Sally FitzGerald checks out three companies doing things the right way.
Started in 2013, Snact is founders Ilana Taub and Michael Minch-Dixon’s ‘delicious protest’ against food waste. With tonnes of perfectly good fruit being thrown out every single day in the UK, Snact takes surplus produce and turns it into tasty snacks. That doesn’t just save a banana or apple from going to waste with every snack made, but they have fantastic nutritional value for us too!
The fruit comes from farmers with too much supply, or apples left on trees, and Snact pays to pick them. The fruit is then turned into a chewy fruit ‘leather’ or banana bars that are available at Amazon, Ocado, Planet Organic, As Nature Intended, Selfridges & Co or direct from Snact’s website.
The innovation continues, as in 2016 Snact partnered with TIPA, a developer of sustainable packaging, to create a fully home compostable packaging – the first of its kind in the UK. Place in a home composter (or council food waste collection) and it becomes a fertiliser for soil. Ingenious!
Upcycling has become a hot topic over the last few years and it comes in all shapes and sizes, from painting old furniture to wooden pallet coffee tables. Paguro specialises in the fashion side of things, turning reclaimed materials such as tyre inner tubes, printer belts and bike chains into stylish jewellery and accessories.
It works with Sapu, a group of artists based in the Indonesian town of Salatiga, who source materials from within a 20km radius of their workshop, diverting waste materials from landfill sites and preventing potentially harmful environmental impacts, and turning them into new objects that can live a new life and be enjoyed.
The product range on offer is vast, from women’s bags, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and washbags to men’s belts, cufflinks and keyrings. There’s even a range for the home, which features coasters, fruit bowls and candle holders. So, if you fancy wearing a piece of statement jewellery that will quickly become a talking point for your eco efforts, check them out!
Upcoming skincare brand Optiat’s name sums up exactly what they’re about – One Person’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure. Founded by siblings William and Anna Brightman, they became frustrated with the idea of so many coffee grounds just being thrown away once the coffee was made that they were sure there could be another use for it – especially when you imagine how much the coffee industry gets through. 500,000 tonnes of coffee is sent to landfill in the UK alone each year.
At the same time, there was a lot of talk in the press about the destructive impact of microbeads on the environment. So they hit upon the idea of turning repurposed coffee grounds into body scrubs, solving two problems in one sustainable vegan product! Now they collect used coffee grounds from cafés and restaurants across London to use in their For The Love of Scrub range, which has just started being sold in Topshop. A refreshing 220g scrub costs £9.99 and comes in varieties such as Vanilla Velvet, Potent Peppermint and Mouthwatering Mandarin.
They have started to diversify too, making use of repurposed hemp husks to create detoxifying face masks and, most recently, teaming up with chai tea company Henny & Joe’s to turn leftover brewed spices into chai soap blocks. We’re complete converts to this innovative company.
We love hearing about companies who are making it their mission to make the world a better place, so please do let us know who your favourite vegan company who has compassion and the environment at the heart of everything they do so we can check them out.