⟨ Misc ⟩

Kitchen Waste Turned into Clothes

Putting on the Colors of Food

Words / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

每天做飯時都留下一小包廚餘,洋䓤皮、蘿蔔皮、高麗菜的芯、冬菇莖⋯⋯能儲起來煮高湯的話便儲起下,不能儲起的只好丟掉。家庭已如是,不難想像食物加工廠丟棄的食物資源便更教人心驚膽跳。

擁有177年歷史的纖維及布料製作公司豐島株式會社於2016年時創辦了Food Textile品牌,目的便是希望善用這些廚餘,製作出優質的布料,減少浪費。豐島株式會社現時與八家日本著名的飲食機構合作,包括日本國內最大的蕃茄醬生產商KAGOME、猿田彥珈琲株式會社、Tully’s、水果生產商堀內果實園、糖果生產商榮太樓合作,向他們取得在生產食物加工品時留下的食物殘漬,再透過自家專利的技術,將食物殘漬轉化為布料染料。

藍莓造出的紫藍色、紫椰菜造出的粉紅、咖啡造成的棕色、南非茶(Rooibos)造成的橙棕色⋯⋯每種顏色都色澤柔和而美麗。豐島株式會社生產出來的布料所使用的染料,有90%的原料都是純天然的。天然染料常面對容易脫色的問題,但豐島株式會社供給Food Textile製作商品的,全都通過了持久度的測試,以保製品經過日曬雨淋,色彩仍然艷麗。以這些布料製成的T恤、嬰兒服、購物袋、圍裙等,已在Food Textile的網站發售。

Every time after preparing my meals, there would definitely be a pack of food residue like peels from onion or carrot, cabbage cores, mushroom stems, etc. After leaving aside the re-usable parts for making vegetable broth, the rest would be simply thrown away. Even a small household like ours already produces such a considerable amount of kitchen waste, it is just unimaginable how much waste a food processing factory would create.

The 177-year-old Toyoshima textile manufacturer launched their “Food Textile” brand in 2016. The idea was to minimize wastage by turning kitchen waste into quality fabrics. Toyoshima is collaborating with eight renowned food companies in Japan — including the biggest Japanese tomato sauce manufacturer KAGOME, Sarutahiko Coffee, Tully’s Coffee, Horiuchi Fruits Farm, and the sweets manufacturer Eitaro Sohonpo — to collect the food residue they produce during the manufacturing process. The residue is thence re-utilized as fabric dyes through a patented technique.

Purplish blue from blueberries, pink from red cabbages, brown from coffee, orangish brown from rooibos tea… Every one of these colors is so tender and charming. 90 percent of the raw materials used by the Toyoshima fabric dyes are pure natural materials. Although the colors of natural dyes are more likely to fade, the Toyoshima Food Textile brand carefully tests the durability of their dyes to ensure the brightness of all their products can be retained after being exposed to sunshine and rain. T-shirts, baby clothes, shopping bags, aprons and other products made by the Food Textile fabric can be purchased on their official website.