My idea is a reinvention of the clothespin in order to greatly reduce the time and ease of drying clothing in the sun. Line drying clothing makes them smell better and uses no energy save the sun. More people would do it if it took less time and were more convenient. My idea does this by making the process of clipping and unclipping ones clothes a one handed, instead of two handed affair, thereby cutting the time of this pedantic component of the task by more than half. And the opinions which are more like flags are a nicely designed item that are not merely there when off but enhance ones property with color and motion.
If this idea could bring the masses back to using the sun to dry their clothes versus a gas or electric dryer, it has the potential to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emission. The average dryer uses 5000 watts which is at the top of any of our household items. Compare that to a clock radio which uses 4 watts of energy and you begin to see what energy mongers dryers are. If a large number of people were willing to give up their dryers or even just during the summer, even a few days each year, it would have drastic results in reducing energy consumption which of course would cut greenhouse gas emissions incredibly. The Pinup will be made of 100% recycled polyethylene plastic.
Every unit (1 package of Pinups is enough to dry one typical wash/dry load of clothes) sold will be calculated in a metric that has predetermined typical wash/dry loads per family per year. The packaging material will encourage users to log on to the Pinpup website to enter their package serial number and answer a few questions about how often they line dry their clothes and how many loads of laundry they do per week. The results of this information will be averaged with the aforementioned formula to determine a sound estimate of how much the Pinups are displacing dryer usage.
I will produce this in the United States and preferably in my home state of Ohio. My business plan is to produce these as locally as possible so in the beginning I want to make them near my hub where I first plan to branch out and sell them. Targeting countries in Europe and the third world where more people already line dry clothing is another good strategy and I’d like to set up production in a variety of places to keep it local for the distribution scheme.
Clothespins are cheap. These may cost a bit more but I would imagine consumers will be willing to pay a premium for the time saved and having an object designed with form and function in mind, not just function. Having production done with the priority being to reduce shipping will also add to the cache of my potential market and make for a slightly higher price-point. With transparent, straightforward explanations on the marketing and packaging collateral, I think people will see that the increased price does not reflect and unreasonable margin but rather the premium we need to be prepared to pay in the coming century if we want to do right by the planet. I’m guessing at this point a package of Pinups would run between 8-10 dollars USD.
I think smart, liberal to moderate people and classic conservatives who want to do the right thing, who are concerned with how they eat, what they drive, etc. Will buy them. Just as the Organic grocery market is one of the fastest growing markets in the US, this idea will fit neatly into the mindset that is propelling this type of eating. Whole Foods which has an ever growing selection of non-food items would be an ideal retailer for this and I would say that the bulk of their clients would buy these.
I have yet to encounter a one-handed clothes-pin, so for that alone, it is new and novel. I’ve also not seen many that have a design sensibility (aside from adding some color to the plastic mix here and there). While there are certainly some unique clothes-pins out there, they have not improved on the function. It is analogous to corkscrews. The oldest, most basic ones are not much less efficient than the newest, wildest ones but there have been some excellent design evolution in that typology. Clothes-pins are idiosyncratic with local flavor but no designs have been overhauled so much as to drastically reinvent how they are used and make them a lot more efficient. This is not a highly competitive or sexy field so the innovation happens in more technology related sectors. But all of my work takes a strong look, at the past to say, sure, this works pretty well but maybe we need to version before we evolve.
I have launched a product of my own design (ceramic plates) that I had produced en mass and currently have for sale on my own website and at a variety of retailers across the country. I received good press for this as well as for a lot of my other work and I have received some awards and recognition as well (all of this is documented on my website). I teach design at the college level and show my work at galleries and institutional venues as well as retail ones. I am a journeyman carpenter/woodworker as well and have written and received environmental grants for various projects over the years. I also have been a dedicated environmentalist for almost 20 years including majoring in Environmental Conservation during my undergraduate education (92-96).