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Australian studio Heliograf's Light Soy lamps mimic the fish-shaped soy sauce bottles called Shōyu tai (醤油鯛) found in many sushi shops. Lighthearted on the face of it, the design is in fact a commentary on the damaging effects of single-use plastic. 

The tiny fish packaging invented in the 1950s is made from polyethylene and is designed to hold a single serving of soy sauce. Since then, they have become ubiquitous in Japan and in sushi restaurants around the world. Designers Jeffrey Simpson and Angus Ware were inspired to create Light Soy after eating sushi and being surprised by how many of the disposable fish they had used. They also found it ironic that the plastic fish would eventually harm marine life.

Unlike the packaging that inspired the lighting, the Light Soy lamp is made to last and each light is made from materials that have been carefully selected for their quality, longevity and ability to be recycled. It features a borosilicate glass shade that has been etched to a frosted finish, a long-life, energy-efficient LED, and powder-coated aluminium attachments. Light Soy is available in two models: a portable USB-C rechargeable table lamp with touch-controlled dimming and aluminium base, or universal mains-powered pendant light with bespoke aluminium ceiling canopy. 

It took more than three years to design and develop Light Soy, including two years perfecting the glass-blowing process. Its modular design allows for easy repair, refurbishment and replacement to maximise product life and minimise waste. 


Light Soy’s packaging is plastic-free, and made from recycled cardboard and bagasse sugarcane pulp which is completely recyclable or biodegradable, and the integrated cotton handle means the lamp can be carried home without needing a plastic bag.


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