The ‘Shellmet’ – An Environmentally-Friendly Helmet Made from Scallop Shells in Japan

“Shellmet’s shell-like structure is based on the idea of biomimicry and designed to be both visually pleasing and functionally thoughtful.”


Koushi Chemical Industry Co.,



TBWA\HAKUHODO and its partner Koushi Chemical Industry Co. have announced the launch of “SHELLMET,” an environmentally-friendly helmet made from discarded scallop shells, in Sarufutsu Village, Hokkaido.

According to the campaign, the natural role of a shell is to protect itself from outside enemies. With scallop fishing being dangerous, the idea for the “SHELLMET” – a helmet made from scallops to protect scallop fishermen ‒ was born.

The SHELLMET is constructed from a new material based on scallop shells whose main component is calcium carbonate, and recycled plastic. It was developed by Koshi Chemical Industry Co. with Professor Hiroshi Uyama of Osaka University with support from Sarufutsu Village in providing surplus shells.


“Scallops are the most commonly eaten shellfish by Japanese people – and it is also the shellfish that results in the most amount of waste,” said TBWA\Hakuhodo, creative director, Masatoshi Usami. “If scallop shells are viewed as a resource, rather than waste, they offer new possibilities as a sustainable material. Shellmet is the first of these.”

The name “Shellstic,” a combination of “shell” and “plastic” and the logo for the new recycled material which is a combination of wasted scallop shells and waste plastic was developed by TBWA/Hakuhodo.

Highlights of Shellstic:

  • Contributes to a maximum 36% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the use of 100% new plastic.
  • Contributes to a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to limestone-derived eco-plastics.
  • By mixing scallop shells into the plastic, strength (bending modulus) is improved by about 33%.

Furthermore, because Shellstic is an upcycled material, which utilizes waste, the amount of waste will be reduced to not only help solve waste at a local level, but also globally.


TBWA\Hakuhodo plans to develop Shellmet gradually by stockpiling it as a disaster prevention product, selling it to the general public, and introducing it as a tax return gift for hometowns.

Product designer, Shintaro Monden from quantum, added, “Shellmet’s shell-like structure is based on the idea of biomimicry and designed to be both visually pleasing and functionally thoughtful. From material development to design, we aimed to create a sustainable product with minimal burden on the environment.

With its minimalistic design, the lightweight and robust Shellmet can be used for a long period of time in various situations, from daily use to work sites. Not only the helmet itself, but also other parts including the buckle are all original designs, which give the wearer the feeling that every detail has been carefully crafted, giving the pleasure to own Shellmet.”

The product is available in a total of five color variations: coral white, sand cream, deep black, ocean blue, and sunset pink, with all colors being inspired by the oceans. The Shellmet can be used for a variety of purposes, including disaster prevention, work, and commuting by bicycle.

Find out more at the website here.


Agency: TBWA\Hakuhodo
Chief Creative Director: Takahiro Hosoda
Creative Director: Masatoshi Usami
Senior Art Director: Yuhei Ito
Art Director: Takeshi Matsuda
PR Planners: Kyosuke Hashimoto & Suguru Kato
Producers: Yuki Sakamot & Omu Inoue

Product Designer: Shintaro Monden @ quantum
CAD Modeling: Minatsu Takekoshi @ quantum
Director: Kohei Inoue @ Robot Communications
Photographer: Junya Taguchi
Designer Hisahiro Tomonaga @ spice
Retoucher Takumu Koshiba @ CONTRAST In)
PR Promoter Eri Sato @ KMC
PR Promoter Takayuki Tamada @ KMC


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