Sugru: Fixing the future

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Well, that may be a little overstated but it can fix a great deal...

sugru-applications1_smlNot so long ago I wrote about how I used Gorilla Glue and sugru® to fix the handle of an old garden trowel that was destined, prior to that, not by me but by previous owner, to be thrown away.

I had always wanted – after rescuing it – to somehow resurrect this lovely old trowel but there just was no material around bar, eventually, making a new handle and with the kind of trowel that it is, where the tool sits in the handle and not the handle in the tool, so to speak, this is always a difficult task.

So the poor trowel sat around moping until sugru arrived and I attempted a repair only with sugru. However, as there was a large deep crack in the top of the handle that went for quite a way it did not directly work and also not because the handle had a deep patina from use and the fact that with some wood it is best to roughen it up a little with sandpaper.

That still left the crack and sugru, together with Gorilla Glue, sorted that and the trowel has become now useful and usable again.

sugru® is a new self-setting rubber that bonds to most other materials. You form it by hand into any shape, apply it and make it into what you want it to be, and overnight it turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber.

Only a generation or two ago, it was natural and obvious to repair something when it broke and to adapt something if it wasn’t quite right. It just made sense! The illusion of a never-ending supply of new things in recent decades has caused us to forget how to mend things.

sugru® was invented to get the world fixing and making again. From patching up hiking boots, to protecting iPhones with rubber bumpers, to customising the grips on sports equipment, it provides a versatile and easy-to-use solution for even those who’ve never fixed things before. Its flexibility and adhesiveness to all kinds of materials - from leather to wood to plastics - means that it can be used to make all kinds of products better.

The idea is catching on and sugru is now used by nearly 500,000 people from 151 countries around the world, whilst call sugru ‘21st Century Duct Tape’, and TIME magazine listed it as one of the top 50 inventions of 2010.

An 8 x 5g multi-colour pack of sugru retails at £11/$18/€15 at

sugru® was invented by Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh who is also the CEO of sugru, the exciting new self-setting rubber for fixing, modifying, and improving your stuff. Originally from Ireland, Jane studied at the Royal College of Art in London, where she had an idea that led to the first version of sugru in 2003. While there, she imagined a world where this magic material existed and set out to make it a reality.

Six years and 8,000 lab hours later, the formula for sugru was complete. Made in London, sugru launched in December 2009 and its community of users has continued to grow, reaching over 500,000 customers worldwide.

Jane is passionate about promoting a culture of creativity and resourcefulness, and sees it as an antidote to the throwaway mindset. Her mission is hitting a chord with the growing number of people looking to live more sustainably whilst doing what they love.

© 2014

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