8 shades with david yeung of green monday

8Shades Of… David Yeung, Founder of Green Monday Group

In our latest edition of “8Shades of…” – where we get up close and personal with new and known faces in the sustainability field – we caught up with David Yeung, the founder and CEO of social enterprise Green Monday Group.

Green Monday is the sponsor of the latest (and final) giveaway for our #8Shades8Weeks challenge! If you haven’t yet completed the easy challenge of showing us your meatless meal this week,what are you waiting for? Sign up here!

We played a round of eight quick-fire questions with David. Read on to find out his best (and worst) eco-habits, his favourite veggie dish and what’s next for Green Monday!

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

As founder of Green Monday Group, I am a social entrepreneur who is dedicated to innovating and developing a plant-based food ecosystem that can combat some of the world’s most urgent crises.

2. Why are you an 8Shader?

Almost 15 years ago, Al Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth” opened my eyes to the urgency and severity of climate change.  It led me to believe that fundamental business paradigm shift and behaviour change is not an option but a must. 

3. Your best eco habit?

I have been vegetarian for more than 20 years. I also despise any kind of waste.

david yeung eating food
Source: David Yeung via Instagram

4. Guilty not-so-green habit?

Eliminating plastic in our daily living is still very hard.  Lots of innovation and changes in business practices need to happen to shift the world away from plastic.

5. Fave eco product?

OmniPork and OmniSeafood products, as they are inventions that our team developed from scratch.  If people truly become aware of the outrageous environmental damage from industrial animal farming and overfishing, they will understand why alternative protein truly plays critical role in saving the planet and humanity. 

6. Fave veggie dish in HK?

OmniPork Luncheon ramen. It is the one ‘cha chaan teng’ menu item that instantly brings back childhood memory. 

7. What’s next for Green Monday? 

Global expansion. We are very excited that our OmniFoods products are going into Whole Foods and Sprouts in the U.S., Sainsbury in the UK and Woolworth’s in Australia, along with further expansion in Asia-Pacific. 

david yeung green monday
Source: David Yeung via Instagram

8. What shade of green are you?

The entrepreneurial and innovative shade. What I mean is that for the sake of the planet, we actually need everyone to go from not green to light green to medium green to deep green. However, people, corporates and governments need solutions. So activists, scientists, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and impact investors all have huge roles to play if we truly want to green the world.

About Green Monday

Green Monday is a multi-faceted social venture looking to take on climate change, global food insecurity and public health. It is the creator of OmniFoods, including OmniPork and OmniSeafood, which are delicious plant-based meat alternatives taking the world by storm. Besides this, it also operates Green Common, a one-stop shop in Hong Kong for all things plant-based with dining experiences, and engages in a number of green corporate and social initiatives.

See also: 8Shades Of… Wesley Ng, Co-founder & CEO of Casetify

wesley ng casetify

8Shades Of… Wesley Ng, Co-founder & CEO of Casetify

In our latest edition of “8Shades of…” – where we get up close and personal with new and known faces in the sustainability field – we caught up with Wesley Ng, co-founder and CEO of phone case and electronic accessories producer, Casetify.

Casetify is the sponsor of our latest weekly giveaway for the #8Shades8Weeks Challenge! If you haven’t yet completed the easy challenge of BYOB (bringing your own bottle) out around town, what are you waiting for? Sign up here!

We played a round of eight quick-fire questions with Wesley. Read on to find out why he’s an 8Shader, his favourite eco-products and how he integrates sustainability into his daily life!

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

I build brands and make kickass products!

2. Why are you an 8Shader?

About 3/4 years ago, I got converted by (8Shades founder) Emily Lam-Ho on a summer day while we were talking about what product Casetify should make. She planted the seeds of our sustainability line!

3. Your best eco habit?

I wear the same outfit everyday. Not only does this save me a lot of money on clothing (and the associated waste), but it has also reduced decision fatigue as I don’t have to think about what to wear everyday.

wesley ng casetify

4. Guilty not-so-green habit?

I’m an avid food delivery lover, but I try to order from places that use sustainable packaging.

5. Favourite eco product?

Casetify’s stainless steel water bottle!

6. Favourite veggie dish/ restaurant in Hong Kong?

Chinese kale (chow gai lan).

7. How do you integrate sustainability into your business and daily life?

I follow green accounts on social media, like @8shadesofficial!

8. What shade of green are you?


About Casetify

Founded in 2011, Casetify is a Hong Kong-based company that designs and produces phone cases and electronic accessories. It first featured custom phone cases by using Instagram photos and expanded to selling accessories with different designs. Check out their sustainable line of ultra compostable phone cases on casetify.com!

christian yan nanoleaf banner

8Shades of… Christian Yan, Co-founder of Nanoleaf

In the latest edition of “8Shades of…” – where we get up close and personal with new and known faces in the sustainability field – we caught up with Christian Yan, co-founder and COO of smart lighting company, Nanoleaf.

You might recognise Nanoleaf as our most recent giveaway sponsor for the 8Shades 8 Week Challenge – if you haven’t yet done the challenge, what are you waiting for? Sign up here!

