Sure, shopping and sustainability can seem slightly counterintuitive, but there are local businesses working to bridge that disconnect. To get started, we’re spotlighting ethical Hong Kong brands that are working to minimise their environmental footprint.
There’s no question that working out makes you feel good – and now you can look good and do good too whilst working up a sweat, courtesy of Good Days. This local brand is making waves by transforming plastic bottles into chic, high-performance activewear. Think versatile and modern leggings, sports bras, crop tops and more, all consciously-created using recycled polyester and nylon. By doing so, Good Days hopes to contribute to a circular economy, diverting plastic waste away from oceans and landfills, and repurposing it into activewear you’ll love for years to come. We love that pieces in the collection can be worn as co-ord sets or mix-and-match combinations for effortless styling. Did we mention that it’s all super affordable too? Prices range from $300 to $480, proving you don’t have to spend a fortune to go green.
Good Days, available at gooddaysactivewear.com
The R Collective is a social impact fashion brand with a focus on upcycling. It turns waste materials into fashion-forward garments. Born from HK-based charity Redress, this is led by the pioneering Christina Dean. The goal is to create the world’s best sustainable fashion brand: reducing waste and pollution, empowering consumers and raising funds for Redress. Combining creativity, courage and conviction, the experts here will make you proud to have “waste” in your wardrobe.
The R Collective, available at www.thercollective.com
Is one shirt worth 4 years of drinking water? Cosmos Studio is an eco brand that makes clothes with the most sustainable methods in the industry. With reducing waste as the top priority, it strives to explore the unlimited possibilities of sustainable fashion. The company began on KickStarter with a project called “The most sustainable shirt in the world.” The campaign’s success proved the need for these significant changes to the fashion scene. The minimalist, classic styles showcase what it looks like when “sustainable fabric meets textile innovation, and where disruptive reformation meets understated pieces.”
Cosmos Studio, available at www.cosmosstudio-store.com
Ethically sourced and sustainably created, Aanya is a boho traveller’s dream. Designed with creative nomads in mind, just browsing through the flowy tops, rompers and jumpsuits will give you wanderlust. The HK-raised founder, Ishita Desai, is committed to creating consciously sourced, sustainable products. She bases her decisions not only on the quality of craftsmanship, but also on ethical standards. The products are made in India, where Aanya is working to empower artisans and local organisations.
Aanya, available at www.aanya.com.hk
This new active-lifestyle brand is here to celebrate and spotlight nature. Launched in August 2020, Skin of Nature brings dynamic, durable, sustainable apparel to the forefront in Hong Kong. The founder, Elena Beraldo, specialised in Sustainable Fashion before moving to Hong Kong three years ago. She saw the reality behind the apparel industry, but also the positive direction it was beginning to take and decided to be a part of it. You’ll see her love for nature reflected in the colours, patterns and textures of the garments, and also in the ethos of the company. The first collection, Aquatilis, is inspired by the underwater photography of Alexander Semenov, a marine biologist who’s work inspired Elena. 1% of all sales go towards Alexander’s NGO, raising awareness about the underwater world.
Skin of Nature, available at www.skinofnature.co
EARTH.er was founded in 2012 in Hong Kong’s very own Tai O fishing village. Founder and designer, Benny Yuen, creates designs that are inspired by the outdoors, using traditional Southeast Asian craft techniques and materials that are eco-friendly. The company merges sustainable production processes with all natural, renewable materials. Think hemp backpacks and a line of ‘Down to EARTH.er’ shoes, made by upcycling rubber tires. To top it all off, the brand donates a part of its revenue to WORLD VISION to help with the raising of 12 children from less developed places across the globe.
EARTH.er, available at www.earthertaio.com
WOMB is a space to find ecological, ethical and vegan products. It promotes conscious brands that care about what items are made from, how they are made, and the people who make them. WOMB ensures proper compensation for manual work whilst encouraging small and medium size studios and independent designers. Head here to find sustainable home, apparel, yoga and products of the best quality, including those made using traditional handcrafting techniques. We love that WOMB believes in limiting fast fashion by operating on slow manufacture timelines, rather than mass production. The co-founders, Kasia and Maria, were previously involved in the field of contemporary art, so they take extra care in curating a stunning sustainable collection. As vegans themselves, they only support makers whose work is completely cruelty free.
WOMB, available at www.itswomb.com
Editor’s Note: A.C.F is currently taking a break. Head here for latest updates from the brand.
Stylish and ethically sourced, A.C.F believes sustainability should be the norm. This local brand lets you shop responsibly by providing eco-friendly clothing and accessories. You’ll find gender neutral options and products made of vegan suede, tencel and wool, with highlights of recycled denim, adding depth to this easy-to-wear collection. We caught up with the Hong Kong-based Founder, Alexandra Foster, to find out what it means to start and run a conscious fashion company in the 852. Read the full interview here.
A.C.F, available at www.acfclothing.com
Ethical fashion enhanced with a volunteer rewards program? Sounds pretty good to us. Supported by Hands On Hong Kong, Basics for Basics is all about making sure each product is made with care and helping to create a community. Striving to build style in conjunction with nature and reduce our carbon footprint, it carries a range of modern apparel brands and ships throughout Hong Kong. Read our full interview with founder and LGBTQ Activist, Kayla Wong.
Basics for Basics, available at www.basicsforbasics.co
Phvlo is the brainchild of local designer Johanna Ho (you may be familiar with her previous namesake brand). The brand is filled with sporty-chic pieces that don’t confine to seasons, which means you’ll get your wear, rain or shine. The core garments are high performance, and the outerwear options are made with water repellent, light and breathable materials. All materials are sourced ethically and are created through sustainable textile production. Phvlo’s projects are based on giving back: including training and up-skilling HK’s youth, empowering women and supporting the underprivileged.
Phvlo, available at www.phvlo.com
Founded by brother and sister duo, Madi and James Chu, Paper Shades is a HK brand bringing us eco-friendly, customisable sunglasses made from recycled paper. The team believe that “to make sustainable choices, you first need to have sustainable options” and began a business to do exactly that. The sustainable product is built to be functional and durable, with personalisation that makes it perfect for everything from Clockenflap to corporate giveaways. They explain that they were “tired of having to choose between fast-fashion products that don’t last and luxury branded goods that are not affordable for the everyday person”, and so they created durable shades that leave the most minimal of carbon footprints, while the lenses provide UV400 protection.
Paper Shades, available at www.papershades.net
Pre-loved designer stores:
Vestiaire Collective: Global French company offering pre-loved designer items with 100% quality and authenticity.
HULA: An online marketplace that sells new and pre-loved designer womenswear and accessories for up to 90% off retail price – with 5% of the profits going to charities.
Fashion rental platforms:
Wardrobista: A modern rental store for clothes and accessories with the motto “Shop Less, Rent More”.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 by Tania Shroff and was last updated in November 2020.