Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
WHECAT is a series of design explorations on air pollution caused by straw incineration and the social issues behind it. We hope to reduce the amount of straw being burnt as well as increase farmers' income by redefining the commercial value of wheat straw.
Straw burning has always been the most significant contributor of Chinese air pollution, and we figured out a new way to reduce the proportion of straw being burnt by increasing the total income of wheat straw, turning waste into commercial products to avoid being burnt as usual.
Farmers often burn wheat straw because it takes up a lot of arable lands and degrades slowly. So it has the potential to be a new kind of sustainable material. After the experiment thoroughly, we found that a sort of traditional straw-woven textile is suitable and comfortable for further usage. Artisans traditionally use this textile for straw hats in Shaanxi Province. And the production process is simple by using a spinning wheel machine to build the rotating body shape of hats.
To make the shape more attractive to cats, we naturally bent the top of the object into a cat ear shape. And as you can see from the picture, the wheat straw material is deeply loved by cats. The unique wheat braided structure makes it a cat nest and a cat scratch board at the same time.
Currently, we are working with animal protection organizations to launch a low- cost, degradable stray cat nest, which will not only pollute the environment but also can use a more substantial proportion of funds for stray cat sterilization and rescue.
Our manufacturing process adopts the method of recycling weaving output. First, the straw is recycled from the farmer to his home. Using the existing model, farmers will use the straw to braid the straw braid in their free time. Then before production, they regularly send these grass braids to the factory for considerable compensation. After that, the factory has made commercial use of primary production weaving methods to make cat nests. So that all parties get the most benefits at the lowest learning cost.
We have taken advantage of China's rapid logistics and used the rural-to-urban route to improve the efficiency of logistics operations. And at the same time, we can get enough goods for the rural-to-urban road that were initially commercially unsuccessful.
Since many stray animals in the city have nowhere to hide in winter, we use degradable rice straw materials to build nests for them. This reduces the difficulty of staff recovering the nests after winter and the irreversible damage caused by plastic to the environment while allowing small animals to spend a warm winter.
For our users, we use a subscription system. The old cat nest and cat scratchboard will be complicated to clean after using it for a while. After using a degradable straw, you can choose to subscribe to a new cat nest once three months or so and you don't have to worry about cleaning or recycling issues.
We use a unique approach to solve the incineration problem, to spread quickly, we have tried our best to reduce the learning cost of farmers. So we choose the way they are making straw hats right now and redesign the production process for commercial consideration.
This is a multi-benefit process. Farmers increase their income by selling straw modular at a reasonable price, producer spread the brand influence, thus reducing the straw being burnt to make the air condition better, and our consumers can have more natural products for their cats. All of the stakeholders can get what they want while recycling straw.
And this is perpetual motion in a virtuous circle.