Unrippable, paper-thin wallet made out of Tyvek

This "sustainable wallet" is made of Tyvek, which is the same thing FedEx and Priority Mail make their nigh-unrippable packages out of. Sure, it's just an envelope repackaged as a wallet, but I like the pitch. [via Treehugger]
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27 Responses to Unrippable, paper-thin wallet made out of Tyvek

  1. AirPillo says:

    Tyvek has all sorts of secondary uses. It’s really a very versatile substance.

    I’ve used it in home mycology, as a barrier that allows gas exchange without allowing particulate contamination through, for years.

  2. dynomighty says:

    MrScience (UR Right, I should have been more respectful of the comment) My apologies to Chroma!

    I understand that Chroma was only trying to point out the effects of UV exposure on Tyvek over a long exposure period but I also think that this comment should be tempered with common sense.

    Most people carry their wallet in a pocket or handbag. The amounts of exposure to direct sunlight are negligent. This however doesn’t justify my being rude.

    – Sorry

  3. dynomighty says:

    Thanks Chroma!

    BTW – I loved ur comment about the wallets “It’s not like these wallets are deadly poison.”

    The only way of making something that has no impact is by NOT making anything!

    Even using leather means produces ton’s of intestines that are full of chemicals and when they leak (which they do) into the water supply they can contaminate it. Besides all the feed needed, and crap created! Literally! Ponds of it!

    I know that I’m taking this too far but its just to make the point that there are so many ways that materials impact us – and many of which are NOT even the product itself, look at packaging, shipping and transport, and it goes on and on.

    The Mighty Wallet is a very simple design (perhaps the world’s thinnest?) with the most long lasting durable material. It is also adaptable to any users needs (small, med, large) – anyway of course I think so – I designed it but its SO AWESOME to get and hear the support from real customers and fans!


  4. mightymouse1584 says:

    i love how they package it in far more plastic than is necessary

  5. nairobired says:

    i made one of these a couple years ago, because i needed a new wallet, and it turned out really well. it held its own for about a year, then kind of ripped apart, maybe because of my own shoddy construction, but it still got interesting looks from people.
    here’s the instructables link i worked from, theres other options if you just search the site.


  6. dynomighty says:

    I’m going to put a couple holes in a mighty wallet and hang from the ceiling to see if it can hold my weight… (around 178-180 lbs.)

  7. Brainspore says:

    I wonder what kind of envelope they send it in when you order it online.

  8. chroma says:

    Apologies accepted. Polyethylene is very tough stuff; it’s my favorite robot armor. It should go without saying that a wallet will get almost no UV exposure.

  9. chroma says:

    If you’re really set on having this wallet degrade, just set it in the sun for a couple months. The UV light will break it down.

  10. Agies says:

    It’s neat but I find that wallets need at least one windowed pocket for a bus pass or id.

  11. dynomighty says:

    #19 UR a retard, but I’ll take the challenge this summer and document it in a long exposure video.

    #18 Thanks for the inside info – I’m going to look into this more and see what I can find out. Seem like the processes have changed since then but you’ve shed some light on the process. Thanks!

  12. Zan says:

    Yup, I would think that organic material such as leather would be more environmentally friendly than any hydrocarbon polymer. You can only recycle plastic so many times, but leather will just biodegrade.

  13. ZoopyFunk says:

    I love Tyvek, it makes the best homebrew footprints for tents.

    The quotes on sustainable could be a points bigger though. You have to send it to Dupont to ‘recycle’ it.

  14. dynomighty says:

    I’m the designer of the Mighty Wallet.

    Thanks SO MUCH for this post but I feel I need to clarify a few things… I never said the wallet was sustainable. Sustainable and recyclable are two different things.

    The wallet is made of the same “Material” as express mail envelopes but it is actually printed on a thicker grade Tyvek to LOOK like an envelope. Some Mighty Wallets are printed to look like cartoons, newspapers, Dot Matrix computer paper, etc.

    #3 – The package itself is made of recyclable PET.
    #2 – Can you give more info on this? Sources?
    #8 & #9 Thanks for the support, I’m so glad you enjoyed your wallets.

    Doing the right thing for the environment is something we all want to do. We all want to help. I’m want to design items in new ways that can either be re-purposed or recycled after their long life. There is no one perfect solution but we have to at least start the journey and create the demand for these types of products so that the big companies and recycling centers will respond in kind.

