British-designed Vax cardboard vacuum cleaner nominated for international design award

British-designed cardboard vacuum cleaner, produced by Vax, the UK’s best-selling floorcare brand, has reached the final cut of the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards.

Built from cardboard and other sustainable materials, the Vax ev  ’eco vac’ is designed to reduce the burden on landfill. After winning a number of design awards in the UK, the ev is now set to take the US by storm as a finalist at the prestigious IDEA awards, hosted by the International Design Society of America. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Boston on 18th August.

The ev was developed by Jake Tyler, an upcoming young British designer, while he was studying Industrial Design at Loughborough University. After working with Vax’s product design team on a year’s placement, Jake collaborated with the company for his final year project, which focused on reducing waste by making vacuum cleaners more sustainable. Since graduating with a first class honours degree in 2011, he has joined the team at Vax as a full time engineer, based at their head office
in Birmingham. 

“Every year around 100 million tonnes of waste is put into landfill in the UK and we’re running out of space to put it all.  So we need to find new ways to make the consumer goods we need, without creating so much waste, ” said Jake.

“The Vax ev is a fully functioning, high powered vacuum cleaner but, as it’s made from recycled and recyclable materials, it’s totally sustainable too.”

Using corrugated cardboard means nothing is wasted, as the Vax ev’s flame-retardant panels start their life as part of the retail box it’s sold in. They just ‘pop’ into place around the motor housing, without any need for glue. The panels cost just a tenth of the price of plastic and can easily be replaced if they get damaged. They can also be customised using nothing more than a pack of felt-tip pens.

The Vax ev is currently a fully functioning prototype. Vax is now exploring a limited production run in Europe and investing further R&D in sustainable product technologies.  For more information visit

Notes to editors:

1. Vax holds the largest share of the UK floorcare market by volume and increased its share in 2011 by 12% year on year. (Source: GfK RT UK, Floorcare (Vacuum Cleaners + Steam Cleaners) Total Market, Volume % Share, Jan-Dec 2011)

2. The Vax ev was awarded a design prize by Loughborough university and selected for the New Designers exhibition in London on July 2011. It has also been nominated for the 2012 IDEA Birmingham design awards.

3. The Vax student placement scheme operates in partnership with Loughborough University to offer industrial design students work experience, support and sponsorship during their undergraduate degree course.

4. Vax is planning to recruit another 100 engineers over the next three years.


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