Japanese artist Eiko Ishizawa believes that every product has the potential to be both fun and functional—even when it comes to your average sleeping bag. In 2006, the artist heard that a bear had escaped from the Italian side of the Alps and made its way over to the Bavarian side. This creature was referred to as a problem bear and he started a huge debate. Some believed he should be hunted, while others wanted to leave him alive. In the end, he was hunted down and many became emotional after hearing the bear's tragic story. This then inspired Ishizawa to design a sleeping bag that looks like a life-sized bear. Aside from its appearance, this creation is meant to symbolize the conflicted relationship between man and nature.
After designing several prototypes, the artist set up a Cargo page so that the Great Sleeping Bear could be purchased for $2,350. She invited those who bought the product to send her pictures of the sleeping bag from around the world so she could create a collage. In doing so, Ishizawa wanted to bring the problem bear back to life and form a worldwide community of people who appreciate Mother Nature's beauty.