What the fork? A food waste design hack for change — Brand Ethos
16 December 2021 Design | Food waste | Graphic design | ReLondon |

What the fork?

A design hack for change
Collaboration is a wonderful thing. It brings surprises, delights and sometimes, the utterly unexpected. It opens opportunities to visit new places, tread different paths, see other perspectives. To trust it, you have to take a deep breath and jump in.

When ReLondon approached us to support their food waste campaign, we seized the chance to collaborate with some of the most creative minds we’ve ever worked with. The results were amazing.

Ending food waste

ReLondon has joined a growing list of cities and partners working together to champion the eradication of food waste. Wasted food is a waste of money. But it is also fuelling CO2 emissions and adding to the climate emergency.

It’s a global problem

Incredibly, the equivalent of one in five bags of food shopping is thrown away. In fact, about one third of all food is wasted if you include all the food that never leaves the field or orchard. The numbers are so big it’s hard to fathom. What do 1.4m edible bananas look like? That’s how many the UK throws away every day.

Ask people who know

We’d already worked with ReLondon to develop their new website following their rebrand from the London Waste and Recycling Board. So when they asked us to develop some social media cards for their partnership with FoodWave, a European-funded initiative to engage younger people around the issue of food waste, we got very excited.

And we had a good idea. If you are going to engage young people on social media about this really important issue, why not get them to do the creative thinking?

So we ran a design hack with university students. Thanks to the support of design and illustration tutors and lecturers at Kingston, Central Saint Martins and the University of Hertfordshire we were able to recruit 15 design and illustration students.

The hack was an online session on a Saturday morning in May. Most of the incredibly enthusiastic participants wanted to work in pairs. We’d given them a brief, with some background information in advance. We asked them to talk through the problem, think what would influence their friends and family – those people the brief wanted most to engage – and think big.

Using Miro – a virtual whiteboard – the ideas flowed. Animations were created in minutes. Illustrations seemed to spontaneously evolve. Graphics took imaginative turns. Copy blossomed. And right-brain thinking sparkled. One participant had a wicked idea for a podcast.

Designs with impact

We were stunned by the wonderful ideas shared. We shortlisted the best and shared with the team at ReLondon. The final three joined presentations and met the client. After a little toing and froing images were finalised and posted on Instagram. We supported with extra copy which was a lot of fun putting together.

Enjoy seeing the results. And share, please. The more people know about this global problem, the less food we’ll waste.

We all know that any small change can make a big difference.

Illustrations by @masha.kondor
Broccoli balloon collage by @daxterart
Flying food collage by @nav.desinghni

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