Innovation That Matters

The products are packaged in a refillable ceramic container and bowl | Photo source Júlia Roca Vera

Ugly fruit turned into sustainable cosmetics

Fashion & Beauty

A design student has developed a holistic cosmetic kit made from unwanted fruit and vegetables

Spotted: According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the world squanders 2.9 trillion pounds a year. It has been estimated that, in the European Union, as much as one-third of the total agricultural production is lost when produce is found to be ‘imperfect’ in appearance. To highlight this, Spanish design student Júlia Roca Vera has developed a way to turn imperfect fruits and veggies into cosmetics.

Vera’s Lleig (Catalan for “ugly”) skincare line includes four products made using a single orange that had been discarded because of its appearance. She extracted the essential oils from the fruit to create a moisturiser and soap, used its peel to make a potpourri and squeezed the orange to make juice for drinking.

The products are packaged in a refillable ceramic container and bowl. When the container is empty, users can fill it with water and the dried orange skin, and use this to wash their face. Vera sourced her oranges from Fundació Espigoladors, a non-profit organisation that gleans imperfect fruits and vegetables and turns them into other products. Although her products were made using oranges, Vera says the process will work with other fruits and vegetables.

The combination of sustainable products and custom-made ceramic containers is meant to encourage a holistic approach to beauty that focuses on health and wellbeing. She explains: “Nature makes us grow in different shapes and forms but we’ve created a binary code, a criteria which classifies humans – and [fruits] in this case – as either beautiful or ugly. Personally, I think it would be good to change this canon or adapt it so that it gives more importance to quality over appearance.”

Vera’s cosmetics are just the latest product to make innovative use of food waste. Some of the other concepts we have seen here at Springwise include a process that turns food waste into home furnishings and a company that turns barley waste from the brewing process into a protein powder.

Lleig is Júlia Roca’s final degree project of Elisava’s Degree in Design

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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