NUR-SULTAN – Eco Poof makes orthopaedic ottomans from recycled materials. The company started producing and selling its contoured footstools in Karaganda after winning a start-up contest last year.
“In making our products, we use cardboard and plastic. We transform plastic using a special machine. A regular plastic bottle is turned into tape of a certain width and used as a construction solution for our furniture. From plastic, we create a cushion, with which we give the desired shape to the seat. It acts as an orthopaedic substrate between the chair and the person,” Eco Poof head Timur Korobeinikov told the website WeProject.
He talked about the idea behind his product.
“We have combined the idea of recycling and creating a useful item. We studied the topic of posture correction. The main thing about an orthopaedic seat is that the angle between the body and the hips should be 90 degrees. In this position, the entire back straightens. Creating an orthopaedic chair does not require any additional time; it is enough to modify a regular chair. Each ottoman is assembled and sewn by hand. We adhere to an individual approach to each product, and we are open to new ideas. We can make a customised ottoman,” he said.
The decision to work with recycled plastic is part of Korobeinikov’s goal to change attitudes towards garbage in the country.
“We believe the materials should be given a second life. And for us, it is more of a personal challenge – to show that a creative approach is needed to work with plastic. It is not necessary to build factories and buy expensive equipment; you just need desire and raw materials. With our project, we want to transform mindsets at the local level, to teach Kazakh people not only to sort garbage but to involve them in production and recycling, to change the paradigm that plastic is garbage into thinking of it as a raw material,” he said.
The Astana Innovations Challenge allowed the team to kickstart its project.
“In November 2018, our team of four medical students went to the Astana Innovations Challenge start-up competition. In 54 hours, we had to solve one of the tasks. We chose a problem from Coca Cola International about the rational use of packaging waste, such as plastic bottles. We chose furniture as a solution to this problem. We immediately positioned ourselves as a long-term project; we wanted to continue this business. As part of the project, we took third place and purchased equipment using our cash prize,” said Korobeinikov.
Eco Poof products are available on Instagram at @eco_poof.