titled this article ‘the only true eco mannequin?’ as a question because in part we cannot believe that there are no other products that we are aware of that meet (exceed) and fully satisfy the same objectives.
In writing this article we hoped to answer this initial question, by sharing of the story behind this innovative product and how we achieved such a unique and distinctive patented solution.
If you find our work inspirational or would like to know more then please visit http://global-display.co/eco
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