At COP26 this year, it was revealed that fashion accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, where over 70% of emissions are attributed to things like materials processing, while the remaining 30% are generated by activities such as transportation, packaging, and retail operations.
In Hong Kong alone, 392 tonnes of textile waste are generated per day into landfill, 50% of this comes from some form of clothing, as reported by environmental charity, Redress. And we all know how much the holiday season contributes to those numbers.
So it’s high time everyone starts seeking out sustainable options when it comes to gift giving. Here are eight sustainable fashion picks that support local Hong Kong businesses and won’t take away from the earth!
Pascal Reconstructed Blazer by The R Collective
The R Collective is a social impact business founded in tandem with sister charity, Redress. All of The R Collective’s products are created with a conscience, reusing and recycling luxury fabrics that would otherwise go into landfill or be incinerated, creating pollution for our air and oceans.
Every woman needs a power blazer and The Pascal Reconstructed Blazer ticks all the boxes. Materially, classic tailoring and a striking yet feminine silhouette make this a beautiful gift. But even better, it’s made from upcycled polyester by a team of passionate workers from TAL Apparel, an award-winning garment manufacturer committed to minimising their environmental impact and treating their workers with care and dignity.
Shop The R Collective here.
FORM Crop Tank Top – Recycled Nylon by Good Days
Advocating for well-being is at the core of Good Days, a Hong Kong-based activewear brand developed from a desire to divert waste away from oceans and landfills. With uniformly flattering pieces to complement your existing activewear collection, Good Days uses recycled polyester and nylon from post-consumer waste (think Bonaqua bottles and fishing nets!) to create high quality activewear that won’t break the bank.
We love the fit and coverage of the FORM Crop Tank Top, a lightweight and softly textured top that’s perfect for all of life’s activities. It’s made from ECONYL, a recycled nylon, and is sweat-wicking and fast drying. With fabric this nice, you may have to gift one to yourself!
Shop Good Days here.
Belted Skirt – Black Satin by Tove & Libra
Quality, not quantity, is the name of the game for Tove & Libra. Built on three generations of textile making, founders Ivan and Christine recognised an urgent need for a more conscious approach to fashion and clothing. Tove & Libra owns its own manufacturing facilities to control quality and pricing, and uses deadstock yarns and materials to create timeless, versatile designs that go above and beyond the wasteful fast fashion infinity loop.
Every wardrobe could benefit from a little black skirt and the Belted Skirt in Black Satin is smartly designed with a casual yet sophisticated profile and best of all — pockets! Sustainably upcycled cotton-stretch sateen give this number a subtle lustre, transforming any outfit from the office to a night on the town easily.
Shop Tova and Libra here.
Erica Leather Bag by Ril Creed
Designed in Tokyo, Ril Creed prides itself in clean and elegant handmade handbags, constructed with upcycled material at a woman-led family factory. Each decision made, from sourcing to delivery, is based on sustainability and woman empowerment. You can shop online or at their physical store at Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay, where they hold events to support women.
The Ril Creed Erica Suede bag caught our eye with its commute-friendly design. It’s a little slouchy with just the right amount of structure, making it ideal for meetings and dinner. Made with 100% upcycled Italian leather, the bag comes with two different length hand-woven leather straps for greater versatility, while the supple leather and suede finishes complement any outfit effortlessly.
Shop Ril Creed here.
Lono Sneakers by Lono Wear
Designed by founder Ben Hui, whose family owned one of Hong Kong’s first shoe factories, Lono are truly sustainable sockless sneakers made with all-natural plant-based materials. The upper material is crafted from Tencel fibers made of wood pulp, using a process that doesn’t create any material waste or require glue so they remain recyclable. The sole is also made of castor bean oil, avoiding the conventional petroleum material we find in most shoes.
While there’s currently only one style of Lono sneaker, it comes in a rainbow of colours to black to tan to lime green. Each pair comes in a reusable wash bag so you can easily clean your sneaks, and SOLESOCK, a washable insole that keeps your shoes sockless, comfortable and stink-free.
Shop Lono here.
Blossom Jacket by Phvlo
Built on the pillars of multi-functional pieces and sustainable design for a “25-hour lifestyle”, PHVLO, pronounced “flow”, claims both London and Hong Kong as home bases. Looking to upend wasteful and exploitative practices, the brand’s seasonless fashion pieces are meant for active urban lifestyles, combining practicality with comfort and design so you have 25 hours to live, work and play.
We love that there’s an entire page dedicated to outlining all the fabrics they use, and how each is sourced. Right now we’re also partial to the Blossom Jacket, which somehow is whimsical, elegant and sporty all at the same time – and comes in an array of gorgeous colours. It’s lightweight, quick drying, water resistant and made of Minotech, a soft and breathable fabric that doesn’t use any toxic waterproofing treatments.
Shop PHVLO here.
Check Yo’ Self Rugby Knit – Black/White by Love From Blue x Juan-Carlos Aquino
Love From Blue is setting a new standard for sustainability by slowing things down, one garment at a time. A Hong Kong-based brand founded by local creatives, we love its non-traditional approach to garment making where each step is thoughtfully considered. Love From Blue designs its pieces based on the unused yarn obtained, to ensure designs are inspired by the colour and texture of the source material, and not by potentially compromising factors like overhead or trends.
That said, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know how popular checkered patterns are right now and it’s hard not to delight in the large checkered pattern of the “Check Yo’Self” Rugby Knit, a design created in collaboration with fellow local designer CARLO CARLO.
Shop Love From Blue here.
Iris Lace Dress in Classic Black by Róu So Shop
Hong Kong-based fashion brand Róu So took matters into its own hands when founder Sophie Cheng saw firsthand how wasteful the fashion industry can be. Her label seeks to be ethical and inclusive, creating beautiful, well-made garments that respect people and the earth.
Armed with extensive knowledge in sustainable fashion design, textile upcycling and local fashion systems, Rou So sources large volumes of pre-consumer textile waste from large garment factories to procure the highest quality remnants. The end result are unique, mindfully designed pieces that stand the test of time.
The Iris Lace Dress is stunning, made from 100% upcycled polyester and part of the label’s Limited Edition from Salvaged Fabric collection. Exclusive lace details make the design special and unique, and with New Year celebrations just around the corner, this could be a good accompaniment for catching year-end fireworks.
Shop Róu So here.
(Featured image credit:Róu So)