Cardboard Helmet Wins Major Design Award

Shelby Rogers

Biking around town has become a booming mode of transportation in major cities and among the environmentally aware. Between 2001 to 2009, the number of bicycles on the road more than doubled. However, users rarely wear helmets while traveling. More than 800 cyclists were killed in the US alone in 2015. One innovative design looks to greatly lower that statistic.

ecohelmet1[Image courtesy of James Dyson Award]

Isis Shiffer recently won the James Dyson Award for her creative EcoHelmet, a foldable and recyclable helmet. The EcoHelmet's honeycomb shape protects the head from impact. It distributes the impact evenly throughout the head just as well as any other plastics-based helmet on the market. Unlike other helmets, the EcoHelmet can protect a wearer from a hit at any angle of the helmet.

The helmet is made of 100 percent recycled paper. But what about paper and  cardboard in the rain? Well, Shiffer designed the product with a biodegradable coating, making it waterproof for up to three hours.

ecohelmet2[Image courtesy of James Dyson Award]

Shiffer said time abroad proved crucial to her design and development of the EcoHelmet.

“I was lucky enough to be studying at Royal College of Art and the Imperial College of London for a semester, and was granted access to Imperial’s crash lab,” she said. “They had a European standard helmet crash setup that allowed me to gather enough data on Ecohelmet’s proprietary honeycomb configuration to know it was viable and worth developing.”

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The James Dyson Award gives her an additional $45,000 to further improve her invention.

For more information about the helmet, check out Shiffer's website here. You can't buy the product just yet. However, Shiffer mentions a newsletter that interested people can subscribe to for more information. There's even an option for those interested in buying bulk EcoHelmets for a rideshare program.

SEE ALSO: Inventor Builds Cyclops Helmet That Has Flamethrowers for Eyes

Via James Dyson Award

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