This week at #legend is all about sustainability. It’s a hot topic these days, and with so much information out there it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve already sifted through some of the noise by featuring amazing eco-leaders like Tamsin Thornburrow from Live Zero, who offered her top five tips on reducing waste, Claire Yates from The Lion Rock Press spoke about why she made her business more sustainable and Yenn Wong from JIA Group talked about how she and her team are handling the biggest challenges in the hospitality industry.
The work that they’re doing is important and inspirational, but they can only do it with the support of loyal customers. Money talks, and it’s the most powerful tool we have to make a change. So, if you want to dip a toe into the eco-friendly waters and help make a difference, put your money where your ethics are and start locally by supporting these Hong Kong shops.
This was the first local, sustainable company I ever bought from in Hong Kong – and I still love them. A family run small business, Plastic Free Hong Kong was created in 2016 when the founders became aware of just how much they were throwing away. They wanted a better solution than just recycling; they wanted organic products that would last for ages and degrade naturally. Not finding anything that suited their needs, they saw a gap in the market and Plastic Free Hong Kong was born! All of the products they sell through their online shop are beautiful, minimalist and low-waste. They have a wealth of items to choose from, everything from baby bottles to pet products, children’s toys and even home décor. They even carry single-use plates, bowls and cutlery made from palm leaf and wood.
Hong Kong’s first zero-waste store, it’s impossible to not get excited about sustainable living at this Pinterest-perfect bulk-buy shop. The shelves are lined with help-yourself dry groceries, soaps, cleaners and oils. Just bring in your own container, take as much as you need, weigh it and pay. It’s so simple, and it helps cut down on unused goods. While the soaps and detergents can get a bit pricey, the dry goods are really affordable. It’s my go-to for things like Argan oil, olive oil, spices and matcha powder. They also have Taboocha kombucha on tap, as well as freshly made almond milk delivered weekly. Of course, there are non-perishables as well, like stainless steel straws, water bottles, lunch boxes, reusable cotton face pads and just about anything else you can think of. Check online to see their list of currently stocked bulk food, as it changes often!
Live Zero Bulk Foods, 24 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
No, this isn’t a brand you haven’t heard of – it’s a product. But, luckily for us in Hong Kong, it’s one that’s produced locally and in abundance. Wing Wo Bee Farm, Po Sang Yuen Bee Farm and Bee’s Nest are three local producers that deserve your attention for a few reasons. First and foremost: honey is delicious. It’s also a healthier sweetener than sugar and when you buy local honey, it may help relieve common allergy symptoms. And oh yea – the bees are dying, and it’s a huge crisis. The global populations are being decimated, dropping off at a rate of almost 30 per cent per year. Bees are one of Earth’s main pollinators, and without them, we’re in big trouble. A great way to help is to support local colonies by buying their honey. If you want to know more, check out our article on the best honey makers in Hong Kong.
I swear by this deodorant. Made right here in Hong Kong by Anita Patel and Sheetal Avlani, it gets its name from being 100 per cent effective with zero chemicals. It’s the city’s first all-natural deodorant, free from aluminum compounds, parabens, silica or phthalates . I can vouch for it being tough enough for Hong Kong’s horrible humidity, but it's also gentle enough for children and even breastfeeding mothers to use. Opt for a metal or glass container for easy recycling and repurposing. Also, it’s vegan friendly and cruelty free!
Leaving their contemporary art-careers behind, founders Kasia Galak and Maria Grzywacz support artists and designers with integrity, bringing eclectic products together under one roof. They describe their shop as an “umbrella brand for ecological, ethical and vegan designs.” All the products you’ll find on their site have been created with intent and intended to last, while looking beautiful of course. A quick Instagram stalk gives you an idea of their chic minimalist aesthetic, and a glimpse at some of the ethical items they offer, like Studio Jolene Jolene! cardholders made from up-cycled plastic bags, BoardThing rings made from old skateboards, SQWISHFUL cellulose-based kitchen sponges and gorgeous linen kaftans from LYKO to name a few. Check them out online or catch them in person at a local pop-up.