A third of the European Union’s horticultural production is estimated to be rejected by supermarkets based on sub-par cosmetic quality, meaning that plenty of perfectly good food is needlessly going to waste. But Spanish designer Júlia Roca Vera has created a sustainable cosmetic line made of fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded not meeting the aesthetic criteria to be sold in shops and marketplaces.
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.
Check out Espigoladors, the social enterprise Roca Vera partners with to source the food waste she uses for Lleig to see how else you can support and get involved in the fight for better food usage.