Meet Kibu: A Pair Of Recyclable Headphones That Can Be Assembled And Customised By Kids

Award-winning industrial design and innovation consultancy Morrama reveals a collaborative project with circular manufacturing company Batch.Works: Kibu, a pair of headphones that proves that circular and repairable consumer electronics are possible. The Kibu headphones are the first product from this joint venture and are designed to be assembled and customised by kids, with each component being replaceable and recyclable.

The headphones will be manufactured by Batch.Works in Hackney, London, with recycled PLA made from packaging waste from the agricultural industry using a unique fused deposition modelling method developed by the circular manufacturing start-up.



With each pair printed on-demand, kids can customise the various components with a range of beautiful colours to choose from. The Kibu headphones, branded by Studio Don, are designed to be playful, customisable, and sustainable. Inspired by the printing technique itself, the headphones are wired and adjustable with a soft TPU headband and foam ear cups.

“This project is the result of both Batch.Works and Morrama’s drive to shift the consumer mindset around product circularity and repairability at end-of-life. By starting with kids’ products, we hope to set the next generation on a path to better understanding and appreciating the objects they use and interact with and do so in a playful and engaging way”, said Jo Barnard, Founder and Creative Director of Morrama.



“We believe the future of manufacturing must prioritise recycled materials from traceable sources; it must be digital, making only what’s needed, when it’s needed and where it’s needed; it must take responsibility for its output by taking products back into the material cycle; and it must enable short supply chains that offer reduced transportation costs, improved transparency, and increased agility. Kibu introduces these principles to younger generations who we hope will grow up to think of them as normal.” – added Milo McLoughlin-Greening, partner and head of R&D at Batch.Works

If any aspects of the headphones are damaged or need to be sized up as the child grows, the plastic parts can be sent back to Batch.Works, ground down, and made into new pairs of headphones. The circuit boards are produced with Soluboard® by Jiva materials, a unique material that allows electronics to be easily broken down and recycled, increasing yields of precious metal recovery, and decreasing environmental damage in the process.

With the Kibu headphones, Morrama and Batch.Works demonstrate that local manufacture of technology products can be possible and transparent, sustainability can be achieved without sacrificing beautiful design or user experience. Whilst the headphones are the first of the Kibu products, they won’t be the last.