J-Design: Bolor_Day2_Homework_VideoAnalysis

“The Lucky Iron Fish” video analysis



  • Iron deficiency in Cambodia where almost 50% of the population (6 million) suffers from this preventable condition.
  • 5 billion people worldwide suffer from iron deficiency making it a global problem.
  • Inequality and unemployment resulting from disability and social isolation amongst urban Cambodian youth.
  • Landfill toxins, leachate, greenhouse gases etc.


The solution is a fish shaped iron that is used to cook meals with and is produced in a sustainable, socially and environmentally conscious manner, while providing income to socially disadvantaged families.

When used during cooking, the fish shaped iron, Lucky Iron Fish, provides up to 75% of required daily iron intake, resulting in improved blood circulation and better overall health. The Lucky Iron Fish venture is a culturally sensitive design intervention built with positive social and environmental impact in mind and presents itself as completely transparent about its supply chain. This is achieved through partnerships with local organisations each working for specific causes. A local production site uses especially selected recycled material to make the fish-shaped iron and packaging is hand-made by two different socially-responsible organisations hiring disabled Cambodians and marginalized urban youth.  As a start-up venture the company is inspiring in their attempt to begin to tackle more than one serious issue found in developing nations. Their product is simple and definitely presents an improvement to the overall system.

The packaging materials are either recycled or biodegradable palm leaves depending on the market targeted. This sits well with their future aspirations as a marketing strategy and also as a way to holistically their impact on the world.

The effectiveness of the iron fish has been tested several times and the company is continuing with it by now partnering with international aid agencies to carry out larger clinical trials. This suggests that there is definitely a desire to expand and make a lasting, noteworthy impact, which also has been acknowledged by investors and donors. The team aims to reach 1 million families over the next 5 years.

Looking at the venture critically, one could say that the product offered is not effectively addressing certain related problems such as poverty and malnutrition; but as a culturally sensitive, context-specific design intervention, the team’s work is inspiring, not to mention the simplicity and effectiveness of their product.

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