Meet Ooobject: Innovative, eco-friendly design from Hong Kong
At the 100% Design Show, I was lucky enough to meet the team behind Ooobject, a design agency which is part of Green & Associates. I met its founder Gewah Lam Cheong-leung and his Marketing Director Denise Ng, who showed my around their stationery and homeware range. Set up in Hong Kong in 1994, they have a strong client base in Asia and are expanding into Europe.
The range is beautifully designed, with both Asian and Scandinavian influences. What really stands out is the company’s environmental credentials. As mentioned on their website, 1.4 billion hectares of land – 28% of the world’s agricultural area – is used annually to produce food that is lost or waste. One third of all the food we produce goes to waste or is lost because of inappropriate practices, when 870m people go hungry every day. It’s not surprising, but heart-breaking none the less. Ooobject's aim is to raise awareness of environmental issues and provoke thought about the innovative ways you can reduce and repurpose waste.
I’ve seen lots of products using recycled glass and plastic, but what I like about Ooobject is that they explore how you can use food, factory and home waste. For example:
- Felt clothes hangers, hooks and shoe storage made from used carpet.
- Photo frames made from apple pomace and egg shells.
- Pens made from food waste.
- Bird feeders and planters made from natural calabash gourds (popular in Asia).
- A candle holder that includes a ceramic mould, so that the wax drips into it and a new candle is formed.
- An citrus juicer made from 34% orange peel.
- Tote bags made from 30% pineapple fibre. In 2001, the production of pineapples was over 14 million tons. Three quarters of pineapples sold in Europe are grown in Costa Rica where pineapple production is highly industrialised. What else could be done with the pineapple’s core, leaves and stem?
- Flower pots made from 25% coal ash. The consumption of coal is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 2%. Among developing countries, China and India account for two-thirds of the total demand.
You can find out more about Ooobject on their website and I’ll also be following up with them to find out more about how you can buy their products in Europe.