Contrary to what the brand name (a contraction of the words ‘not a wallet’) suggests, Nowa does make wallets. However, it’s true that they are not your average storage solution for cash, credit cards, and ID documents. Sébastien Pauwels’ and François Toussaint’s Belgian startup is taking the market by storm with its razor-thin and yet super sturdy wallets made from Tyvek®. Tyvek® has a trick or two up its sleeve: for instance, the unassuming material can be folded and refolded (and re-refolded…) without cracking or flaking.

What’s the secret of this paper-like material that is also – we kid you not – laundry-proof? Tyvek® is made from 100% pure polyethylene, which can be recycled endlessly. A Tyvek® sheet consists of flash spun high-density polyethylene fibers, and it combines the best qualities of paper, cling film and fabric. The material is – take a deep breath – tear-resistant, waterproof, light, rot and mildew resistant, and it has a life expectancy that would make the average housecat jealous (20 years, to be precise). In addition, Nowa wallets are entirely made in Belgium, from concept to production.

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