How to make food waste fashionable

There’s been some novel ways to recycle almost anything, to creating art from old bikes, to fashion from plastic bags, to new uses for an old IKEA bedside cabinet as a rabbit hutch. But what can you possibly make from food waste beside a curry?

London based sustainable fashion designer Hoyan Ip has created ‘Bio-trimmings’, a range of buttons and buckles made from food waste that’s been dried, cooked and blended before being transformed into accessories. And any leftovers get recycled again.

She’s keen that top end brands adopt her unique range as it adds value to their ethical image, something the top brands in fashion are desperately trying to do. In her own challenging way, she wants to redefine luxury as including sustainable elements.

Currently we waste about 20% of our weekly shop, which is a lot of potential buttons. In fact we bin 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink per year, which is over £500 worth per household per year.

The world of recycled materials as fashion, and other areas such as furniture, fixtures and the alike, has exploded. It’s come a standard part of all fashion degree courses and events like Recycle Now Week provided many eye catching examples of just how creative designers can be with trash. There was even a dress made from old food packets.

One of my favorite recycling into fashion groups is the Bottletop Foundation, who made bags, belts, clutches, purses and other things from bottle tops (you guessed) and ring pulls. And unlike some recycled fashion items, these aren’t PR novelties, the bags look amazing and sell between £150 – £350 through top retailers.

Founded by Cameron Saul (from the fashion business) and Oliver Wayman (from the music business), their organisation produces amazing stuff that looks great and gives female artisans in developing countries the opportunity to support themselves and their families through the creation of recycled fashion. Which also has a knock on effect of supporting local communities.

The latest fashion brand to launch with strong ethics is HONESTY, created by Belgian designer Bruno Pieters. The range uses recycled wool, organic fabrics, and much more. If you check out the site visit the MIND section – lots of great quotes.