I was in Yauatcha with a companion and had ordered a mind blowingly delicious feast. When we reached our limits, the thought of them throwing it away made me feel queasy.
Suffice to say, I ended up borrowing a steamer box and shoving the whole lot in, before exiting quickly and discreetly. Not very dignified I know, but I was incensed at the ethical faux pas…..and the food was too yummy. Shame on you Mr. Yau, think of all the fantastic branding opportunities you are missing out on with posh doggy bags.
Not letting anything go to waste is common place in the east and having been brought up in an Indian household where very little gets thrown out, I was inspired to learn that this concept is being used and rewarded in the fashion industry.
The winner of the Fashion Designer of the Year Award held recently was From Somewhere - who use cutting table scraps and offcuts to create luxury patchwork fabrics, which are then in turn created into interesting and one off garments. Cutting down costs by getting your raw materials for free or at least very cheap is both smart and ethical.
A concept not lost on the high street either, Warehouse have a recycled silk line which uses redyed and respun old silk and it is absolutely gorgeous.
Even more imaginative are a company called Eako who have a product line that uses old fire hoses. The leather tubing has been treated to make it strong and durable, but because it is replaced yearly for safety reasons, the fireservice is left with huge amounts of unbiodegradable leather.
Eako clean it and, using Italian craftsmen produce a small range of products, each one unique with the numbers of the hoses still visible. Half the profits go to Fire Service charities and the business model has earned the company several accolades. They are doing something similar with coffee bean sacks; obtained for free, refashioned into ‘bags for life’ and sold back to the supermarkets. Genius. My mother would certainly approve!