    There is SO much I could say in response to this post but I don’t want to be a spammer. I’ll just post some of my thoughts to my blog and respond to any direct questions anyone has. Thanks!



  15. boingman says:

    Wow I was at this clothing store at the mall and they were selling these… I can’t believe I just saw this video of it haha. I think they are great. I didn’t buy one but I think I will be going back there very soon to get me a wallet. Speaking of tight ideas though I was just at this site… i know this is random lol but I think it’s cool just tryna share http://bestcovery.com/. But ya anyway I am going to SB this weekend so I think I will be getting a wallet before I go… convo starter with girls ya know.

  16. chroma says:

    Given that the material is HDPE, does stuff have a tendency to slide out?

    Mandatory recyclability is a shibboleth. Just throw the old crap in a landfill, and turn the place into a park when you’re done. It’s not like these wallets are deadly poison.

  17. muteboy says:

    #4 yes I remember that.
    #3 agreed

    This lot have just taken some nice free instructions, and are selling it. Boo. Also, is it made out of an old envelope or is it a new product printed to look like an old envelope?

  18. chroma says:

    Plastic wallet: tact not included.

  19. MrScience says:

    That was a just a bit uncalled for, Dynomighty. Straight from DuPont:

    Physical properties of Spunbonded Olefin are degraded with extended exposure to direct sunlight (ultraviolet rays), although at least one to three months of useful outdoor life can be expected in many applications.


  20. dogrocket says:

    This looks like a fine wallet, but the eco-spin seems to be just noise. Leather wallets are “recyclable” too. In fact, they’re compostable!

    For thinness in a wallet, look no further than the original “All-Ett”, a super-thin wallet made from nylon sailcloth. all-ett.com. I’ve been a very satisfied customer for years.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I wrote the code that drives the machines that create Tyvek in Spruance, Va.

    The manufacturing process unavoidably leaks freon into the atmosphere. Green, sustainable, it is not.

  22. decryption says:

    I have one of these! But it’s a dot matrix paper print out, not an envelope. Tyvek is cool.


  23. selfsimilar says:

    I’ve had the tri-fold wallet with the same air-mail design for almost 2 years now and it’s held up really well. I can recommend them almost unreservedly. I think I’d go with the bi-fold next time, just because the tri-fold wallet doesn’t keep library and credit cards in as well if it’s not full. But it hasn’t torn or failed me in any way, and I’ve never lamented the loss of a windowed pocket.

    Highly Recommended.

  24. selfsimilar says:

    #7 – The instructables post is from the guy who designed the Dynomighty product. He’s open sourcing his product, so cheers, not boo. Also by the by, the Dynomighty construction quality is great. It’s one sheet of paper with minimal gluing, but the adhesive in mine has held up well over the last two years. And no, it’s not made of an old envelope, it’s a specifically printed design. They have 10 other designs.

    And no, I don’t work for the company. I’m just a satisfied customer, and I’ve recommended the wallet many times before.

  25. Anonymous says:

    There was also instructions to make/sew your own in readymade magazine a few years ago and I’m sure some seaching would turn it up. The instructions used a fedex envelope and a sewing machine and I think nothing else. I think mine would have lasted longer had I been better at sewing.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Dynomighty, tyvek fibers come out of spinneret heads and splatter pseudo-randomly onto gigantic steel rollers to form a sheet. Look at your tyvek and you’ll see the filaments. The chamber where the spinneret lives is knee-deep in freon because a freon atmosphere is required. The sheet carries a high static electrical charge that must be drained off afterwards. Obviously, in order for the sheet to exit the spinning chamber, the chamber can not be hermetically sealed. Small amounts of freon must be added regularly to compensate for what has escaped through the slit where the sheet exits.

    Before people became aware of the environmental hazards of freon, maintenance workers would put on hip boots and oxy masks and enter the chamber for repairs, leaving the door open the whole time. I doubt they’ve done that in the last twenty years, though.

    DuPont’s proprietary process secrets are jealously guarded, forgive me if I do not sign my name.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Props to #1 — Tyvek is my groundcloth too. (I use a tarp so it’s not exactly a “footprint”.) Backpackers have been DIY-ing with Tyvek for years. Check out backpacking communities for stories, suggestions, even designs. There was a fellow who hiked the Appalachian Trail a few years back who made all his gear out of Tyvek — backpack, tent, bedroll, everything.

    Gotta agree with #2 tho. Tyvek is a wonderful material, but it ain’t “green”.

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