We played a round of quick-fire questions with Christian – eight in total, get it? – so read on to find out why he’s an 8Shader, his best (and worst) eco-habits and his top lightbulb moment (pun intended).

8Shades of… Christian Yan of Nanoleaf

nanoleaf christian yan
Photo: Christian Yan, co-founder and COO of Nanoleaf
  1. In one sentence, tell us what you do?

I’m the co-founder of a smart lighting IoT company, Nanoleaf, and I’m responsible for what goes on in Asia.

2. Why are you an 8Shader? 

Because we all need to move in the right direction, starting with education and awareness. Every little thing counts and adds up, so that we can finally move the needle one day.

3. Your best green habit?

Consuming less meat since four years ago.

4. Guilty not-so-green habit?

Ordering takeout or delivery with plastic packaging.

5. Favourite eco product?

Impossible Meat.

6. Favourite veggie dish/restaurant?

Treehouse’s veggie ramen and beetroot hamburger.

7. What was your light bulb moment? (Pun intended) 

Realising that the world runs on maximising profit without having balance and understanding for the damage we do.

8. What shade of green are you ?

The shade that connects business economics sense together with sustainability. 

About Nanoleaf

Nanoleaf is a smart lighting and home solutions pioneer. Available in several shapes including triangles and hexagons, their smart lighting panels can speak to one another and be customised to fit any design. Energy efficient and cool, they can even respond to music, sound or beats – now, can your ordinary light bulb do that? Learn more at Nanoleaf.me

NEXT: Check out 8Shades of Veronica Chou, founder of sustainable clothing brand Everybody & Everyone

cocoparadise valerie chiu

Cocoparadise is turning guilty pleasures into guilt-free pleasures thanks to founder Valerie Chiu

Cocoparadise was championing healthy desserts before the healthy eating movement took off. Concepts like using natural ingredients and ditching refined sugars and preservatives have been part of the brand’s essence since the beginning, so Cocoparadise founder Valerie Chiu knows a thing or two about how to indulge guilt-free. Valerie shared with us her insights on how the healthy eating landscape has changed since the brand started in 2013, and where the health movement is going. 

valerie interview
Cocoparadise founder, Valerie Chiu


8Shades: What inspired you to start Cocoparadise?


Valerie Chiu: My journey started in university, in the UK. Like many students, I really cut loose- I drank a lot and generally didn’t take care of my body. When I came back to Hong Kong, I went for a health check up; when I did, I was told that I was overweight for my age and had fatty liver and that if I didn’t lose weight, I would need to be hospitalised. That was really the wake up call for me to start taking better care of myself. 

At the beginning, I didn’t know much about losing weight. I was working out, but I was eating pretty much just boiled chicken and broccoli and I realised that eating like that is not sustainable. Coincidentally, around that time, I met a trainer who offered to teach me more about nutrition. I learned that I can still eat the foods I want, it’s just about learning the right kinds of foods. I started avoiding processed foods and refined sugars and started eating more natural foods and it changed my life. I didn’t even know who I was, I started having more energy, getting to school on time and finishing my work. I thought, “this is amazing, I didn’t know I had this in me!” 

At the time (around 2013), nutrition and health in the UK was far more advanced than in Hong Kong- it was the norm. You could find gluten and dairy free stuff pretty easily, but it was different when I came back to Hong Kong. I found clean, healthy food, but it was all so bland! I have a massive sweet tooth, so I started making my own healthy snacks. I’m from Thailand so I decided to use coconuts in my treats, since it’s a staple food for us that’s also really healthy. 

I moved back to Hong Kong to pursue a business venture that I had started in university, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out, which made me question what I wanted to do with my life. To figure that out, I was going to a boxing gym, which had a cafe that I was always at. I gave them some of my recipes and one day, they invited me to do a pop up to showcase my snacks. When people started asking me about them, I wondered whether my passion could become a business. From there, I got orders for weddings and baby showers and started doing more pop ups! 

In the beginning, it was really difficult. At the time, a lot of people just didn’t understand what I was doing and I was relying purely on the taste of the products to move forward. What saved Cocoparadise was attaching my story to it, my personal health transformation. I posted a picture that I had been holding on to for maybe two years; I didn’t want people to think that it’s all about looks, it was more about how good I felt internally but people connected with the picture and they started believing in what I was doing. My mission is to prove that healthy food doesn’t have to suck, that it can be enjoyable. You don’t have to restrict yourself, you just need to be more aware. When you gain awareness, you start to have better control of your life. 

cocoparadise valerie chiu
Cocoparadise founder, Valerie Chiu


What would you say makes Cocoparadise unique in the dessert market? 


Generally, there’s a lot of junk in the dessert market. It’s difficult to find desserts that are satisfying, but have clean ingredients. I always work to ensure that the ingredient lists on the products are healthy and easy to understand – no gibberish! 

