Designer Hoyan Ip's handbags made from doggy bags
Designer turns kitchen into fashion workshop, recycling leftover rice and soup into accessories
While environmentalists and politicians rack their brains for ways to combat food waste, a fashion designer has come up with a way of recycling it - by wearing it.
Hoyan Ip has created durable fashion accessories made of rice, vegetable soup and other leftover food from the kitchen.
"Food waste is a continuous global economic and environmental issue we need to address," the young UK-based designer said. "Because fashion is a very unsustainable process in [the] creating [of clothes], I wanted to relate food waste to fashion."
In 2010, while studying for a masters degree at Kingston University in London, she started experimenting with unconventional materials.
"I've always questioned what the future holds for fashion. I want fashion to be not only innovative but to make a positive change - in this case, on the way we think about food and our habits of eating," she said.
Last year, after spending nine months in her kitchen, drying, cooking and blending leftover meals, she developed a secret recipe for turning them into a durable material of natural colours.
The seeds, vegetables and sauces she collected from the kitchens of her relatives and neighbours, as well as her own, were transformed into "bio-trimmings" - buttons, buckles, sequins and more.
Ip admits that her kitchen - which she turned into a factory for waste food - did smell. "My mum wasn't too happy, but she knows I do creative projects," she said with a laugh.
Ip wanted to experiment on whether using food waste would devalue her products or add ethical value in raising awareness of food wastage and shortages.
The "bio-trimmings" project was launched last year, and the products were featured in London Fashion Week last September .
They will be on display in the Island Resort Mall in Siu Sai Wan from this Saturday to February 24, along with Lunar New Year decorations Ip made for the upcoming festival.
Made from evaporated soup, pasta and other discarded food, the gold block and coin ornaments are environmentally friendly in another way, as they are also biodegradable.
This means they can be buried in the garden and will decay, a possible solution to waste generated from festive decorations.
Video reporter Hedy Bok spoke with Hoyan Ip.