Lake Hamana in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture used to be lake of freshwater and seawater with abundant inhabitants. However, over the years, sea lettuce known as “aosa” have been multiplying in huge amounts reaching to an extent that they are destroying the environment and the eco system of the lake.
For example, an average of 189-387 tons of crams used to gather every month at the lake. However, from around October, 2016, that number has reduced to less than 100 tons. Massive amounts of aosa are found rotting at the bottom of the lake, giving out a bad smell and affecting surrounding people’s lives, let alone the tourist industry.
(Image: PR Times)
Some aosa are edible, but unfortunately, the types that breed in Hamana Lake were not fit for eating. The local people started calling them a “yakkaimono”, meaning “nuisance.”
Aosa caught the attention of SPUIT—a group of young creators who take on the challenge of converting culture, tradition or problems that are affecting the environment into something that leads to a unique, sustainable future. SPUIT invented a way to produce a new color that would represent Hamamatsu from these wasted aosa. Instead of throwing them away, they thought of a way to make use of them.
And so, the project began. They first collected the huge amount of aosa, then sent them to local dying studio Fabric Suzutada, where a dying-plant craftsman Tadakazu Suzuki found a way to breathe life into forming a “brand new color made of waste.” A very subtle, light green color was created.
(Image: PR Times)
SPUIT has named the color “AOSA LIGHT GREEN.” It hopes the color will be recognized as a completely new Hamamatsu color and will be used at local traditional events, school events as well as in scenes of daily life. Already it has been used for clothing such as T-shirts and cushions in collaboration with fashion brand “ko haction.” Other projects of using the color in plates and cups, sofas and lighting are also underway.
SPUIT is currently looking for partners and supporters who are interested in putting “AOSA LIGHT GREEN” further out in the market. This is one beautiful example of adding “color” to life, from an innovation that makes the most of what most people regard as waste.
[Reference] SPUIT Homepage