As the population of the planet continues to grow, conversations are increasingly aimed at ways to deal with waste from consumptive societies. More and more shoppers are looking for long-lasting products, preferably made from recycled materials with fully sustainable product life cycles. That’s why designers Andrew and Martin came together to create the POTR, a self-watering planter made with the enviornment in mind.
The plan for the POTR took months of origami practice, since the basic design relies heavily on aspects of the ancient craft. Endless variations were meticulously considered before the final version of the POTR came to be. In the end, the design was very simple: a flat pattern that’s gathered up to form a planter-shaped container.
Andrew and Martin knew they wanted to use recycled products from the outset of the project, and they achieved that goal using recycled cotton for cording and polypropylene made from recycled plastic for the main body of the pot. But despite being recycled, these materials go above and beyond when it comes to performing the tasks required of them. The recycled plastic is strong and durable, and well able to endure a lifetime of knocks and bumps. It also adheres to the need to fold and unfold countless times and is the perfect material for making dependable planters that won’t break down, crack, or leak. Best of all, you can always just recycle your POTR again should you decide to get rid it at some point.
Another part of the sustainability equation involves sourcing materials, manufacturing, and transport. The company behind the POTR, based out of the UK, sources their materials from nearby countries in Europe to minimize transport emissions. They’ve also partnered with a local manufacturing plant to ensure minimal cut-off waste and efficient die-cutting techniques.
The design of the POTR allows it to lay flat when not in use, which makes it especially great for storage. It also makes it easy to pack for a move or for shipping. As a matter of fact, the POTR even arrives in a flat envelope — one of the cheapest forms of shipping. Even better, the envelope can go directly into your mailbox so it doesn’t require an additional truck that contributes to air pollution.
Your POTR is easy to construct once it arrives. Simply weave the cording through the holes along the outer edge of the plastic and pull, drawing the whole thing together in a planter shape. Then assemble the small plastic platform that sits inside to support your plant. Set your potted plant on the support and tuck one end of the cotton cord into the soil. Through wicking, your plant will drink whenever it’s thirsty. The POTR maintains a consistent amount of water by allowing the plant to decide when to drink. The opaque sides allow you to see when the water is getting low so you can refill the reservoir.
Now fully funded through a Kickstarter campaign, the POTR is entering its production phase, with initial orders expected to ship later this fall. It’s currently available in two sizes, small and large, in the hopes that they’ll provide for the needs of most standard houseplants. Still, they do plan to add additional sizes in the future. The cords are available in five color options to match decor or personal preference.