»Worm_Up Home is consistently taking urban gardening a step ahead: Here, organic kitchen waste is turned into valuable compost – right in your apartment. I was convinced by the high-quality feel and the reduced design vocabulary of the composter. Unglazed fired clay from a traditional manufactory creates the ideal climate for the ever-hungry inhabitants.«Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter
Three questions for co-founder Erich Fässler
Can you remember the moment when you first had the idea for WormUp_HOME?
The move from the countryside to the city also meant that I had no compost in my garden. For me, throwing away the organic waste was out of question. That’s when I started experimenting with the worms. Two fellow students were also putting their minds to this issue and discovered the potential of the worms. They were immediately excited as well as convinced that this represents a truly sustainable model. Alongside, it quickly became obvious that broad acceptance for home composting using earthworms can only be achieved through good design. We were introduced by a mutual friend who is an industrial designer. And a first TV appearance brought us into contact with a former innovation manager who was thinking along the same lines. So we formed a team with the goal of creating a well-designed, low-threshold composting product for the urban context.
What was your personal highlight in the development process for WormUp_HOME? Was there a low point?
We were convinced of the idea from the beginning, but could not have imagined how many people around us share the same frustrations with the use of biowaste and are prepared to compost at home with worms. Despite some good feedback in the development phase, we did not know whether our development would end up in the bottom drawer. The product was not yet on the market and the funding provided by competitions had come to an end – that was a low point. It was then that we decided to put all of our eggs into one basket and launch a crowdfunding campaign. The result exceeded our expectations many times over: in one week, we had sufficient funding to complete the production of our first ceramic worm composter. We are still spurred on by that moment.
Where do you see yourself and your project in the next five years?
WormUp sees itself as a pioneer in the area of vermicomposting as well as a point of contact and knowledge carrier for anyone looking for solutions in the areas of biowaste, the circular economy or humus formation. The topic of organic waste is huge, likewise the associated problems for humans and the environment. Everything is connected: climate change, organic waste, microplastics, packaging, artificial fertilisers, food production, agriculture, humus formation and decomposition... We want to make the topic of worm composting socially acceptable; we want to show that organic waste is a flexible resource with great potential. We are convinced that with practical, well-designed and well-thought-out products, we can convince our fellow human beings of this vision. You see, it’s not only humans who can do amazing shit.