The world’s first green earplug

By on July 25, 2018

Happy Ears new earplug – the first of its kind in the world – is presented in connection with this year’s festival. The core of the new earplug is made of recycled ABS plastic and the enclosure around it by bioplastics. The ear plug is sold in a bag of recycled cardboard and is manufactured in Tyresö, Stockholm.

– This year the festival focuses on materials and return think. It was from the initiative that the idea was born, says Jukka Viitasara, designer and one of Happy Ears founder.

Happy Ears has already, since 2010 when the company was founded in Malmö, revolutionized the earplugs industry. The industry was then “brutally unsexy” as Jukka Viitasara puts it. Something Happy Ears has begun to change. They added stylish design and high quality – Happy Ears protects their ears but still emits sound – at a low price. Before Happy Ears, there were only simple, ugly and cheap neon-colored foam rubber stoppers, and the opposite: what professionals, such as musicians, used. Special-shaped, expensive earplugs.

– We were triggered by it. There was a cavity to fill. We wanted to make a really good plug for common people, says Jukka Viitasara.

The earplug they released recently is a pretty, elegantly designed product light year from the big, lumpy foam rubber plugs like Karl Berglund, the company’s CEO and co-founder, used to squeeze into his ears as he surfaced waves like a traveling 20-year-old (losing 90 percent of his hearing at young age and having ears problems).

Unlike the fat color clumps that give the feeling of sitting in a glass jar, Happy Ears is a plug that you can hear with. They release a clear and natural sound while protecting the ears from the highest noise.

– Being able to make them in a sustainable material is a nice step forward. Plastic is something hated – a bad material. But it’s – as always – not the whole truth. Plastic is a future material. Earlier today I ate a vegan chocolate cake that was wrapped in a plastic foil that you can put on the compost and it becomes soil. There are a lot of exciting stuff with the development of plastic, says Jukka Viitasara.

The music festival Way Out West has been profiling for many years as environmentally-friendly and sustainability-focused. Headlines were raised a few years ago when the festival became officially meatless, and then milk free. But the work goes beyond that. They take initiatives at several levels and in most collaborations. For example, Norrlandsguld became an organic beer because of the cooperation with Way Out West.

-We try to always work with sustainability issues that are relevant. We are proud and think it’s not just fun but also important that Happy Ears takes this step and produces earplugs of durable materials. It’s great that we can influence those we work with, says Julia Bergström, Production Manager at Way Out West.

– The cooperation is very fun, especially now that we start working towards expanding abroad. It feels like Way Out West is always at the forefront of different trends and they start talking about things that have not happened than in the rest of the world. It’s fun to work with someone who has that profile and who does it because they really believe it, says Jukka Viitasara.

Helena Olofsson, Gadgets
MyGuide2Stockholm