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Multifunctional Sleeping Bag for Homeless, Refugees and Emergycy

Soft, warm, ligth, multifunctional sleeping bag made from Nike Grind materials that improve sleeping coditions for those in need.

Photo of Yunfang Shi
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Our product - sleeping bag - uses several recycling materials such as leather, textile, and foam. As the picture shows, this sleeping bag has three layers: 

1. Mixed textile. This is the layer that would touch human’s body, so it should be comfortable enough. 

2. Footwear fiber. This is the thickest part of the layer, which is made up of recycled fiber. It supports the weight of the human being and makes them feel soft when they sleep. 

3. Foam. Foam is set to help to refresh the air in the bag, it keeps people from sweating during the sleep and also provide a comfortable “environment”.

The main purpose of sleep bags is to provide people warmness and comfort when they are in a limited environment. As the number of homeless and refugees are constantly increasing, we believe that by using Nike Grind materials, a well-designed sleeping bag can fulfill their basic needs. Thus, in these situations, warmness, comfort, convenience, and safety are the highest criteria. The sleeping bag we designed is quite tight, it could wrap a person up to provide maximum protection and warmth, or can be used as a mattress and blanket. What’s more, thanks to the high-quality Nike Grind materials, the sleeping bag will be light enough for being carries around. 

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

NYU- Team GreenHouse

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
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"
  • Full Grain Leather Scraps
  • Split Leather Scraps Coated
  • Synthetic Leather

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The materials we will use are mostly textile and foam. The Textile - Mixed Apparel and Mixed Footwear – will be used as the shell fabrics of our product as it contains cotton, nylon, and polyester. Footwear fiber “fluff” will be used for filling the sleeping bag. Thanks to the texture, this element is perfectly light and soft and it fits the needs of our product. For the back part of the sleeping bag, EVA Foam will be used as an internal matter. Thanks to its softness and flexibility, this layer will be adjusting to the body shape, providing a comfortable support. Furthermore, EVA foam has strong breathability and it avoids the formation of condensation in the sleeping bag layers.

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
  • Prototyping

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

Our main target will be the underprivileged people like the homeless and refugees. Our idea was to create a sustainable solution with a strong social impact. We aim to provide help to people exposed to the harsh weather conditions or lack of shelter with a secure, adaptive, comfortable, and portable sleeping environment. However, the idea is not only restricted to this target group. It also finds applications with anyone who foresees a need to spend a night sleeping outdoors.

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

As shown in the business model canvas, we are considering to partener with textile/foam manufacturers, NGOs, Shelters, Refugee Centers, Non-profit Organizations to create a non profit business. - Texitle and foam manufacturers can process the Nike Grind materials to mature fabric and foam sheet. Some first hand materials are also in need, such as water resistance fabric. - NGOs, Non-profit Organizations can be the sponsor of the project and providing job oppertunities to homeless and refugees to make the sleeping in house. (The Empowerment Plan Model). - Shelters, Refugee Centers will become the access point to give aways thse sleeping bags.

How is your idea innovative?

In technical and design aspects, we are trying to make maximum Nike Grind recycled materials to not only make a sleeping bag but also design it considering the end user as well as the potential client. We use different layers of mixed textile to control the temperature and maintain freshness inside the bag. We also apply foam to design more ergonomic sleeping bag. A human-centered design sleeping bag made from Nike recycled materials to solve real social issue will have a positive impact.

What inspired this idea?

We refined on our original idea. We observed that homeless just sleeping on the floor with paper cardboard. Their sleeping conditions is poor, they seems look cold, uncomfortable, and vulnerable. We are also aware of the numerous refugees arriving in European countries with nothing in their pocket.

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

We are GreenHouse, a group of five graduate students from NYU. We are an internationally diverse group from China, Italy, and India. The team has vastly different educational backgrounds including product design, construction eng., CS, and busienss.

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.

We are currently using accessible materials to prototype our idea in small scale. And by showing the rapid prototype to social workers, homeless we got some feedbacks. By becoming Top Idea, we will be able to make real size prototype and test it with homeless in real sleeping condition they are facing. And then make the sleeping bag manufacturable to fit in the business model. Finally, hope our idea will acutally help those in need.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Multifunctional Sleeping Bag for Homeless, Refugees and Emergycy team,

A reminder that the ideas phase of this Challenge closes in less than one hour, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please have your submission updated by this deadline with content to all proposal questions complete.

Excited to have you in the Challenge!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Yunfang Shi great to see this updated version of your team original idea. Amazing work in terms of the design process. I love the personas, the journey map and the prototypes. The ecosystem map is also a great addition. It's great also that you got users' feedback as well as experts' feedback (social workers). It was really interesting to see the video you took with the homeless person and to hear that he would be willing to pay for the sleeping bag. In the next steps getting more feedback from organizations, in particular those working with refugees would be interesting. I also find it great that you thought of creating employment opportunities for the homeless or the refugees. Lauren Ito check it out (note this is the iteration of the idea originally posted by Kaiwei

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Yunfang Shi Lucia Diletta Tarsia I found this organization who is focusing on migrants and refugees and could be a great partner They are participating to another challenge Simnglobal NY SIMN Global and have an office in NY.

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