Second-hand shopping is second to none

Dear Shoppers,

Please make second-hand your first choice.

With gratitude,

The Planet (and Your Wallet.)

Hongkongers’ shopping habits are among the unhealthiest in the world: our reliance on buying more and buying new takes a huge toll on the environment. Each day, 293 tonnes of textiles end up in our landfills. Insert second-hand shopping: a fantastic way to satiate our shopaholic urges without inflicting more environmental harm.

Although Hong Kong is famed as a shopping paradise, did you know that our city also provides unparalleled opportunities to shop second-hand without sacrificing style or quality? 


Source: Hula

I LOVE IT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE PAYS FULL PRICE FIRST

The first store we want to spotlight is Hula, a female-founded marketplace that sells pre-loved designer womenswear and luxury goods. Hula revolutionizes the idea of a dusty and unstylish second-hand market. At Hula, you will find snazzy brand-name pieces (think Valentino, Chanel, Celine, Dior, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton) at bargain prices of up to 95% off retail. You can shop Hula’s curated collection online, or visit their boutique store in Central to see their unbelievable finds in person. We also love Hula because it has pledged 5% of their profits to local charities.


Source: Retykle

I’M NOT A REGULAR MUM. I’M A COOL MUM

RETYKLE is an online marketplace for parents to buy designer children’s clothing at greatly reduced prices. Retykle was founded by a #momtrepeneur who realized that she had amassed a ton of unworn or barely worn babywear, childrenswear, and even maternity-wear. Given that babies speed through a whopping seven sizes of clothing in the first two years of their lives, Retykle is on a mission to keep these outgrown clothes out of landfills. 


Source: Luxford

SHOPAHOLICS: CONSIGN YOUR FATE HERE

Second-hand shopping is not just a one-way street. Even the best shoppers make mistakes: many of us own designer pieces that lie idly in our closet, many with price tags still attached. Missed the deadline to return your items? Luxford (aka affordable luxury) is a virtual marketplace that sells and consigns authenticated luxury menswear and womenswear garments and accessories. At Luxford, you can sell and extend the life cycle for your own luxury goods. Talk about a win-win. 

Additionally, check out Green Ladies, a consignment store in Wan Chai where you can both spice up or clean out your wardrobe. The company is committed to empowering middle-aged women to re-enter the workforce with confidence and style. 

Watch: 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!

Fashion Faux Pas 101

Fast fashion is a relatively novel concept to humankind; generations before us searched far and wide for unique pieces boasting opulent fabrics that were guaranteed to stand the test of time. Today, the fashion industry is fundamentally split into two: designer versus high street. And while the former is certainly no angel, the sheer pace by which high street fashion is produced is comparably more worrisome, often bringing with it questions about cheap, often unfair labour and environmentally detrimental processes.

When it comes to fashion waste, we must think of land, sea and sky: our landfills are inundated with unwanted garments that take centuries to break down; our waters have become contaminated with synthetic textile dyes and marine life is affected by microfibres; and our air is increasingly filled with CO2 emissions from garments, with polyester being the most glaring of offenders.

A change in attitude needs to follow, stat! We need to slow down and acknowledge the repercussions of fast fashion. Try shopping your own closet, buying pre-loved items, saving for fewer, higher quality pieces, borrow or swap items with friends, and always make sure to donate unwanted clothing to reputable sources. Turn your attention to biodegradable fashion, which uses environmentally-friendly dyes and sustainable fabrics that decompose naturally far quicker.

Green washing

If this is the first time you hear this word – Greenwashing.  This is what it means.  Typically, cultural movements ebb and flow and likewise, trends come and go. But as we have experienced our climate self-destruct before our eyes, our short and long-term commitments have transformed. Sustainability is not just as a fun fad, a temporary trend, a momentary movement. It’s become a lifestyle, one that we actively pursue in the hopes of a greener tomorrow.

Seeing how consumers have taken a greater interest in sustainability, many companies have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon to preserve their competitive edge. But remember, no company can simply become sustainable overnight. It takes time, resources, and creativity to truly re-purpose a company’s values, and integrate sustainability into its supply chain. Some brands haven’t put in the work. Instead, they are engaging in greenwashing: a marketing strategy to mislead customers into believing that their products or services are environmentally friendly. Usually this occurs when brands advertise their products as “organic”, “eco-friendly”, “recyclable”, “sustainable” without any proven basis for doing so.

As consumers, we have the collective power to determine the production choices for our economy. Essentially, we can vote with our dollars. However, greenwashing makes that difficult. While social media has helped raised critical awareness about environmental issues, it has also blurred the lines between reality, fantasy and marketing. When bombarded with endless advertisements of the newest, most sustainable product, the consumer’s

Greenwashing comes in many forms.

Here are 8 Shades top ten tips that you can look out for when spending your hard-earned dollars:  

  1. When you encounter an awesome “green” label or claim, spend a couple minutes to look for actual certifications or proven facts.
  2. Educate yourself on what these labels mean, and what responsibilities and requirements they entail in order for a company to use them.
  3. Look at whether the company has actually integrated sustainability into their wider supply chain through company policies or corporate governance. Maybe go on the company’s website and look at what their mission statement pledges are!
    1. For example, not only does Patagonia produce sustainable clothing, it is committed to environmental solutions at all levels of its company. Illustratively, it offers incentives to employees who take public transportation or carpool to work.
  4. Recognize that smaller brands may not have the resources to transform their products line to become entirely green overnight. Nonetheless, see if these brands value transparency and are still making good faith attempts to make change.
    1. Maybe one way to measure their progress is to see how much they are supporting their local communities!
  5. Support local brands! By virtue of having a limited supply chain, local brands have smaller carbon footprints.
    1. These are some local Hong Kong brands that we would like to spotlight:
  6. Demand sustainability from your favourite brands as a consumer!
  7. When you come across an amazing green product, promote it among your family, friends, and colleagues.
  8. Research about what types of companies are more likely to engage in green washing. For instance, recognize how the fast fashion industry, and the thousands of influencers who actively support it, often use green marketing to be trendy.
    1. For more about the fast fashion frenzy, click here….

Fast fashion

We often hear about how our food habits, disposable plastic use, and flying overseas hurt the environment. Glaringly absent from this narrative is the impact of our fashion choices. Did you know that the fashion industry produces 10% of all of humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply?

Fast fashion is typically defined as low-cost and trendy clothing that’s easier, quicker and cheaper to make. Just as its name implies: it’s fast: the rate of production and delivery is fast; the customer’s decision to purchase is fast; and because the garments degrade quicky, they are thrown away fast. In online shopping of expedited delivery,

Certainly, fast fashion has made clothes more affordable. Buying cheap clothing is also tempting: it gives everyday shoppers a proxy to luxury brands and catwalk trends, and a way to dress like our favorite influencers. But fast fashion comes at tremendous environmental costs that are not reflected in the price tags we see. Consider how 85% of all textiles are dumped each year, filling our oceans with hundreds of thousands of bits of microplastics that are toxic to plant and animal life. Moreover, be mindful that speedy supply chains often involve underpaid and sometimes underage workers who work in unsafe factory conditions.

Perhaps these hidden costs may make us pause before our next purchase.