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Simple Inventions That Changed the World

Posted on 25th May 2018 Product Design, Plastic History

Hessiclips making a building site safer

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make a big difference and the simplest gadgets that make you wonder how we got along without them. It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, but these days its seems to be just as often a matter of convenience as necessity.  


Menstrual Cups

First patented in 1932 with various unsuccessful iterations over the years, menstrual cups finally became commercially viable and popular with the UK-made Mooncup in 2002. Made from flexible medical grade silicone, the small bell-shaped devices are far more hygienic, eco friendly and cost-effective compared to tampons or sanitary towels. 

There are now several brands available worldwide and the cups are being trialled by NGOs and governments in developing countries where women and girls often only have access to very limited and unhygienic pads – if anything. Menstrual cups can hold more than 3x the liquid of a tampon, can be changed far less often during the day, are easy to clean and can be reused for more than 5 years making them a brilliantly low cost and eco friendly alternative! 


Credit and Debit Cards

Now that carrying cash is becoming less and less common, it’s incredible to think that it was only fifty years ago that started our obsession with plastic cards and only twenty years ago that card payments first exceeded personal cheques! 

Barclays issued the UK’s first credit card in 1966 and it wasn’t until 1987 that debit cards with a magnetic strip were launched. Since then the cards we use everyday have changed incredibly, with chip and pin replacing signatures in 2002 and the first contactless cards in 2007. Contactless payment cards, and prepaid cards such as Oyster cards, are now the norm – with the UK’s use of cash dwindling in recent years. 


Hessiclip 

Reducing accidents on building sites around the world, the incredibly simple but effective Hessiclip was designed to replace the practice of precariously balancing bricks on top of hessian sheets during the curing process. Hessiclips hold the sheets in place and stand strong against wind and the elements, a simple need and a simple solution that makes building sites far safer places to work. 

We worked with the Hessiclip company to design, prototype and manufacture the product in a collaborative process that took their simple idea to market quickly and efficiently. 


Do you have an idea for a product that could transform the world of plastics? Our product design team will work with you to develop and test concepts and bring it to market.

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