Carry on camping

Netherlands (The Hague)

Inspired by the thousands of tents typically left behind after music festivals, two twenty-something Dutch entrepreneurs have decided to give festival seasons a sustainable do-over – by designing the first ever tents made from cardboard.

After constructing a cardboard beach house for the Dutch government, Jan Portheine came together with Wout Kommer, one of his fellow graduates from TU Delft in the Netherlands, to turn his attention to the fabric tent. Made to last a few years, they are often disposed of after one use. In 2016 at Glastonbury alone over 6,000 tents were left behind, creating a massive clean-up operation costing both money and time. The full figure hasn’t been calculated as yet.

Concerned with their belief that one in four tents are abandoned at festivals and end up in landfills, the pair created a lightweight two-person tent that they guarantee can stay cool and dry for three days, “even in constant rain” (aka the Great British Summer). “Fabric tents get burned afterwards,” Portheine tells us. “We want to solve this problem with a cheaper and better alternative.”

Being cardboard, the 100% environmentally-friendly KarTent can be fully recycled and ventilated via a hole in the back, and they are surprisingly less flammable than standard tents. Some festivals have already provided tents like this for free in Europe as sponsors and festival-goers love that they can be easily printed or scribbled on.

But this isn’t just about flatpack festival chic. Portheine and Kommer are currently looking into ways to improve and lengthen the life of the tent, and are looking to partner up to supply the hardy tents to those in need.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (02 June 2017)

Project leader

Jan Portheine and Wout Kommer

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Leaving Glastonbury 2016

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