Described by Forbes Magazine as “21st-century duct tape”, Sugru is the worlds first mouldable glue that sets strong by turning into a durable, flexible, silicone rubber.
The invention of Sugru was actually a happy accident. It landed in the hands of a young woman with dreams for a smarter world. The inventor of Sugru, Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, fell upon the idea whilst studying for an MA in product design at the RCA in London:
“What if I could fix and improve and reimagine the stuff I already have to make it work better for me?”
At this present time, there are Sugru users in over 176 countries around the world. As a community, Sugru has fixed more than 14 million things and continue to focus on becoming the go-to fixing solution for this century. Carry on reading to find out what Sugru is, how the brand got to where it is today and how you can get involved.
What is Sugru?
Sugru is a mouldable formula that sticks to surfaces like plastic, glass, metal, wood and fabrics. You just push it onto the item you want to stick, fix, repair, seal or even build.
The putty gives you 30 minutes to get the job done before it starts to set – 24 hrs later the Sugru will turn into a durable, flexible silicone rubber that remains in place until you decide to remove it.
Mouldable: Out of the pack, Sugru Mouldable Glues are designed to feel soft and malleable like play-dough. Roll the material in your fingers. Press it where you need it, and mould it by hand into any shape. From an ultra-thin patch to a shock-absorbing bumper, you have 30 minutes to shape it, smooth it, and reposition it as required.
Flexible: Leave for 24 hours. Thanks to some clever science and advanced technologies, Sugru Mouldable Glues react at room temperature, simply on exposure to air. They crosslink into strong, flexible and tactile silicone rubbers overnight. Sugru Mouldable Glues will flex with the materials they’re applied to, so you can fix things that need to bend. They work like nothing else on leathers, fabrics or flexible plastics.
Waterproof & Durable: Once cured, Sugru Mouldable Glues are waterproof and long-lasting, just like other silicone rubbers. So you can use them in challenging environments like wet bathrooms, shower and sink areas – even outdoors with long-term exposure to the sun, sea and other weather conditions.
How did Sugru start?
The initial idea came to the founder of Sugru, Jane, when she was studying for an MA in product design back in 2003.
Whilst completing her studies, Jane had a niggling thought that wouldn’t leave her alone. “Do I really want to design more products? There’s far too much waste in the world. I don’t want to buy new stuff all the time. What if I could fix and improve and reimagine the stuff I already have to make it work better for me?”
Jane described the first version of Sugru to be immensely sticky and ’pretty horrible’. However, it did help her fix and improve things around the house. She knew that if she cracked it, Sugru would have millions of uses!
The idea wouldn’t leave her alone. She filled notebooks with multiple little drawings of things people might perhaps use it for. When the questions ‘how much is it? and ‘where can I get it?’ were asked at her graduation show, Jane knew she was on to something!
From this point onwards, a growing team of specialists and investors were gathered to help turn Sugru into a real thing. Although, with factors like the recession and lack of funding, Sugru developments were slow and Jane hit a low point.
1st December 2009 (The day Jane’s world changed) – Jane and her team had sent out packs of Sugru to various journalists to try out. However, only one journalist responded. But, he gave it a 10/10 review on one of the UK’s most popular news websites! From this moment, things started to change. The first 1000 packs of Sugru sold out in 6 hours.
Check out the below timeline illustrating Sugru’s journey:
Where is Sugru Today?
Users have been sharing their fixes online since Sugru’s initial launch back in 2010, and currently, to this day, there are Sugru users in over 176 countries around the world.
As a community, Sugru has fixed more than 14 million things, grown into a team of 70 different people and have HQ’s based in both London and North America.
The brand has been listed as a top invention by TIME Magazine and the European Patent Office Inventors Awards, has been recognised as a leading ethical brand by the Living Wage Awards, and is in partnerships with huge retailers such as B&Q and Target.
Future of Sugru:
The company is still constantly growing and as a community, Sugru continues to fix a vast amount of things.
With a strong mission to inspire other peoples imaginations, Sugru has recently committed to joining tesa SE. tesa SE, is an international firm with over 100 years of experience inventing and selling breakthrough products for fixers, craftspeople and professionals. This recent partnership means that the Sugru family is still growing and continues to do so in the foreseeable future.
“The dream remains the same: for Sugru Mouldable Glues to be the go-to fixing solution for this century. And we’re only just getting started.”
Over the past several years the team and users of Sugru have come up with hundreds of smart ideas for mending and making with this mouldable glue. From fixing your broken phone cable to creating unicorn bookends, there’s not much Sugru can’t help to improve.
Check out a few Sugru hacks below for ideas and inspiration!
Make a window herb garden:
Imagine an early sun rises across your morning. Before you reach for the kettle, you notice a handful of seedlings have sprung up overnight.
Before you know it, a vision of fragrant, green abundance appears in the form of a suspended herb garden. Not outside in a window box, courtyard or garden, but right under your nose – inside your kitchen window!Learn More
Get your cables under control:
Outer order, inner calm. The feeling of a clean desk is energising and inspiring. Your workspace is clean, you are focused and ready to work! But how are you going to keep it that way?
This is a great way to conquer spaghetti cable mountain and keep your desk clutter free with Sugru cable grips, ideal if you’re a student in a new dorm room.Learn More
Create bathroom shelves without drilling:
No drills, more thrills! Fancy a change in your bathroom but aren’t too pleased about the mess it might make? This hack is great for a quick and easy revamp to your bathroom.
Sugru is ideal for this project because it bonds well with metals, ceramics and wood. Use anything to personalise your bathroom just the way you want it! Here Sugru has used a metal handrail with marble and slate coasters (and even a wooden cheeseboard!)Learn More
Still looking for ideas? Click here to see what else you can do with Sugru.