James and Felix are here to save you from both wasteful brewing practices and from crippling hangovers and for that they truly are heroes. They started out in Bermondsey in 2017 aiming to produce low alcohol beers that still tasted great, and through impeccable ingredient sourcing and a careful, slow brewing process they’ve now done just that. Their three core beers are between 0.5% and 2.8% ABV which, as you can imagine, is significantly less punishing than your average punchy IPA. More important are their sustainable brewing methods however. Running the UK’s only entirely dry floor brewery has contributed to dramatic reduction in their water usage, from an industry standard of 8-10 pints to just 1.5 pints per pint of beer brewed. The brewery is powered by wind, water and solar, and they have big plans for driving forward their responsible production agenda. Drinking beer with less carbon footprint and less of a hangover? Heroes.
As the founder of the zero-waste, closed-loop Silo in Hackney Wick, Douglas McMaster is the chef that’s probably done more than anyone else in the restaurant industry to tackle waste and bring widespread attention to the issues. His dedication has seen him carefully examine every fine detail waste production and Silo is the place where he’s been able to put his ideas into practice, and he’s been awarded a Green Michelin star for his efforts. He doesn’t even have bins in the restaurant and any food that isn’t consumed is fed into an aerobic digester which can create 60kg of compost in 24 hours. At Silo he makes everything from scratch from milling the flower to churning butter, reducing food miles and unnecessary processes. All deliveries to the restaurant come in reusable crates or other containers, completely eliminating packaging waste, and the furniture and fittings are all upcycled – when he realised that one of the final bits of waste they were still producing was the wine bottles from customer meals he started to grind them down and create plates for the restaurant. He’s even run a dinner series on invasive species, showing how things like Japanese knotweed can be put to use in the kitchen in an effort to manage their spread whilst reducing waste at the same time.
With Douglas McMaster tackling waste in the restaurant industry, Mr Lyan has been doing the same for the drinks industry over the last few years. When he launched White Lyan in London in 2013, it was the first cocktail bar in the world to use no perishables; no fruit and even no ice. It was an exploration in sustainability, with much lower waste and a use of pre-made cocktails and innovative ingredients. This approach has been the driving force behind all his projects and when he announced his partnership with Doug McMaster to launch Cub it of course all made perfect sense. Bringing together zero waste food and drinks, Cub has already been a massive hit winning Best Sustainable Bar at the Foodism awards in 2019, and being a finalist in the Forward Drinking category at the World Restaurant Awards. Mr Lyan’s influence has spanned around the globe and we’re proud that London was the city that is continually pushing the boat out when it comes to innovators like this.
Planting trees is one of the most effective ways to tackle carbon emissions and is an essential tool in the fight against global warming. Drinking vodka may sound like an unusual way to achieve this but British vodka brand Sapling is helping by planting a tree for every bottle they produce, From fruit trees in London to Hazelnut trees in Suffolk. The vodka itself, made from 100% British wheat four times distilled, aint bad either and was even served at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in 2018.
Tackling food waste is a huge part of a sustainable future, and it’s an issue that can be tackled in many ways as our list of LOTI heroes shows. Restaurants are at the front line of food waste and unless you are someone like Doug McMaster at Silo, there’s a good chance that a lot of good food is being thrown out when it isn’t sold. Enter Too Good to Go an app that connects restaurants with customers who can purchase unsold, perfectly good restaurant dishes at a fraction of the price. Not only does it earn the restaurants a bit of extra money, customers get a bargain meal, and the end result has a positive impact on the planet. Now that’s a win-win-win situation.
Founded by Arthur Potts Dawson in 2011, The People’s Supermarket is actually inspired by the past where shops where the focus of the local community. But with big name supermarkets becoming dominant since the 1950s, The People’s Supermarket is now aiming to be the shop of the future, offering good healthy food at fair prices to both suppliers and customers. The shop is staffed and run by the local community, with everyone that puts in at least a 4 hours shift every week getting a 20% discount on food. The shop, located on Lamb’s Conduit Street, is now a hub for the local community, where customers can enjoy a local connection and even take part in regular events. A big success since launching, Arthur then came up with The People’s Kitchen, the logical next step whereby fresh food is made from food waste and sold in the shop at a fair price. We love the alternative vision of food retail that The People’s Supermarket offers – perhaps in the future all supermarkets can be vibrant community hubs with a positive impact.