A lot of my products come from things that are missing in my diet. I’m lactose intolerant, but I love ice cream, so I’ve created a new line of vegan ice creams. There’s a lot of vegan ice creams out there, but what’s missing is that they don’t taste like ice cream- they’re not creamy and they don’t have the same texture as traditional ice cream. Also, if you read the ingredient lists on a lot of other vegan ice creams, they’re long and confusing. Ours are short and sweet- no fillers, everything is natural. This does mean that it has a shelf life of only three months, but you know that what you’re consuming is healthier.

With Coco Paradise, you can indulge yourself without the guilt that often comes with eating sweets, we take the “guilt” out of “guilty pleasures.” 

cocoparadise valerie chiu


How are you working to make Cocoparadise more sustainable and what are your personal sustainable ‘hacks’? 


Honestly, when I started the company, I wasn’t really thinking about sustainability, I just wanted to share my mission of helping people eat healthier. As I started to build the business and talk to more people, I then became a lot more aware of packaging and realised that I have a responsibility to make a positive change. 

It started with small things, the products used to be packed in plastic, but now they’re packaged in cardboard, and lined with plastic foiling. Cocoparadise is not a perfect company and I’m always working to be more mindful of its environmental impact. I’m slowly improving the packaging, but I’m also concerned about food waste. Right now, plastic helps to improve the shelf life of the products, which is especially important since I don’t use any preservatives; it’s tough to find packaging that is sustainable but extends the shelf life. So I’m working to use less plastic and we’ve cut back significantly on food waste.

Personally, one clear change for me is that now whenever I have the option, I usually go for vegan choices and eat plant-based. I started this business mainly because of my passion for cooking and my mission to inspire others to also live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle to really help educate others to be more conscious about their health and well-being. But it’s about time that we also understand that all of this is interrelated, and it’s time to give back to the world that has given us so much. I would say growing this business, I now know and understand how even the smallest decisions can make a huge impact, so it naturally plays a huge role in my personal life choices. 

cocoparadise valerie chiu
Source: Cocoparadise, supplied by Valerie Chiu


Cocoparadise was one of the first in Hong Kong to champion healthy desserts, what’s changed in the time you started up until now?


Health has proved not to be a passing trend. When I first started Cocoparadise, I was going to health shows in Bangkok to source ingredients. At first, there was a tiny corner dedicated to healthy items. Each year, the corner got bigger and bigger until it was a whole section of the show, which made me know I was on the right track! It also made me even more aware of ingredients and the suppliers I work with.

I think COVID really caused a shift in thinking about healthy eating and sustainability. When something affects you or your friends and family, you really wake up and become more mindful of your health. And when you take this journey, you don’t want to go back! I was really worried that COVID would affect Cocoparadise negatively because I obviously couldn’t do any pop ups, but I was so wrong. I started sharing my story more and people started to appreciate what I was doing even more because they understood the concept. 

cocoparadise vegan ice creams
Source: Cocoparadise, supplied by Valerie Chiu


What do you foresee as the future in clean eating?


Oh, I think it’s going to be the norm! It’s certainly already the norm in places like the UK, and while Asia is slow, it’s definitely catching up. More and more people are realising how important food is and when you start getting this awareness, you can change your life. 

Video: Veronica Chou applying material science to materialism

8Shaders, welcome to the first ever episode of 8ShadesTV! 

Since this is our very first episode, of course my inaugural guest is someone paramount in my own life but more importantly making footprints, not the carbon kind, in the sustainable fashion world.

Let’s be realistic here for a second, are we ever going to stop consuming? It will take a lot for our economy to change, so we are faced with finding ways to make sure our choices are making fewer footprints, of the bad kind. 

Everybody and Everyone’s favorite Veronica Chou – pun intended. Watch Veronica and I discussing sustainability in fashion right here.

In 2019, Veronica launched her first eco-innovative, sustainable, size inclusive and body positive womenswear, Everybody and Everyone. They offer sizes between 00-24 which aims to provide accessible, everyday clothing to make our hectic lives just that little bit simpler. Their designs are so versatile and can be worn in a variety of ways so that you can buy quality clothes that will last longer, ultimately buying less resulting in less waste, AKA slow fashion

Sustainability at the core of Everybody and Everyone

Take a scroll through our 8Shades Pick of the week and you will see Everybody and Everyone’s newly launched athletic wear (that you see us wearing here) which can biodegrade in landfill in just 3 years. Everybody and Everyone partners with EcoAlf for their signature dual-use puffer coat which is made from reclaimed ocean plastic bottles and recycled polyester. They also use material science to create pants that are made of sugar extracted from agriculture waste … sweet!

Their products are coated with PFOA/PFC free finishes and activated with recycled silver for odor control and anti-microbial property. This results in less laundry, less water wastage and fewer chores – phew! 

Another way they are eliminating waste is by using technology to visualize garments in 3D before producing them, eradicating the need to manufacture endless prototypes.

A brand this incredible of course has a cool charity collaboration and are working with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every product sold.  Everybody and Everyone are definitely a brand that we are supporting all the way.

8Shades of Veronica Chou

Aside from our hike, Veronica also took some time to answer our new “8Shadey questions”, designed to give you a more intimate peek into the lives of our featured guests!