Sustainable Cosmetics

It's estimated that roughly one third of the European Union’s horticultural production is rejected by supermarkets because it doesn't look good enough - meaning that tons of perfectly edible food is needlessly going to waste.

There are numerous organisations battling to reduce food waste, and a new entrant to the scene is using food waste to make sustainable cosmetics. Spanish designer Júlia Roca Vera has created a sustainable cosmetic line made of fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded for not meeting the aesthetic criteria required for it to be sold in shops.

Her line, aptly named Lleig, the Catalan word for ugly, not only addresses food waste but challenges the beauty industry to change its focus to health and wellbeing rather than external appearances.

Roca Vera wanted to see how many products she could make out of one piece of fruit to maximize the material and to reduce the amount of waste. Out of this creative process, she came up with a range of three products from one single orange.

She whipped up a moisturizer from the flesh and essential oils of the orange, used the peel to make potpourri, and squeezed the juice for drinking. Roca Vera says that this process is not limited to oranges and that it would work just as well with other fruits and vegetables. All the products are packaged in reusable cylindrical ceramic vessels.

Want to know more? Take a look at Espigoladors, the social enterprise Roca Vera partners with to source the food waste she uses for Lleig - and maybe get involved in the fight for reducing food waste.