Discover The Story Of Zingaboo

The story of Zingaboo started when Andrew visited his parents one day and they presented him with a box labelled “Mugs”, which they had found when clearing out their loft / attic. It was full of mugs that Andrew had collected when he visited places as a child and teenager (he had completely forgotten about them).

When we opened the box, Samantha started laughing at how many mugs there were (32 in total). Andrew said I bet there are just as many mugs in our kitchen cupboards.

So they decided to empty all of the kitchen cupboards and there were many mugs (not as many as in Andrew’s collection) but there were 18 mugs, often given to them as presents or received as promotional mugs.

Our dilemma was what do we do with all of these mugs!!

We looked into recycling them, but there is no easy way of recycling mugs. So now we had to decide what to do with the ones that we did not want to keep, do we send them to landfill or give them to a charity shop. The ones that were personal to us (i.e.our names on them) went to landfill and the rest went to a charity shop.

Both of us felt this was a complete waste, surely there must be a way to personalise mugs without permanent print.

After much research and testing we found a solution. Which was to use high quality vinyl decals applied to a plain mug. When we got bored with the design on a mug we just removed the vinyl lettering, cleaned the mug’s surface and applied a new slogan decal or left it blank until we had decided what to put on it.

We knew that vinyl stickers are not the most environmentally friendly items on the planet, but this method stopped mugs being thrown away because we were bored with the design on the mug.

So in the long term, we only needed one mug each and since then we have only sent a mug to landfill when it became chipped.

Then we created Zingaboo to sell the vinyl stickers to other people.

Over the years we have developed the same principle for other products like glassware, storage vessels, mirrors and other items.

In 2020 we started looking at other dye sublimated personalised products such as photo slates, tiles etc and found that most of the blanks for these products came from the Far East. Just like the mugs, we discovered many of them were not recyclable and had high carbon footprints. Plus they can only be used once as you can’t change the photographs.

In addition a considerable amount of heat is required to infuse the printed design into the special polyester coating on the item.

During 2021 Andrew started researching, designing and creating an environmentally friendly alternative to these dye sublimated substrates.

At the end of 2021 it was granted registered design status and in February 2022 we were awarded Gold Innovator status by the Northern Ireland Department Of Economy for our novel product.

In 2022 we aim to expand our range of environmentally friendly products that will allow you to replace traditional personalised products that are not recyclable with eco friendly ones.

To get more inspiration take a look at the products we design and make.