Our magpie eye was recently drawn to a collection of knives with handles in sweet-shop colors. We soon discovered the handles are made entirely out of plastic waste: drink bottles, vegetable crates, and, funnily enough, empty sweet tubs.
The collection is the brainchild of Hugo Worsley, who set up Allday Goods in 2021. Hugo had recently given up his cheffing career in London, moved back in with his parents in Norfolk, and started experimenting with plastic waste and a toastie machine in their garden shed. His first upcycled handle was made from melted milk bottle tops and affixed to a blade forged by a renowned blacksmith in Japan.
Hugo then made his first prototype, “an all-rounder chef’s knife,” from melted black plastic pots and an expertly forged blade. He released 100 of these on Instagram and they sold out in 76 seconds. “I started to sell batches every three months, experimenting with different types of blades and other sources of plastic waste,” he explains.
Hugo’s mission—“to take plastic destined for landfill and repurpose it into a product that can last for life”—has taken him across the UK. “I try to use each batch to raise awareness for current waste issues in certain areas,” he explains. For his second batch, he worked with the veg box delivery company Abel & Cole to transform their disused plastic milk bottles handles into knife handles. Then he temporarily relocated to the northwest coast of Scotland to collect old fishing nets for the melting pot.
For his most recent batch, he’s at the opposite end of the country, cleaning the beaches of Margate in Kent. “Beach plastic waste in Margate is a big problem, and with the growth in tourism, it’s getting worse. So for our most recent batch we went and collected plastic waste left on the beaches in Margate and turned it into the handles for the knives, and in doing so told the story and raised awareness for the issues they face.”
Depending on the volume of waste collected, the melting process takes place either in a factory either in Lancaster or in his studio in Dalston (he’s moved on from the toastie machine in the shed), where all the handles are attached and the knives hand-finished. “I can control the color marbling to a certain extent,” says Hugo, “but the finished product is always a bit of a surprise to us, and for the customer receiving it.”
For more, head to Allday Goods.
And for more low- and no-waste finds, see:
- Waste Is a Design Flaw: Eco-Minded Essentials for the Home Office
- The DIY Summer Table: Priscilla’s Woolworth Conversation-Starter Place Settings Made from Castoffs
- Just Add Water: Eco Cleaning Supplies (and Refills) from Blueland