When you think of a strong material that can protect your head from concussions, the first substance that comes to mind probably isn’t paper.

Isis Schiffer, a graduate from the Pratt Institute of Design in New York City, has found a way to do just that.

Traditional styrofoam and polystyrene bicycle helmets are typically bulky and annoying to carry, causing many bicyclists to abandon them altogether. Isis was bothered by these design flaws, so she started designing a foldable paper helmet that can be manufactured, carried, and recycled with ease.

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The helmet’s design relies on a honeycomb pattern that absorbs force throughout the structure rather than just in one place. It can sustain damage from every angle, but can still be folded up and carried in a purse.

Isis’s EcoHelmet design was so successful, it was given the 2016 James Dyson Award.

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“EcoHelmet solves an obvious problem in an incredibly elegant way. But its simplicity belies an impressive amount of research and development,” British inventor James Dyson, the award’s namesake, said in a press release. “I look forward to seeing EcoHelmets used in bike shares across the world.”

The EcoHelmet still has to be approved and certified as safe, however the award will help give it the recognition it needs to start being tested and distributed.

(WATCH the video below)


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