EDGY Product: Filt, Candle from Waste Cooking Oil with Style

by Hiroki Yanagisawa on March 28, 2010 10:12 AM

Waste + Waste + Waste + Right Attitude = Amazing Candle!

If someone hands over a Filt-made candle to your hand, perhaps, all you can think is "nice" or "beautiful". No one will realize that it's from waste cooking oil -- Yes the one with viscous look and the smell.

"It's a product of rigorous googling, combined with a spirit of Do It Yourself."

Toru Fujie, one of the founders of a candle maker from waste cooking oil, Filt, smiles with a smoky cigarette on his right hand.
"The foundation of creating Filt came from my school days. I studied under Professor Fumikazu Masuda of Tokyo Zokei University. He changed me the way I think."

Toru reveals the inner spirit of Filt. Tokyo Zokei University is one of the renowned art schools in Tokyo and Professor Masuda is an internationally known eco/sustainable designer. Toru was working under Professor Masuda's research group, immersing himself under the world of ecodesign.

After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University, he worked as a contract-based designer for one of the major manufactures based in Japan. But the idea of mass production didn't quite fit in to what he wanted to do, or what he had learned as a foundation of design, ecodesign.

One day, he was having a meal at Chubby, a cozy cafe in Daitabashi operated by his friends. He was sitting in a bar, looking over a kitchen of the cafe. There, he spotted waste cooking oil. When he asked how the oil is being treated after its use he learned that the oil is being solidified by using an agent, and thrown away.

That's when the idea of candle making from the oil kicked in. As an aspiring ecodesigner, creating a candle from waste oil with stylish design seems to align with his belief.

Toru googled how to make a candle from the oil, and he managed to create one. But as far as a its quality goes, it was far from a sell-able quality. It smelled, it didn't burn entirely, the wax began to deform because of lower melting point, caused by the impurity of the oil.

He has made improvements through numerous numbers of trial and error, and finally, he has come up with the optimum formula.

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A glass bottle and waste cooked oil for a candle are collected from cafes. The oil is being filtered twice and heated to get rid of its smell and to increase the oil's purity. (Since the filtering process is crucial and very time consuming, that's where the name Filt came from.) A stopple of a glass bottle is used as a base of candle string.

Currently, Flit candles are available at several cafes in Japan. An online shopping site is to be launched this year.

"Small Cycle for for More Cycles. That's the phrase I use to promote Filt. I hope this small cycle spreads all over the world for good."

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If you wish to purchase Filt or be in touch with Toru, contact EDGY JAPAN for further assistance.

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