“Recyclability” and “Sustainability” seem to be the two keywords that have taken the design industry by storm. Every product designed today is being created keeping in mind the environment. And this awareness is especially abundant in the younger generation of designers. Paolo Gentile is one such product designer. He recently graduated from the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. In a brilliant decision to combine sports tech with sustainability, he created ‘Frammento’, a collection of skateboards made from the rubber obtained from End-of-Life tires (ELT).
Designer: Paolo Gentile
Paolo says he was inspired to bring Frammento to life “[while] hanging out at a children’s playground. I became intrigued by the floor material and after some search and realizing the low cost of the rubber pellets, I started to think of new applications for it”. When End-of-Life tires undergo a final shredding process, their rubber is transformed into granules that may be cheap but manage to retain all the technical properties of rubber. Paolo realized that the properties of these granules; grip, durability, elasticity, flexibility, impact resistance, and traction are exactly the characteristics a nifty skateboard needs! Hence he decided to revive the almost extinct tires and transform them into a collection of recycled skateboards. With Frammento, a new use for recycled rubber was discovered.
‘Frammento’ was inspired by the rubber pellets used in children’s playgrounds.
With the help of the companies Ecopneus and Casei Ecosystems, Paolo learned about End-of-Life tires and how to use them. He also collected the material with their help. After the collection of innumerous pellets, he needed to give them form. The pellets were combined with glue and the mixture was poured into a skateboard shaped mold. The mixture was then pressed into the mold, creating the final skateboard form.
The pellets are mixed with glue, and then press-molded into a skateboard.
The end result; a form of transportation that is fun, practical, safe and devoid of any pretentiousness. A skateboard that allows tires to keep on traveling, a skateboard to run around town with. Frammento seems like a fun and not to mention an eco-friendly alternative to our usual skateboards, a product I’m sure all skateboarding enthusiasts would love to get their hands on!