Comic Relief ditches plastic for iconic nose

Jo Francis
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Comic Relief has turned to a paper-based solution designed by Sir Jony Ive to replace its old plastic red noses.

Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry modelling the new nose
Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry modelling the new nose

Design guru Ive worked at Apple for more than 25 years before setting up his own design collective, LoveFrom, in 2019. 

The new Comic Relief nose was revealed today (1 February). It features a red honeycomb paper structure similar to that used in expanding paper Christmas decorations, but also has a solid fastening mechanism that forms the sphere and nose clip.

It is supplied in a slim branded case. 

Comic Relief described the nose as “magically transforming” and said it was made “almost entirely from plant-based materials”.

“The Red Nose starts as a tiny, flat crescent and springs into a beautiful honeycomb-paper sphere.”

Ive commented: “We’ve grown up with Comic Relief and are proud to support their remarkable work. 

“This new and seemingly simple Red Nose has been a fabulously complex little object to design and make and has involved our entire team. We hope it brings a little moment of joy to everyone who wears one.”

The nose is available for purchase for £2.50 plus postage, with bulk options, from the Comic Relief site and via Amazon. 

Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis said: “The Red Nose has always been a tiny thing that makes a huge difference. It’s been on quite a journey over the past three decades and has transformed in the most wonderful ways – from a slightly painful piece of plastic to a tomato to a sponge to woodland themed creatures. Now we enter a new era and are delighted to bring you a completely new Red Nose to enjoy, thanks to our friend the design genius, Jony Ive.”

A spokesperson told Printweek that the new Red Nose is made from 95% plant-based materials consisting of paper, bagasse (sugar cane pulp) and PLA derived from corn. The honeycomb is manufactured from 85 layers of custom tissue paper.

"To enable the Nose to be worn, we needed to create a strong fastening made from rubber. The Nose case is made from bagasse and paper."

It is made in China. 

Red Nose Day will take place on Friday 17 March. 

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