Using ancient culinary traditions as their inspiration and with the issue of food waste firmly on their minds, a group of design students from Rotterdam is working on a leather product made using fruit waste.
Through a secret process, they have come up with their ‘Original Rotterdam Fruitleather‘, made of leftover fruit they have been collecting on Tuesdays and Sundays from vendors at the Binnenrotte Blaak Market in Rotterdam where some 3500 kg of fruit go to waste every market day. The cost of disposing of the waste leads some vendors to dump it illegally.
As part of their graduation project, Hugo de Boon, Bart Schram, Aron Hotting, Koen Meerkerk, Milou Snoeijers and Maaike Schoonen, a designers’ collective from the Willem de Kooning Academie, have stepped in to reduce food waste and prevent such illegal dumping of produce by turning it into a valuable resource.
Borrowing from a gastronomic technique through which the water content of fruit is removed to produce highly nutritious and tasty dried fruit (also called ‘fruit leather’, have a go yourself here) which can then be made into sweets, desserts; decorations and can also be preserved for a long time, they have created a bag made completely out of this delicious material.
The bag is not just an end product in itself, but it “shows the quality and the possibilities that fruit leather has to offer as a material”. The team are now at work to improve their fruit leather qualities so to increase its versatility, and are open to collaborations to bring their project to the next level.
With the issue of food waste being currently hotly debated and with food waste prevention campaigns gathering momentum in Europe and beyond, projects such as this can help raise awareness further, and offer a practical solution to the food waste problem. And its vegan credentials can only improve its appeal further.
Dutch speakers, this video is for you: