London-based designer Hoyan Ip has found a way to reuse discarded food to create fashion accessories. The designer makes jewel-like buttons, shoulder pads and buckles from food that is discarded, or what she calls “bio-trimmings.”
Ip’s recycled buttons, buckles and shoulder pads–as seen at Ecouterre–are made out of various kinds of food waste. And it’s not just leftover food she reuses; she also reuses the leftovers from the process of creating accessories as decorative accents.
Her mission this project, as stated on her website, are to re-use wasted food; to promote awareness of global food waste issues; to highlight social, economical and environmental issues; and to develop an ethical and sustainable future. There’s no denying that her designs are a creative way to tackle to important goals of her project: Food waste and environmental issues. In fact, food waste is a problem worldwide as 27 percent of all food produced in the United States being wasted annually. Ip further explains that “trimmings such as buttons, metal buckles and zips are all manufactured industrially where there are concerns on the impact it has on the environment as it consumes a lot of energy and fuel.”
Hoyan Ip writes on her website:
Iconic brands such as Nike, Prada or Levis all target very different target markets. However, one similarity that brings us designers and brands together is the use of trimmings.
I propose to identify the relationship between food waste and waste produced from the fashion industry.
It can be argued that nothing is new anymore in terms of fashion clothing as similar trends are re-interpreted season by season and it is worthwhile to preserve what we already have in our wardrobe ready for it to be current trend again. As there are more and more designers emerging, there is very little we can do to dispose of the unwanted clothes ethically especially when you realise such sensitivity and thought has gone into making a garment. The solution is to re-use the clothes, de-brand them, repair them and wear them. However, for those who swear by iconic brands such as Chanel may disagree on what this project proposes. It changes the psychology of consumers on what we think about brands. By changing the little details on a garment such as a Burberry trench coat with trimmings made of wasted food, how might the standard Burberry devotee react and more interestingly, what will the actual brand think of this? Does adding products made from wasted food de-value the brand or add value to it because of its ethical reasons.
Products in my project, Bio-trimmings include buckles, buttons and shoulder pads. A further product developed from the cut out waste includes sequins, which can be used to embellish and alter the character of a brand. Furthermore, the sequin products can be used as a resolution to repair old, ripped garments that can be updated with coloured sequins of different shapes and sizes.