Food waste is, oftentimes, an inevitable part of the cooking process. Normally, and unfortunately, it takes a lot of food waste to procure your favorite meals at your favorite restaurants. To minimize it, some restaurants and food businesses opt to repurpose ingredients that still have the potential to be crafted into another dish. Similarly, for an up-and-coming spirits company that saw the “unlimited potential of unwanted produce",  they went on to innovate a new approach to making classic alcoholic drinks, all the while caring for the earth, one sip at a time.

Meet Damaged Goods Distilling Co., a distillery and spirits brand based in Herne Hill, Australia. They specialize in turning fruit waste into alcoholic beverages such as gin, aperitivo, and vodka without compromising on taste or quality (more on this in the interview below). Hospitality experts and partners, Tim and Pia, co-founded DGDC. The extensive knowledge, experience, and skills acquired from their years in the hospitality industry, paired with their shared passion for sustainability, are what led them to create DGDC.

Tim Laferla and Pia Papenfuss, co-founders of Damaged Goods Distilling Co.

So from the start, sustainability has always been at the heart of DGDC. From their mission to generally minimize food waste getting into landfills by creating a brand that embodies that premise to successfully innovating a process to create unique and flavorful drinks from scratch and partnering with noissue to create a sustainable packaging suited for such products. To learn more about Damaged Goods Distilling Co., their products, design process, and packaging essentials, read on!

Tell us a bit about your brand, introduce it to the world!

Damaged Goods Distilling Co. is the brainchild of Tim Laferla and Pia Papenfuss - an acclaimed cocktail bartender and a fine-dining chef who are on a mission to prove that spirits made with imperfect ingredients don’t have to be anything less than perfect… in fact, as two ex-hospo alums, our palates are finely tuned to seek perfection, so that’s the only thing we’ll accept. Where others saw waste citrus husks from juicing companies, apple pulp from cider making and misshapen bananas from Carnarvon, we saw the base for a citrus-forward gin, a crushable apple aperitivo and a clean and creamy vodka.

DGDC’s Gone Bananas Vodka, Final Squeeze Citrus Gin, and Smashed Apple Aperitivo

We’re not trying to recreate the same spirits you’re used to, though. We’re aiming for even better. Our unique ingredients and innovative distilling techniques create traditional taste profiles with a delightful twist. And you won’t believe they ever came from waste.

We’re all about pushing boundaries, not only with our recipes, but with our operations across the board, including at our close-to-zero-waste distillery. And we’re genuinely passionate about the planet, which makes it all the more satisfying knowing that we are saving produce from landfill, one sip at a time. Now drinking the highest quality spirits and making a sustainable choice don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Cheers to that!

Tell us about the design for your packaging and how you’re using them?

Our branding and design elements play off our brand name, premium-quality product, and disruptor identity. It's a bit of a street-art style aesthetic with typography, loosely drawn graffiti-style visual elements and slightly abstract - a nod to the imperfectness of the ingredients.

noissue Custom Tote Bags, designed by @damagedgoodsdistilling

The tagline, Get Unwasted, captures our cheeky, energetic and honest persona, delivered with a playful and confident attitude. We use the totes for customers wanting to purchase a reusable option when transporting bottles from the Distillery Tasting Room, or at various events and markets.

DGDC’s distillery and tasting room at Swan Valley

What made noissue a good fit for your packaging?

noissue's certified 100% organic cotton totes as the base just made sense, perfectly in line with our sustainable mindset and were the perfect canvas for our street-art style. It's super important to us that the people we work with are as invested in sustainability as we are. We love that all of noissue’s products have to pass the Circular Materials Framework test - compostable, recyclable or reusable.