EKOTEKA, RENATO PONGRAC

Can you tell us a bit more about Ekoteka project (idea to the production)?

Ekoteka is an innovative brand of designer products resulting from the merger of textile waste,  recycled paper and organic materials. The notebooks are designed to be usable products that are created by recycled, old and discarded material. The design follows the environmental criteria and is focused on solving environmental problems. Our goal is to provide and encourage social and sustainable development by using recycled material, improving the quality of the environment, producing without generating waste, optimizing, 100% utilization and extending the lifetime of our product. Our first product Ekoteka, a recycled notebook, received the prestigious A’ Design Award. Ekoteka also carries the Green Mark stamp that certifies that it is a product that goes beyond conventional reforms.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

It is assumed that more than one million tons of textiles and paper are thrown in landfills each year. A small part is recycled, but it is not enough. By using the combination of waste textile and paper we want to emphasize an innovative approach to the creation of new products. We want products that will be environmentally friendly, whose production and use will be contrary to consumer culture and a “buy and throw” lifestyle.

How would you describe the offer & demand in our and European markets for recycled products?

Germany as well as the Scandinavian countries are much more advanced in production and research of recycled products. In Sweden 40% of the population purchase at least one recycled product a month. In Croatia this way of thinking has only just begun. We have seen though in recent years that there have been multiple initiatives to change Croatian perspective on this issue.

Where you see your project in the future? 

We have been creating a network in Croatia with other designer shops as well as book stores and souvenir shops. Last month we had our first international order from the Netherlands. Our goal in the near future is to have our products available on the markets of the European Union. We are also working on a mobile and tablet application that recognizes handwriting. With this application we plan to connect, simplify and speed up the classical way of using notebooks and create a modern way to communicate.