We know there are so many companies doing great things to repurpose waste that we wanted to highlight them and the great things they do by featuring them in a mini blog series about repurposing! Our second interview is with Garage Project, we wanted to talk to them because of the great work they are doing with Mashbone.
Waste is already a messy business and repurposing waste can be harder still especially as it’s not a clean and regular resource to work with. At Garage Project, they brew beer. They wanted to repurpose the waste from their brewery process, by creating Mashbone - a business that sells dog treats made from the ‘brew spent mash’ of the Garage Project brewery process.
We chatted to Garage Project and asked them a few questions to learn more about Mashbone and what they have to say about sustainability.
Garage Project ‘like pushing boundaries, reinterpreting styles, and challenging the notions of what beer can be.’ Along their journey they found that ‘innovation is not just about beer’. This led to them creating their first “pet-project’ - Mashbone.”
Garage Project found that they were throwing about brew spent mash from their brewery process. They wanted a ‘creative and sustainable alternative’ to reducing this wastage. The team at Garage Project love their dogs! They found that ‘by combining this byproduct with premium beef viscera-free byproducts’ they could create, through upcycling, ‘nutritious and delicious brew bites’ for dogs. Commitment to being sustainable is part of the GP Way, with Mashbone being an integral part to this journey.
This idea was developed through their love for dogs. In fact, at Garage Project they ‘have brew dogs at work every day and they are members of the core team.’ Originally, they set off with the ‘goal of maximizing the lifecycle of their brewing ingredients, while simultaneously providing a service and product to another one of their passions, dogs.’ They found that ‘circular principles are relatively new to the pet food industry, especially on local sale.’ Garage Project wanted to show pet owners and the industry that healthy and sustainable food choices can be made for their pets and not just for humans.
In order to create their delicious treats, Mashbone uses spent brewers malt, which is a byproduct from the Garage Project brewing process. Their process involves a mix of sugar extraction and adding in natural premium ingredients, to ensure that they create ‘a healthy clean label treat for dogs.’
Garage Project really care for their dogs, and to ensure that they are providing the best quality product, they created Mashbone in consultation with ‘Food Pilot’ alongside veterinary specialists and food technologists. These specialists carried out research and analysis into the nutritional value and also palatability tests on hundreds of dogs, to ensure that the product is not only works as a ‘dietary supplement for bone and joint health’ but also tastes great to the dogs. Even their premium quality ingredients are made from ‘clean and safe NZ grass-fed beef.’
Mashbone is unique as a business because essentially it ‘is a business within a business.’ However, Garage project want to target all dog lovers not just those who are customers of Garage Project. This means that they’re are constantly looking to ‘open new sales avenue, connect with new stores, vet clinics, grooming shops, pet shops and dog clubs’ who are actually not too familiar with Garage Project. However, even through this process they have received positive feedback regarding their work with sustainability and NZ dogs.
A sustainability icon that Mashbone Business Manager, Kalen Acquisto is inspired by is Dr. Jane Goodall. ‘She helps us understand the connected nature of our world, that we are not so different and displaced from the environment around us. She has led me and countless others to release that harm to our natural world affects us all, and that it is our responsibility, not our right, to protect and respect the planet that we all share.’
Businesses and products such as Mashbone Brewery Bites and us who are tackling waste and helping the environment are important! Garage project believe that ‘a truly circular economy is essential in helping our economy transformer from a “cradle to grave” economy to a “cradle to cradle” one.’ This mindset not only benefits the environment but it also benefits business innovation and creativity.
For those wanting to start their own waste reducing or repurposing business Garage Project advise ‘without collaboration and cooperation, your impact will always be limited. Reach out, share ideas. At the end of the day, we all have the same goal of making our economy and community more sustainable.’ And if you don’t want to start a business but want to be more sustainable, it’s knowing that ‘sustainability is only possible when considering the entire process, not just what’s in front of you.’ When recycling at home, ‘you have to look at your waste management services, educate yourself on where and how products are made, research other more sustainable options and packaging etc.’
Garage Project ensure that 100% of their spent mash is accounted for, whether it goes to Mashbone or their local farmers! One of their core goals is to ‘eventually achieve “CarboNZero” status for their product by negating or offsetting the carbon impact of their transportation, their ingredients and their production.’
*Mashbone are currently taking a break, we hope to see them back again soon.