Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Conscientious Consumption in Hong Kong

Credit: A Boy Named Sue

So here are two things we didn’t know for sure until last week: (1) our current system allows pretty much every corporation to externalise both environmental and social costs; and (2) when you took the externalised costs into effect, essentially none of the industries is actually making a profit. So yes, what you suspected for quite a while is now official. And do you know what we can do to change this collective level of hypocrisy that’s sweet-talking us into believing our money is invested in a sustainable future while it isn’t? Support brands that are making actual social and environmental effort, and who are being transparent about it.

A Boy Named Sue is an ace brand to start with. With its vision conceptualised at a faux French café in Hong Kong in 2012, A Boy Named Sue is the brainchild of Sam Wong, a Parsons NY graduate with a degree in fashion and sustainable design, and Tania Reinert-Shchelkanovtseva, a London School of Economics and Political Science graduate who was looking for a solution to Hong Kong’s pollution problems. Called ‘cool clothes with a conscience’, the brand’s garments are sourced from all over the world, by designers and brands that are committed to upcycling, ethical business practices, and natural, toxic-free manufacturing process.

Similarly, PhatRice is an online shopping platform that showcases designers and brands that are known for their social and environmental initiatives, such as Portovelo, which is dedicated to combating child poverty by seasonal partnerships with charity organisations, who in turn benefit from consumers’ purchase of Portovelo’s shoes; Shark Savers, which is on a mission to save sharks and mantas through building awareness and education, and sales of its eco-leather card holders; and Handsome Co, Hong Kong’s own design consultancy that upcycles discarded parts of old taxis into new products.

For the home, consider Bamboa, a brand and resident in PMQ that carries products made from locally harvested bamboo, made by local communities throughout Asia. A fan of yoga? Make your mindful pursuit an environmentally conscious one too by supporting A Day with Fé’s eco luxe yoga pants, composed of recycled polyamide such as fishing nets. Meanwhile, outdoorsy types will love’s outwear and sportswear, made from used or wasted fabrics, as the brand strives for zero environmental damage and wastage while implementing fair trade practices.

There really isn’t a dearth of options when it comes to conscientious consumption in Hong Kong, so go explore! 

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