As a city that loves style as much as it loves to shop, it’s crucial that Hong Kong begins questioning the impact of fast fashion on our environment. Did you know that the only three remaining landfills in the New Territories are said to be full by 2019? If that’s not enough to hold yourself accountable, we don’t know what is. Whilst our streets are scattered with tempting boutiques and shiny shopping malls, there is a way to strike a balance between staying on top of trends and shopping sustainably. The draw towards consumerism has become an unhealthy part of our culture, so it’s particularly poignant to see places putting eco-initiatives at the forefront of fashion. We chatted to Green Is The New Black to get a peek at sustainable changes happening in Asia. This lifestyle platform works to help individuals live more consciously and connect them to responsible brands. It also runs Asia’s first Conscious Festival in both Singapore and Hong Kong, so if you’re looking for #littlegreensteps to take in your daily life, it’s worth checking out. Whilst Hong Kong is often blamed for being behind on eco-initiatives, we’re ready to spotlight local brands that are working to make a positive difference.
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
Rumi X’s vision is to create and offer every day, modern products made from environmentally conscious materials, through methods that positively impact our planet. It works to transform waste into recycled goods that would otherwise contribute to landfill or oceans. The brand has mastered the art of creating activewear from recycled plastic bottles and upcycled coffee grounds and it’s dedicated to making you feel good in your own skin. The stretchy, super soft fabrics have moisture-wicking properties and come in bright, colourful and chic styles.
Rumi X, available at www.rumixfeelgood.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 create 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 grass-root organisations.
Aanya, available at www.aanya.com.hk
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, no matter rain or shine. The core garments are high performance, and the outerwear options are made with seriously water repellent, light, and breathable materials. Johanna is deeply aware of the importance of eco-friendly and sustainable fashion so all materials in her designs are sourced ethically and are created through sustainable textile production.
Phvlo, available at www.lanecrawford.com.hk/phvlo
Stylish and ethically sourced, A.C.F lets you shop responsibly by providing eco-friendly clothing and accessories that are totally on trend. Think 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 chat to 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
WOMB is an umbrella for 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. It offers sustainable home, apparel, yoga and products of the best quality, including traditional handcrafting techniques. It 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.wombhk.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 footprints, 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
Founded by brother and sister duo, Madi and James Chu, Paper Shades is an 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
EARTH.er was founded in 2012 in Hong Kong’s very own Tai O fishing. 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
Fashion rental platforms:
Wardrobista: A modern rental store for clothes and accessories with the motto “Shop Less, Rent More”.
Yeechoo: Membership-based rental concept for high-end couture designer pieces.
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.
Label Chic: Authentic and stylish second-hand clothes and accessories, holding themselves ecologically responsible.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 by Tania Shroff and was updated in January 2019.