In these times of generic, mass-produced, short-life-span goods, it’s comforting to be reminded that there are still people out there who are devoting their time and talent to custom-crafted items. And hopefully if enough customers support these designers and artists, they will be able to continue their work and make a living as artisans.
Matija Kasner is one such craftsman. For many years he has been using discarded wooden pallets to build furniture from his home base in a little town called Kutina in Croatia, about 50 miles from Zagreb. When he needed a case to protect his tablet, he didn’t want to buy a generic plastic or rubber one, and so, the idea of creating wooden cases dawned on him.
He is upfront about the fact that there are already wooden cases on the market. How is his ipallet4me different, then? “You have numerous producers making awesome tablet cases and covers out there,” he says. “They are all using high-quality wood and making premium products,” Kasner explains. “I wanted to do something completely different — I wanted to use low-quality wood from used transport pallets and make a difference for the environment.”
That environmental concern is key to Kasner’s mission. “With an estimated one billion pallets used every day, you can imagine how much wood is cut and how many new pallets are produced on a daily basis. If I can make only a tiny effort recycling pallet wood and create extra value for my community, I am quite happy with that. We are saving the world, one pallet at a time.”
The ipallet4.me is a unique, eco-friendly tablet case, and Kasner has designed it to be modular so it will be adjustable to fit new generations of iPads and Samsung Galaxy tablets as they release. No built-in obsolescence here! He’s considering other models as well, so Kindle users and others, stay tuned!
Of course, wood is typically heavier than synthetic materials. Kasner says the cases weigh approximately one and a half pounds right now, but he’s focusing on reducing that total while still providing a sturdy, protective cover, inside and out. “They do protect the screen because we mount recycled fabric inside the case,” he says.
As a new business venture, ipallet4me is taking its time and paying attention to detail rather than rushing bulk orders off an assembly line. “Currently, we are finalizing our prototyping stage and entering the first production batch,” Kasner says. “With high orientation to details, mass production isn’t an option for us. We are on a track to produce a premium product with low-quality materials.” And don’t worry, style is still on their priority list: “Customization is a big thing now, so we want to offer our customers different fabric colors to fit their personality and style.”
Surprisingly, reclaimed wood is Kasner’s favorite type. “For me, wood is the best material to work with, because you never know what will the outcome will be. And when you are using low-quality wood like I do, you are on a wild journey when producing something as delicate as a tablet case.”
You’ll have to be patient if you want to buy one of these unique cases, though. While registering for the company’s mailing list from the website gives you a chance to win one, the launch of its crowdfunding campaign won’t happen until April 2017.