Wax wraps, in various forms, have been around for a while and are already firmly established as the go-to plastic food storage alternative in many parts of the world.
But it’s only now that Britain is starting to sit up and really take notice. They have surged in popularity over the last 12 months – thanks, in part, to increasing public concern over the environmental impact of single-use plastic.
We caught up with Kim Dicker of Leaf Natural Food Wraps in Markinch to find out how they are made and discovered that her natural, reusable alternatives to plastic food wrap are available as 100% cotton or calico wraps coated in either bees wax or vegan-friendly candelilla wax – making them suitable for everyone.
They can also be washed and re-used over again and are tough enough to last a good few months. Oh, and they’re compostable too.
Kim started making wraps in 2018 in a bid to become more environmentally friendly and was amazed at how quickly she was able to stop using plastic.
“With only a few wraps, we were able to stop using cling film and sandwich bags altogether,” says Kim. “It was a real eye-opener.
“Like many people, environmental awareness is a gradual journey for me. The more I learn, the more I’m able to implement small changes.
“That said, I’ve taken some larger steps recently and we are now completely free of single-use bottled products in our bathroom.
“I also make my own moisturiser, lip balm and household cleaner and throw-away cloths and sponges have been phased out in favour of washable and compostable alternatives.
“We’ve also worked hard to establish an edible garden, with many fruit trees and berry bushes, and a large vegetable plot.”
Kim start experimenting to aide her own sustainability efforts and had no idea the wraps would soon become a viable enterprise.
“Almost immediately, friends and family started asking for them and, by summer, wider interest in the wraps had grown to the point where it was worth investing in the idea as a business. Now it’s my sole occupation!”
Kim sells her wraps at local fayres and markets and they’re stocked by a number of independent retailers in the Kingdom, including The Munro in Markinch, Seawitch in Aberdour and Post & Pantry in Aberdour.
She also takes orders via the Facebook page, or by email, and can dispatch them by post.
Kim’s most popular design features foxes, while her calico, hand-printed ‘CHEESE’ design has become a best-seller.
But her personal favourite is much more muted and natural-looking.
“I just love the ‘old parchment’ look and feel of the calico after it’s been waxed. It appeals to the historian in me!”
How they’re made
- Kim starts by washing and line-drying the fabric
- She cuts various fabric shapes before soaking them thoroughly in a blend of melted bees wax or plant waxes, pine resin and jojoba oil
- The wraps are then hung up to set
- If Kim is making calico wraps, she’ll stamp them first with her original lino-cut designs using environmentally friendly fabric ink. She then heat-sets the ink before the wraps are ready for waxing
- For vegan-friendly wraps, Kim replaces the bees wax in her recipe with a blend of soy and candelilla waxes and uses separate equipment to avoid cross-contamination.
Find out more about Kim’s Leaf Natural Food Wraps here
Pictures: Barry Sullivan