Because of the company’s strong belief in the cradle-to-cradle philosophy, the use of recycled materials as inputs, and their commitment to making products that can be indefinitely repaired and recycled, I find it difficult to find reasons to take points off of the Gomi product review. The extra money you pay for a sustainable Gomi product is worth not being a part of the fast-tech industry.
In addition to their tech products, Gomi is releasing some new non-tech products such as soap dishes, beer taps, and trophies.
Gomi products are made 100% of ‘non-recyclable’ plastic from waste streams in the UK. All the LDPE used (such as plastic bags, bubble wrap, pallet wrap, etc.) would have otherwise ended up being incinerated or ended up in a landfill, had Gomi not removed it from the waste stream. A significant amount of plastic is used in the making of Gomi products. One bluetooth speaker takes the equivalent of 100 plastic bags out of landfills and back into a product life cycle.
In order to cut back on the amount of plastic waste entering into waste streams, Gomi encourages UK citizens to donate their own used flexible plastic rather than recycling or throwing it out. They will even pick up the plastic waste themselves if you are local to the Brighton area.
Even the internal technology hardware, for the most part, is somewhat sustainable. Gomi uses repurposed batters from electric waste such as e-bikes and electric cars to power their portable speakers. As for the bluetooth speakers, those internal components are new. The founders partnered with sound technicians to ensure that Gomi products do not lose their sound quality on their sustainability journey. The inside of one of their speakers is home to one dome tweeter and one midrange driver, which makes the inside, unfortunately, not as sustainable as the outside. However, that does not take away from the overall quality of the product or their core mission and values at Gomi.
Each Gomi product is handmade in house by a small group of the co-founders, which often means their products are in limited stock. It also means it’s hard to find concrete information on their production and assembly process.
Non-recyclable plastic is melted down then rolled in a ball and pressed to form the outer-shell of their speakers and portable chargers. The melting process of plastic, especially indoors like Gomi does, can be dangerous and lead to exposure of harmful fumes. The group of co-founders that make their products wear gas-masks to protect themselves, but do not provide information on if they have the infrastructure just yet to filter these fumes, meaning some of the toxins from the melting plastic end up dissipating out into the environment.
Because of the nature of the raw materials used, each Gomi product is hand-marbled with a unique design and colors so no 2 Gomi products look the same. It is a complete surprise on what color plastic and pattern the creators have chosen to send you when you order one of their products.
Gomi gets extra points for making sure their products have a “For Life” guarantee, ensuring against planned obsolescence. They accept products for repair and if the internal technology is beyond repair, they will recycle the outer-shell by melting down the recycled plastic and reuse it for future products. The bluetooth speakers are made to be modular so each side can easily be popped off and replaced if just one piece cracks, rather than melting more plastic and replacing the entire thing.
Gomi was started by a couple of guys in Brighton, UK who were tired of seeing all the plastic waste pile up on the beaches after festivals. To combat this, they collected all the plastic waste left behind at a festival and turned it into the very first Gomi bluetooth speaker. Since Gomi is so new and consists of a small group of friends, there is no sustainability report to analyze, but based on their products and brand philosophies sustainability is definitely at the forefront of their company goals.
Although they are still a recent startup their products have gotten a lot of positive attention with no complaints so far. Based on product reviews, descriptions of products from the website, and consumer testimonials, it seems that Gomi has nowhere to go but up from here.