If you were looking for a strong material to protect your head from a cycling accident, I imagine the last substance you would think of would be paper. Yet Isis Schiffer of the Pratt Institute of Design in New York has done just that. Current bicycle helmets are made of styrofoam and polystyrene. They are bulky and difficult to carry which causes many cyclists to abandon them altogether. Isis has created a foldable paper helmet that she calls the EcoHelmet. It is easy to carry, totally recyclable and simple to manufacture.
The helmet’s design relies on a honeycomb pattern that distributes the force of impact throughout the entire structure, rather than just in one place. It provides complete protection, yet can be folded up and carried in a purse or small bag. The design was given a prestigious award by the British inventor James Dyson who said: “EcoHelmet solves an obvious problem in an incredibly elegant way. Its simplicity belies an impressive amount of research and development.”