YOGYAKARTA – For some people, coconut fibers are obviously not very useful. These are often discarded in the trash and burned or piled behind the house. But in the hands of UGM students majoring in engineering and industrial engineering, the useless coconut fibers are used as the materials to make a pillow which they call cocopillow. The shape of pillow is quite unique. Apart from being durable and long-lasting, the coconut fiber-made pillows produce fragrant aroma of coconut.
Thanks to the cocopillow product, Ismiati, Annisa Dewi Akbari and Irfan Anshori are able to achieve the first place in the Make and Sell competition at Ten November Surabaya Institute of Technology from February 25-27. The UGM Coco team managed to put aside 83 participants from dozens of university. In the final, they managed to beat the teams from ITS, IPB and UNY.
The competition is a business plan competition that emphasizes creativity to create new product innovations that are environmentally friendly. The initial idea of the cocopillow creation came after Irfan observed that much coconut fibers waste had been removed and sold cheaply by nata de coco producers in Kretek, Bantul, and Samigaluh areas in Kulon Progo regency. He mentioned that in Bantul, coconut fiber production reached up to 24 thousand tons a year, while in Kulon Progo reached up to 24 thousand tons per year.
Actually, coconut fiber powder was exported to Korea and Japan as base material for laptops and notebooks. After the powder is taken, coconut fibers are not utilized. Except for the creative ones, they utilize them into a mat.
Seeing this condition, Irfan and his colleagues came to the idea to make use of coconut fiber as a cushion material. "For one cushion, 10 pieces of coconut," said Ismiati.
The method to make it is quite simple. Coconut fibers that have been cleaned are dried for 3 days. They are then glued with latex. Having been shaped into the desired pillowmodel, the fibers once again are dried. They will produce the fragrant aroma of coconut.
The pillows are sold at a price of IDR 39 thousand, but they are not yet mass produced. Ismiati mentioned, the cocopillow is more durable than the existing pillows in general. The benefits of cocopillow lie in the design that adapts to the spinal curves, so it will give comfort. "The pillow has indentation in the middle, making it very comfortable to sleep on," she said.