Forecasters predict 2012 to be a record-breaking year for tropical storms – and a truly sturdy umbrella is essential for dealing with pouring rain and gusting winds. A new crowdfunded umbrella called the Ginkgo promises to stand up to impending wind and rain, and it can be born again as a new umbrella in the event that it’s damaged. The umbrella is made from recycled polypropylene, and its piecemeal parts are interchangeable and can be used to assemble another umbrella should it break.

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We’ve all seen it – the aftermath of a powerful storm leaves the streets littered with broken umbrellas. According to Ginkgo, around nine hundred million broken umbrellas make their way into landfills each year. Part of the problem is that standard umbrellas aren’t flexible. Another issue is that they are made up of 120 mixed-material parts, which make them very difficult to recycle – and their polyester canopies won’t degrade for 1,000 years.

Ginkgo’s model is made from just twenty pieces that lock together with snap-fit joints instead of breakable screws and pivots. Instead of metal and polyester, the entire umbrella is made from recycled polypropylene, a light and resistant plastic. When the durable umbrella finally reaches the end of its life, the entire thing can be thrown into the recycling bin, since the fabric, thread and structural pieces are all made from polypropylene.

The Ginkgo umbrella recently launched an Indiegogo campaign that lets supporters pick colors and variations for their pre-ordered umbrella. If the campaign reaches $200,000, the company will set up a cradle-to-cradle supply chain.

+ Ginkgo on Indiegogo

Via Clean Technica