The Origins of the Fold-A-Cup

How Wildo’s Fold-A-Cup Became Part of Sweden’s Cultural History

The Wildo Fold-A-Cup® is a simple yet ingenious invention that’s become a staple item for many outdoor enthusiasts, travellers and adventurers. But how did this collapsible cup, which can hold up to 250 ml of liquid and fold down to a mere 2.5 cm in height, come to be? And what does it have to do with Sweden’s cultural history?

Wildo A fold cup feature

The Origins of the Fold-A-Cup

The Fold-A-Cup was designed by Swedish engineer and inventor Bertil Sjöö in the late 1970s. Sjöö was inspired by his own experiences of camping and hiking in the Swedish wilderness, where he often faced the problem of carrying bulky and heavy equipment. He wanted to create a lightweight and compact cup that could fit any pocket or backpack, and could be easily cleaned and reused.
Sjöö experimented with different materials and shapes until he came up with the perfect solution: a cup made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a flexible and durable material that can withstand high temperatures and resist stains and odors. The cup has a unique folding design allowing it to pop open from its folded position and form a stable and leak-proof container. The fold also ensures the cup won’t drip after being emptied, making it ideal for outdoor use.
Sjöö patented his invention in 1979 and founded the company Wildo, named after his son, to produce and market the Fold-A-Cup. The cup soon became popular among Swedish consumers, especially those who enjoyed nature and outdoor activities. It was also adopted by the Swedish military, who appreciated its practicality and reliability.

The Cultural Impact of the Fold-A-Cup

Fold-A-Cup is more than just a functional product. It’s a symbol of Swedish culture and values, such as innovation, simplicity, sustainability and respect for nature. It reflects the Swedish tradition of science and technology, which has produced many notable inventions and discoveries, such as dynamite, the pacemaker, the zipper, the Celsius scale and the Nobel Prize. It also embodies the Swedish concept of lagom, which means “just enough” or “just right”, and refers to a balanced and moderate approach to life. It’s neither too big nor too small, neither too fancy nor too plain, but just right for its purpose.
Fold-A-Cup also represents the Swedish love for nature and outdoor recreation, which is deeply rooted in their history and geography. Sweden has a rich and diverse natural environment, with vast forests, lakes, mountains, islands and archipelagos. The country also has a long history of exploration and adventure, from the Viking Age to the modern era. Swedish people have a strong connection to nature and a high awareness of environmental issues. They value nature as a source of beauty, inspiration and well-being, and as a responsibility to protect and preserve.
Fold-A-Cup celebrates and enhances the Swedish way of life. It’s a product that can be used in any situation, from a picnic in the park to a hike in the mountains, from a coffee break at work to a camping trip with friends. It’s a product that’s easy to use, easy to carry and easy to clean. It’s designed for what’s really needed, and appreciated for its simplicity.
The Fold-A-Cup is not only a cup. It’s a work of art, as recognised by the Svensk Form Copyright Panel, which classified it as such in 2003. It’s a cultural icon, as evidenced by its presence in museums, exhibitions and publications’, and It’s a global phenomenon, as shown by its distribution in over 40 countries and its loyal fan base around the world.

The Origins of the Fold-A-Cup

Fold-A-Cup is a Swedish invention that become part of Sweden’s cultural history. It tells a story of creativity, functionality and harmony. It makes life easier and more enjoyable, and you can take it with you wherever you go. It’s the Wildo Fold-A-Cup®. For the full range of products by Wildo visit

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