when japanese graphic designer naoko kimura couldn’t find a brand of crayon that was safe enough for her children to use — and put in their mouths as kids often do — she decided to make her own from discarded vegetables. a few years later, the idea led to the formation of a design studio called mizuiro.inc and a line of plant-based crayons. now, the designer turned entrepreneur is launching the zero-waste vegetable crayons on kickstarter.
images and main video courtesy of mizuiro.inc
when developing the crayons, kimura adopted a ‘children first’ approach. the goal was to create a product that is safe for kids, helps children think about nature, and leaves a better world for younger generations. kimura explains, ‘whenever children take an interest in something, they put it in their mouth. so why do crayons, something so close to most children, not seem all that safe?’
with the concept firmly in mind, the designer resolved to use all-natural ingredients to make the crayons: solid rice bran wax and liquid rice bran oil, which are both by-products of the rice polishing process. to give them their color, crushed fruit or vegetable powder is added. certified food coloring is also added for vibrancy but less than a third of the pigments used in regular crayons. the crayons come in a box of 10 different shades, each of which is named after the fruit or vegetable that helped produce it, such as apple, carrot, and purple potato. to find out more, visit the kickstarter page here.
name: vegetable crayon