Brighton graduate scoops major sustainable design award in Milan

3D Design and Craft BA(Hons)  and Sustainable Design MA alumni Tom Meades has continued his post-graduation success story by winning a prestigious £10,000 award at Milan Design Week.

Tom won the Ro Plastic Prize in the Responsible Innovation Category at what is one of the world’s leading design events. The award was given for the Gomi speakers business he set up soon after graduating in 2017 with 3D Design and Craft BA(Hons), realising a vision to turn waste plastic shopping bags into chic high-spec Bluetooth speakers powered by old e-bike batteries.

The Gomi speakers were the world’s first consumer tech product made from, and completely powered by, waste products, with each speaker creating new life for around 100 recycled plastic bags. In addition to the prize money for the Milan award – named after world-renowned design collector Rossana Orlandi – Tom’s speakers will now be exhibited at a design museum in Qatar.

Tom said: “The Gomi speakers show the potential of using waste plastic in products instead of polluting our landfills and the ocean! I started the Gomi Speaker project in my final year on 3D Design and Craft at The University of Brighton.

Tom Ainsworth – Head of the Sustainable Design MA and 3D Design and Craft tutor during my time – really helped me throughout my studies at Brighton, and continued to give advice on my projects post-university after I graduated. The University of Brighton really is a fantastic place to study, and set me on the path to do what I love today.”

Plastic waste makes up 85% of the pollution on our beaches around the world, and every year the UK alone throws away 1.2 billion kilos of flexible plastics. Tom’s award is part of an international project Guiltless Plastic, aimed at engaging the design world to put forward projects that are feasible in practical terms to provide effective responses to the environmental problem of plastics.




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