Neat chipboard wallet is cheap, green and functional

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No animals were skinned for the making of this wallet.
No animals were skinned for the making of this wallet.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

A designer who sets out to reimagine men’s wallets must accept certain time-honored limitations. It has to be shaped to fit in a pants pocket and hold cash and credit cards of a standard size.

No matter the material, color or whether you like your cash folded in half, thirds or tucked in a clip, the look is relatively predictable.

The Chipwallet provides a fresh experience – the user must assemble it themselves.

As the name hints at, the Chipwallet is made with Chipboard, a durable material made from recycled paper and wood that is often used for shipping fragile items.

Each wallet comes on a flat board with four panels that can be popped out with your fingers to build the wallet to your liking.

There are front and back panels plus two others, one that holds up to two spare house keys and the other that looks like a simple frame. When the frame panel is against the solid back plate, it becomes an indented compartment that can hold a thin fold of cash or other flat items, like an SD card for a camera, with the band securing these things in place.

Chipwallet
Building your own wallet can now be scratched off your bucket list.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

The panels are 1.2 mm thick and are held together with an elastic band (comes in red, gray, green and black) that can stretch to hold as many as 12 cards between the chipboard plates.

But if you carry that much stuff in your wallet, you’re a little sloppy. The Chipwallet has a cool, minimalist profile that just may inspire you to edit your wallet’s contents.

Plus, the bland color and smooth surface invite the user to draw on their own design.

Chipwallet
This panel could be key in preventing you from getting locked out of the house.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
Chipwallet
Two keys banded together without compromising the Chipwallet’s thin profile.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

The Chipwallet Co. is trying to raise $4,500 on Kickstarter to produce its first run and one can be had starting today with a pledge of $12.

Wallets are among the most popular projects on Kickstarter. The crowd-funding platform can have as many as 20 wallet projects, sometimes more, at any given time on the site, all seeming to try and solve a different inconvenience.

The Chipwallet, providing you limit your carry, solves a couple of problems.

For one, it is made of recycled materials with no dies or animal skin, which should attract those who make purchases with such causes in mind.

Second, as a front-pocket wallet, it should squeeze into the front of a pair of skinny jeans without causing an undue lump in your form.

I can’t predict how the Chipboard will wear when the wallet is pocketed and flush against a hot, moist thigh on a humid, active day.

On leather, heat and sweat can deepen the color and add to its patina. But for the Chipwallet, you may want to stow it elsewhere on days when the forecast predicts you will sweat to excess.