8Shades Of… Cynthia Lok of Clean Hong Kong

New Sheung Wan cafe-laundromat Clean claims to be the first sustainable laundromat in Hong Kong by using eco-friendly detergent, energy-efficient washing machines, Rainforest Alliance certified coffee beans and plant-based mylks as a default for their drinks. We spoke with its founder, Cynthia Lok, to learn more about her business concept, best eco habit and top tips for doing laundry sustainably:

1. In one sentence, tell us what you do!

Clean is a part-laundry, part-coffee bar that is on a mission to make sustainability more fun and accessible for everyone. 

2. Why are you an 8Shader? 

Because sustainability touches all of us and it’s much bigger than just the environment! For me, sustainability is about balancing the social, environmental and economic needs of today and the future. So naturally, as part of the community, I feel that we should all play a role in supporting a more sustainable society. 

3. Your best eco habit?

Oooh, there’s quite a few, but I’d say my proudest achievement is using things for a long time. Once I’ve bought something, I’ll use it until it breaks – and then of course, make sure it’s recycled. I haven’t bought new clothes in almost six months…say no to fast fashion!

4. Guilty not-so-green habit?

I am definitely guilty of ordering takeaway too often, which means more single-use packaging! I definitely keep and re-use the packaging though, but am getting into trouble with my partner for hoarding.

5. Fave eco product?

The Cora Ball! Since starting Clean, I learnt a lot about microfibre pollution and the Cora Ball is a simple, easy and effective way to reduce this emerging widespread pollution. I use it every time I do my laundry. 

6. Fave veggie dish in HK?

The Cauliflower TFC from Soho House. It was love at first bite… I have no clue how they make it but it’s addictive. 

7. Top tip for doing laundry sustainably?

Start with using cold water only for all your washes! It’s so effective in so many ways: it reduces microfibre shedding, it reduces energy consumption and actually makes your clothes last longer (so you don’t have to buy new clothes as often)!

8. What shade of green are you?

Pastel green, given that there’s still so much to learn and so much more that I can do! But, definitely pastel because I want to keep it light and fun. 🙂 

8Shades x Clean Giveaway

Enter to win an oat milk latte art workshop (valued at HK$700 per person) or two free coffee drinks at CLEAN! One lucky winner will receive the grand prize of the latte art workshop, and four other winners will each win a pair of free drinks to be shared with a friend.

Follow us on Instagram @8shadesofficial now and keep your eyes peeled for the giveaway!

See also: 8Shades Of… Michael Smith Of Moxie


International Coffee Day: 8Shades x NODI Coffee Giveaway

To mark International Coffee Day (Friday, 1 October), we’re partnering up with NODI Coffee in Hong Kong to celebrate all things java. Simply bring your own reusable coffee mug to NODI’s Central locations on Thursday, 30 September to enjoy a cup of coffee on the house – just in time for the long weekend!

Source: NODI Coffee

All you have to do is:

  1. Follow @8shadesofficial and @nodicoffee on Instagram
  2. Go to BYO_by NODI at IFC or NODI Coffee Brewer at Chater House on Thursday, 30 September and bring your own reusable coffee mug
  3. Show NODI staff members that you’ve followed the instructions on our Instagram post
  4. Enjoy a free coffee on the house!

Participating NODI Coffee locations:

  • Shop 1104A, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, No.8 Finance Street, Central, HK, open 7am-8pm Mon-Fri
  • Shop 115, 1/F, LANDMARK CHATER, 8 Connaught Road Central, Central, HK, open 7am-7pm Mon-Fri

Terms and conditions: First come, first served; valid only on Thursday, 30 September 2021 to the first 30 people who fulfil all of the above requirements. 8Shades and NODI reserve the rights to modify or change the promotion at any time.

See also: The Truth About… Fair Trade Coffee

Better latte than never – the sustainable coffee drinkers guide

The smell of coffee is often the best alarm clock. Many of us start our mornings with a cup of coffee. Essentially, life begins after coffee. Do you know that our coffee habits present us with the perfect opportunity to engage in responsible consumption even before we start our day? Consider the following tips to make your coffee habits more sustainable and, in effect, set you up for a successful day.



Unfortunately, sixteen billion coffee cups are used and disposed each year, most of which are unrecyclable. Many of us do not know us that single-use paper cups, like their plastic counterparts, cannot be recycled. Because paper cups are coated with a thin layer of plastic to laminate and waterproof the inside, the paper-plastic combination of these cups makes them difficult to recycle. The next time you go to a café, make sure to BYOM – bring your own mug, or a reusable cup. Most coffee shops, including Starbucks, will give you a discount for bringing your own mug. Lower-priced coffee that’s low waste too? That smells pretty good. 

Source: Bailies coffee



Many of us rely on a single-cup brewing machine to get our caffeine fix. These machines typically depend on unrecyclable capsules and pods. Not all hope is lost, however. Nespresso, one of our favorite coffee pioneers, makes their capsules with aluminum, which is 100% recyclable. Moreover, you can ship your capsules back to Nespresso recycling facilities free of charge or drop them off at participating stores. From there, the aluminum is processed and turned into pens, pikes, and even new capsules. 

Source: Unreserved media



When you brew your own coffee, you can avoid single-use plastic –– by using your own mug, spoons as stirrers, and recyclable straws–– all the while radiating peak hipster barista vibes. If you’re looking to buy a coffee machine, opt for ones that don’t have plastic, like a French Press, percolator and ceramic pour-over filter cone. Many coffee machines with plastic contain PVC, which is the most toxic of plastics. 

Source: The Modern shop



If you’re buying coffee beans to brew at home, look for ethical certifications (like Rainforest Alliance) that show producers have complied with sustainable criteria. Sustainably sourced coffee beans are not only better for the environment, better for farmers (who are paid fairer prices), but also better for your health. New studies have found that sustainable coffee beans are grown free of pesticides and artificial fertilizer, boasting a higher content in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than beans that aren’t sustainably sourced. 

Source: Rainforest Alliance



The next time you meet up with a friend, or a love interest, consider having a coffee at MANA on Star Street in SoHo. MANA serves Impact Berry, an ethical, eco-friendly and organic premium coffee brand. Impact Berry sources its beans from Asian regions, which reduces the carbon footprint that comes with transporting coffee by 98%. An added perk is that MANA serves its coffee in fully compostable cups and lids. 

Source: Mana