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A recycled mattress keeps the sharing at bay

Sharing in this case ain't caring.

Photo of festus mbuimwe

Written by

"The ward has a capacity of 28 beds but always has over 100 patients with most of them sharing beds", said the Sunday Nation newspaper published in Kenya, on 8th April 2018.

The quote above referred to the state of the labour ward at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya's (and East Africa's) biggest referral hospital.

What if the Nike grind foam were used to manufacture mattresses, which I guess would be cheaper then buying new mattresses, and sell them to the labour wards of hospitals such as Kenyatta?

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

The primary target market will be the labour wards of Kenya's public hospitals such as the Kenyatta National Hospital, in which a severe shortage of beds/mattresses force expectant mothers to share the few beds available.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

The main obstacle i expect is the lack of beds to accommodate the mattresses made from the recycled foam. If it becomes an insurmountable obstacle, how about at least availing the mattresses themselves to alleviate the sharing of beds indignity? And then once a ebd is available, an expectant mother can move to it, alone. The recycled mattresses can be introduced via a public donation to the Kenyatta National Hospital's labour ward.

How is your idea innovative?

The business model is mattresses made from recycled foam are cheaper than new mattresses.

What inspired this idea?

"The ward has a capacity of 28 beds but always has over 100 patients with most of them sharing beds", said the Sunday Nation newspaper published in Kenya, on 8th April 2018.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

I'm a human being who's observing the challenges in my immediate environment (in Nairobi, Kenya) and asking myself: "What can I contribute to solve this challenge?" At this stage, i offer my ideas.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

A top idea will encourage others to contribute to the refinement and possible adoption of the idea.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Great idea Festus! I like the social impact it can have. In fact one of my students @joselo had thought about the context of hospitals. In terms of design of the mattresses, you might want to check Aakar Mehra idea
What kind of materials are you thinking of using?
Also have you thought of who you could partner with to create these mattresses? Do you know where the current mattresses are bought? Will these companies interested to partner? or will this be a new venture?

Also reading the quote which inspired you: I wonder if it's about mattresses or physical space for beds. It might be worth exploring further.

Good luck! Looking forward to seeing your idea evolve.

Photo of festus mbuimwe

Hi, Anne
Thanks for your input. Space in public hospitals is generally available, it's the equipment that's in short supply.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Thank you festus mbuimwe for your response. Great to know about the space. I look forward to seeing your idea evolve! Thanks!

Photo of DeletedUser


I like this idea, have you thought of making a version of the mattress available for immigrant camps? A government contract would provide lots of funding.

Photo of shaolin

I like your idea. The mattresses are very important for people nowadays. Especially, the target market is the hospital. In my point of view, these mattresses can help the expectant mothers feel more comfortable. Thank you for your idea.

Photo of festus mbuimwe

Hi, Shaolin. Thanks for your input.

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi festus mbuimwe ,

Great to see this concept in the Challenge! I would love to know how you might begin to prototype this concept? Moving from the raw materials to final design, can you please share what a plan might be to, the steps, and the manufacturing processes? These may also be ideas for how you could go about prototyping!

Excited to learn more!

Photo of festus mbuimwe

Hi, Lauren
Wow. I have no idea about manufacturing, oops. Perhaps someone on the forum can help.

Photo of Eric Michael Weprin

I think a mattress is a great idea for NikeGrind. Would you also expand donating the mattresses to homeless people?

Photo of festus mbuimwe

Hi, Eric. Yes, I would expand the mattresses to homeless people. Thanks for your suggestion.