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milngavie mans unique invention is being exported to japan
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Milngavie man’s unique invention is being exported to Japan

Andrew Flynn, 32, has created the world’s first self-watering origami plant pot – and has agreed a life-changing deal to sell them to the Japanese. Origami – from ori meaning “folding’ and kami meaning ‘paper’ – is the art of paper folding which started in Japan. Andrew created POTR after studying plant pots in his home and trying to figure out a way to make them more sustainable. He was inspired by his engineering background and his mother’s love of origami while growing up. Andrew began creating the world’s first self-watering origami plant pot – and began a Kickstarter campaign with co-founder Martin and brand manager and wife Eilidh. The campaign raised over £30,000 in 20 days with more than 2,000 orders placed for the first batch of pots. In August 2021 POTR officially began selling their products in the mainstream and signed a momentous deal to sell with letterbox bouquet retailer Bloom & Wild. Now, with their products taking off around the UK and abroad, the Scottish team have just returned from launching their pots in Japan – the home of origami. Andrew said: “One of the really funny things is we’re a Scottish brand selling origami to Japan. ”I think some of the Japanese customers I’ve spoken to were quite surprised that a Scottish company, or a company that wasn’t Japanese, had come up with a product that was origami. “It’s unbelievable. I still pinch myself.” The pots are made from post-consumer recycled polypropylene – recycled single-use plastics. They are ground down to a 0.5mm thickness and stamped with the origami folds, which are then flat-packed and sent to the customer. Andrew’s team created a self-watering system, which uses a length of cord to draw water from a reservoir built into the base of the pot and into the plant’s soil. Andrew said: ”Round about the start of COVID, I was spending a lot of time with my house plants. “I certainly know a lot of people that find it tricky to keep their house plants alive or kill their house plants, and this was definitely me a number of years ago. “We were trying to look at a way for making plant care more hassle-free. People are busy and often forget to water their plants, or perhaps they overwater their plants. “We wanted to look at integrating a feature or system which made that simpler to do and make it less likely that you’re going to essentially waste the plant that you’ve bought. “I think origami is a kind of art form that’s inherently quite striking and very minimal. “I think it sounds weird, but you almost don’t have to do too much of the designing. “The resulting design that we have is truly a result of the function. “I think because origami is such a minimal, striking, clean kind of design form, the aesthetic is one of the things that people really gravitate towards. I think that’s been really well received.” Now, POTR has begun launching their products in Japan – and have been stunned by the support they have received. Andrew, who also teaches product design part-time at the Glasgow School of Art, hopes to take POTR to the US markets in the coming year. “Because of the origami nature of the product, we had interested buyers emailing us from Japan probably since we first did that Kickstarter campaign back in 2020,” said Andrew. “But entering the Japanese market has its complexities, and half of them I didn’t even know about until started working on it last year. “The way they buy and import products is really specific to Japan and more tricky, I’ve been told, than other places “It’s a very surreal, slightly existential feeling of something that was in your head now being everywhere. Certainly, seeing it on shop shelves in Japan was totally surreal.”

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