lifestyle

The beautiful new toilet paper that doesn't just look great in your bathroom.

“Toilet paper is boring and stale. When we first started we knew that we definitely wouldn’t be stocked in supermarkets, so it was about how to make our product different.”

Welcome to Mamamia’s art endeavour, the Voulez-Vous Project. Every week we celebrate emerging artists, designers, illustrators, creators and cats who dress like their owners (not joking). Our aim: to help the internet become a slightly more beautiful, captivating, or thought-provoking place by making art accessible.

To find out more about the Voulez-Vous project, click here. Click here to see all the previous Voulez-Vous posts.

Toilet paper. Generally the most unglamorous household item you can think of, right? Well, not exactly, especially if you’re Simon Griffiths, Jehan Ratnatunga and Danny Alexander, who founded Who Gives A Crap, a company that makes pretty stylish (yes, stylish) toilet paper with a difference.

After learning that 2.5 billion people across the world don’t have access to a toilet (roughly 40 per cent of the world’s population), the trio began the company in 2012, donating 50% of their profits to WaterAid to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.

And it isn’t just good for your conscience either: The trio are transforming a generally utilitarian product into something you actually want to display in your bathroom, because their designs are both bright and fun.

And their latest collaboration is with an incredible Melbourne based author, illustrator and designer, Beci Orpin.

Beci Orpin’s designs for Who Gives a Crap’s latest project.

“Toilet paper is boring and stale. When we first started we knew that we definitely wouldn’t be stocked in supermarkets, so it was about how to make our product different.” Simon Griffiths, a cofounder of Who Gives a Crap says.

And their innovative designs are clearly resonating with people, in July sales of the product had raised enough money to give over 69,380 people access to a toilet for a whole year.

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Griffiths explains that bringing Orpin on board for their latest edition was an obvious collaboration for the company,

“Beci has an amazing aesthetic, and we knew she would help take the designs into a fun new direction. Because we do think about all parts of the cycle of the product Beci was perfect for it, because with her designs, people would want to hold on the paper, and turn it into a craft project, Beci is amazing at that.”

“For us, it is really about considering every single part of the product’s lifecycle. We want to delight, surprise and wow the customer.” Griffiths says.

There are instructions in each pack detailing how to make various craft projects, including a hanging mobile, envelopes, a fortune teller, toilet roll glasses and party balls.

“This is the first of ongoing limited edition designer, every year we do a Christmas edition, we will have them coming out in mid November this year. We’ve also go something in the works which will come out April or May next year” Griffiths says.

Profits from the collaboration will go towards educating children about sanitation as well as building toilets East Timor and Papua New Guinea, especially important in light of the fact that 1400 children die from diarrhoea-related diseases every day . The limited edition collection is available online through the Who Gives A Crap website.

Check out some of Beci Orpin’s work in the gallery below. 

Do you know an artist (or are YOU an artist) who creates beautiful or thought-provoking work and whom you think should be featured on Mamamia’s Voulez-Vous Project? Send an email to [email protected]mamamia.com.au.

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