Age of Reinvention: maker's smock

When design-duo Francli submitted their design spec of how they'd transform a Swiss Army groundsheet for the first instalment of our Age of Reinvention competition in collaboration with Pedlars, we knew we were in for a treat...

Francli had this to say:

"The Swiss army groundsheet's original use was as a military Zeltbahn (shelter-half). This was a simple tent that served double duty as a poncho in the rain. 

The Zeltbahn's multi-functional and durable qualities are very relevant for an outdoor working environment. An item of clothing worn in and around the studio needs to be protective and functional in its environment.

In the spirit of a folding Zeltbahn, combined with our local workwear heritage, we have utilised the whole fabric to design a protective and insulative maker's smock. As you can see from the CAD designs there will be little to no waste from the 150cm x 150cm canvas."

Watch this space for updates and photos of Francli working their magic to create this maker's smock. You'll be able to see the finished item at The Good Life Experience on 18-20 September.

We will be announcing the second item on offer to be reinvented very soon – again, watch this space. #AgeofReinvention

Age of Reinvention

Do you have the inventor's eye? Have you ever looked at a seemingly commonplace item and dreamt up multiple ways to reinvent it? If the answer is yes, then step this way...



Over a century ago, Britain was known as “the workshop of the world.” It was a hotbed of invention and industry. After 100 years of decline, we’re seeing a real resurgence of craftsmanship – a return of traditional industries, swathes of makers taking risks to set up businesses based on doing what they love and buyers who value the story behind the products they buy.

To celebrate this new age of innovation, we are launching the Age of Reinvention competition – a chance for amateur inventors to furrow their brows, doodle on graph paper and transform old items into unique and practical products. The competition is brought to you in collaboration with our friends at Pedlars, purveyor of wonderful homewares, gifts and quality vintage, and The Good Life Experience, a festival of music, food, culture and the great outdoors.

Between January and August 2015 we will offer eight items for reinvention. Each month, Ernest Journal and Pedlars will choose their favourite design concept then post the item to the inventor so they can work their magic. Winners will be announced in our newsletter and we will then exhibit the eight completed items at The Good Life Experience (18-20 September 2015) and give each successful inventor two free tickets to the festival and a subscription to Ernest Journal. The first item on offer is a Swiss Army groundsheet – but what would you turn this into?

Item #1: Swiss Army groundsheet (150cm x 150cm)

How to enter 

Simply share a sketch of your proposed design with us on Twitter or Instagram, mentioning @ernestjournal and @PedlarsWorld and using #AgeofReinvention.

The deadline for your first design idea is 8 February 2015. 

If you have any queries, email

Terms and conditions:

1. The closing time and date is 11.59pm on 8 February 2015. Entries after that date will not be considered. 2. The winning entrant will be posted the item for them to reinvent and display at the Good Life Experience. 3. The prize is two tickets to The Good Life Experience and a subscription to Ernest Journal. 3. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative can be offered. 4. See our full terms and conditions.