Housewares Design Awards

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2011 Best in Category: Personal, Health & Garment Care

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Jarden Consumer Solutions

Sunbeam convertible iron + steamer

The Sunbeam Convertible Iron + Steamer, from Jarden Consumer Products topped the Personal Care, Health & Garment Care at the Housewares Design Awards based in part on the versatility provided by two solutions crafted into one item.

Jarden designed the product so that, in seconds, the full-size iron converts to a handheld steamer. The product accomplishes that feat because the soleplate easily separates from the body, readying the steaming function. The product can be reassembled for ironing needs with the reattachment of the soleplate using a simple latch.

The Convertible Iron + Steamer provides features that enhance its basic functions. A steam control allows users to easily select the amount of hot mist applied to various fabrics. The product also offers a feature dubbed Shot of Steam that provides an extra vapor burst that can help eliminate particularly stubborn wrinkles, Jarden pointed out. An added benefit no mater what the occasion, users can employ the Shot of Steam whether for pressing clothes or steaming them. In addition, a 360-degree tangle-free swivel cord helps ensure that tangling problems are negligible.

Jarden developed the Convertible Iron + Steamer to convey a sense of precision and performance. The design language itself communicates that the product will get the job done, the company asserted, no matter how that is defined by the consumer.

In the way it deals with the challenges facing today’s consumer, who is often concerned with garment care but is pressed for time and lacking dedicated space to maintain a convenient ironing station, the Convertible Iron + Steamer manifests a particular concept developed under the Sunbeam brand, to evolve the iron so it can become the all-purpose garment care tool that consumers need today and to liberate the hand-held steamer from a secondary status that may leave it underutilized.

As it was designed, the Convertible Iron + Steamer not only effectively addresses the various needs of basic garment care but is flexible enough to treat delicate fabrics properly and to deal with heavy draperies. Jarden imagined a full sized iron that had sufficient design flexibility to complete its dual mission of steaming conveniently and at a high level of performance.

Of course, companies designing for top performance often face complications, and a recall of Sunbeam Convertible Irons effecting about 5,700 items sold through Bed, Bath & Beyond represents a hurdle that Jarden has faced, but working out new ideas is rarely easy although often rewarding.

—Mike Duff

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