An ecological revolution in the camping world : the cardboard tents !

An ecological revolution in the camping world : the cardboard tents !

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Interview of Charlie Bernard, founder of Natur’Concept, co-developer and product distributor

At 32 years old, Charlie Bernard, native of Périgueux (south of France), has lived several lives : professional musician, sommelier in a large restaurant, speaker in his spare time, and now, leader of the Natur’Concept start’up, dedicated to research and development of eco-friendly solutions and products.

The young company identifies European innovations that combine economics and ecology, and supports their commercialisation so that these products can be widely available on the French market.  

Among these nuggets, HomeCamper has particularly wanted to highlight two of them, that will certainly interest the camping enthusiast : cardboard tents and wheat bran plates (plates made from wheat bran).
What are these you may ask…?!

HomeCamper : How did this cardboard tents adventure begin ?

C.B. : The concept was born of the inventiveness of two young engineering Dutch students, who wanted to offer at  festivals, an ecological alternative to traditional camping tents. They realized that one out of four people who were participating in the big festive events where abandoning their tent after use. It represents an incredibly high amount of polluting waste and goes against the most basic principles of protection of the environment. We found their idea brilliant and in total coherence with our own objectives of promoting zero waste at the end of the product cycle.

We also quickly measured the relevance of such an innovation in France, where there are hundreds of great festivals organized over the summer. Natur’Concept therefore supports for 2 years the young Dutch company in its development and distributes its products under the brand Kartent France. Last year, for example, the organizers of the Hellfest festival ordered us alone, 500 units! So there is a huge potential.

HomeCamper : What are the main advantages of these tents ?

C.B. : From a functional point of view, and even if it may seem inconceivable, these tents can withstand the rain for a long time; and without any polluting treatment: everything is in the thickness and the quality of the cardboard. As proof, they remain waterproof after a trip through the car wash! Easy to assemble, they are also insulating from cold, heat and noise; we sleep there better (and later in the morning …). Well fixed to the ground thanks to big staples, they also resist winds of 90km / h without the need of ropes and stakes.

Most importantly, these tents are 100% recyclable. Today, we are considering finding an end to life thanks to permaculture. The only obstacle to large scale distribution, is due to the size for transportation, however a distribution plan is in place to assist. So for now, they are mainly intended for those who organize large outdoor events, such as festivals, especially since the cost is more than reasonable at around 50 € per unit.

HomeCamper : Another innovation that will interest the HomeCamper community: Wheat bran plates, 100% biodegradable.

C.B: We found this innovation in Poland 2 years ago, marketed under the Biotrem brand. Today, we are building a large production unit right here near Périgueux, which will be operational next year and will participate in the local economy. Because this range of plates and cutlery, made from food waste (wheat bran) responds to important economic and environmental issues: cheaper than plastic plates, they are entirely natural and 100% compostable. 30 days ! They also resist 180 ° and can contain hot or cold liquids. This answers perfectly to a problem that school and community canteens face. Because at January 1, 2020, a law will be implemented in France: all plastic disposable plates will be banned from the market.

For that reason, there is a great opportunity to significantly reduce highly polluting plastic waste, recover and add value to natural waste by turning it into biogas.

As you can see, our eco-responsible commitment is global; it goes to the choice of our carrier – a company also local and elected « carrier of the year » in 2017 – whose fleet of trucks works …. to biogas!

To learn more about Natur’Concept :