A Hong Kong Story
When Mimi, the founder of ooh design studio, saw the devastation of plastic pollution on the beaches in Hong Kong upon returning from Canada after more than 20 years' absence, she wanted to do something about it. She joined local volunteer groups cleaning up the beaches but after a few cleanups, she realized a more effective solution was needed which would require the reduction and elimination of waste at its source. Mimi looked around and spotted one of the most ubiquitous plastic waste in Hong Kong which was the small, single-use, plastic bag for bakery.
In the mornings, many people would buy the Hong Kong style buns for breakfast on their way to work or school and each bun would be packaged in a small plastic bag. Mimi carried out some research and estimated that in a single year, over 90 million of these plastic bags would have been used and disposed of. She decided to tackle this problem because these bakery is so much part of everyday life in Hong Kong and part of its culture.
Using her industrial design skills, Mimi started researching for the appropriate materials to replace these single-use plastic bags. She finally came across the flour sacks which usually get tossed out by the bakers.
The bakers throw out the flour sacks. The customers buy the bakery in plastic bags and then throw out the plastic bags.
A light bulb went up in Mimi's head! Upcycle the flour sacks into bread bags! Thus the Flour Bread Bag was born. The flour sacks are collected from various bakeries around the city. They are then washed at a laundromat and then sewn by Mimi and some local ladies, keeping them all handmade in Hong Kong.
How do the Flour Bread Bags open our hearts?
The flour Bread Bag is Mimi's first line of products for ooh design studio in which "ooh" stands for "open our hearts". Mimi believes the behaviour change from an unconscious, disposable lifestyle to one that's caring and earth friendly requires constant conscious effort, persistence, compassion to other sentient beings that share this planet with us as well as compassion toward ourselves. By no means can the Flour Bread Bag save the ocean overnight but it offers the user opportunities to make conscious decisions to care for the environment. It is a tool that facilitates the practice of acts of kindness and serves as an object of conversation to raise awareness about the power of our actions.