The pandemic and the economic downturn is possibly the most discussed topic as of late. Very rarely, the world seems to have been put to a halt. Big global businesses such as J.Crew, Dean & Deluca, J.C Penny, Neiman Marcus and Virgin Australia have since declared bankruptcy. Small businesses that fold, will often go unmentioned and unnoticed, without the financial cushion to weather a major drop in sales, they are even more vulnerable. We wanted to help out our fellow Hong Kong entrepreneurs and list out some of our favourite local (and mostly sustainable!) businesses that you should totally check out (sorry if we couldn’t name every business here and we are certain we missed a whole load of our fav’s out). Vote with your wallet so that when this pandemic is over, the brands that you love and wish to see in your near future, are still serving you! Read on for things you can do to support these businesses and our favourite indie #SmallButSignificant brands.
FOOD & DRINK
Kind Kitchen by Green Common
Vegan dining by Green Common, this is your lunch or dinner option. They don’t just serve raw food here and provide the yummiest vegan ‘meat’.
Mana! Fast Slow Food
Plant-based, raw and organic. Mana’s wraps can’t get anymore planet-friendly. You won’t be able to find a trace of plastic at their stores! And the best part? They serve the best wraps at a reasonable price!
One of the most popular dining spots for the creative crowd in Hong Kong. Yardbird absolutely nails Yakitori and other Japanese delights such as yuba gyoza and furikake rick cake. And you can’t beat the friendly atmosphere and a sense of community at the restaurant!
Your go-to place for a fresh, healthy and organic salad. All ingredients are sourced from… you guessed it…local farmers! So you’re not just helping the business owners but also our very own 852 farmers!
Live Zero HK
Just like any grocery stores, but without all the plastic nonsense. Get your packaging-free ingredients here (including bottle-free body care products!). Kickstart your eco-friendly lifestyle here with their reusable products such as their reusable bee-wax cling film and collapsible silicone cup.
Confusion Plant-Based Kitchen
A careful marriage between veggie food and tastebuds excitement — these guys don’t fool around when prepping plant-based Asian food. We’re talking about Sichuan Mopo Tofu and Dal Chawal! Perfect for anyone who’s looking for a mouthful of flavours!
This unique cultural spot brings forth African sustainably sourced and directly traded product. ACT says that Africa is “the birthplace of coffee” and serves a variety of African dishes to go with the iconic beverage. The space is private, intimate and cozy – perfect for a relaxing drink or a social lunch.
A plastic-free, cruelty-free, vegan and fair-traded beauty brand. All their products come in an easily recyclable cardboard tubes/boxes, so no more tubes upon tubes of product-contaminated plastic bottles. And also, they are full of coconut goodness as all their products’ prime ingredient if virgin coconut oil. Get your earth-friendly deodorant and lip balm from them now!
A retailing platform consisted of sustainable and ethical brands — from clothing to homeware and cosmetics, they have them all. Every brand they represent is closely vetted and proven to be cruelty-free, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the wrong products!
Created with the intention to gift sustainably and stylishly, Get.Give’s selections of gift sets, home decor and grooming kit are all sourced from eco-friendly brands and wrapped beautifully in a wooden crate — so you can repurpose it according to your liking.
Plastic Free HK
From nail varnish to steel straw, this is your one-stop-shop for a sustainable lifestyle. Based in Hong Kong, but they ship internationally. Scroll on their IG feed to get a daily dose of Sunday at-home-with-the-kids activities inspiration!
Open Mommies hopes to provide women with the tools, resources and connections necessary to support their healing and long-term wellbeing. They offer various classes taught by health and wellness experts, believing that nothing is ever too taboo to talk about. Classes are taught online and offline, either one-on-one or group.
Although your summer plans have probably been put on halt due to current craziness, Compare Retreats has you covered, providing a platform through which to discover the best luxury wellness retreats in the world. Start planning ahead of time to get you in the summer spirit or discover Hong Kong based options for a much needed staycation. At all different price points, there is something for everyone!
WELL, Magazine has created a platform where life is unfiltered. They believe complete authenticity is often masked in our day and age and thus celebrate raw conversations. Through their site you will find a large range of lifestyle topics, discussions and reviews– the most honest you will find!
Similar to HULA’s business model, but Retykle focuses on kids and maternity clothing. If you’re a mother-in-training, Retykle is your new best friend. Say bye-bye to mountains of outgrown baby clothes and no more worrying about buying expensive designer baby and kids clothing as Retykle offer up to 90% off retail prices. They also host fun stitch and sew session with Make & Do HK!
Kids Dress Smart
Preloved luxury childrenswear, their pieces are up to 95% off their original retail prices. Best part? Up to 60% of sales go to charity for children in need. Shop online for their too-good-to-be-true bargain pieces!
Made from the finest muslin fabric sourced ethically from India, its luxury baby quilts, swaddles and blankets aren’t the only thing that makes them desirable. Malabar Baby has also gained the seal of approval by the British Royal Family when Meghan, Duchess of Sussex was spotted using its famous swaddle for Baby Archie.
Luxury childrenswear brand opened its first-ever flagship store in the heart of Hong Kong — Causeway Bay just a few years ago. Designed in Hong Kong, their pieces are timeless and famous for its beautiful hand-dyed, block printed and hand embroidery look.
After years of research Unit Bricks have produced 100% sustainably made building bricks for children. These gender neutral, multi-sensory toys are great to assist in your children’s creative pursuits allowing them to get creative with different shapes and sizes.
FASHION & ACCESSORIES
We Eat Avacado Toast or WEAT does not actually sell avocado toast, instead, it’s a brand built by two best friends dreaming up feminine, fun and fashion-forward handbags. Check them out for their cup noodle-esque key chains!
Ethos brings you a minimalist two in one concept store focused around contemporary culture and comfortable living. Amazing quality apparel, cuisine, publications, interior goods and events are all found within this unique space.
This Hong Kong owned, community focused brand proudly uses sustainable materials. Their garments range from sexy and simply basics (as the name states) to edgy graphic tees to stunning summer sun-dresses. Basics for Basics believes in creating a minimal carbon footprint whilst offering effortless and cute pieces.
Jemocracy delivers on unapologetic jewelry pieces with tons of attitude. The founders are ex-corporate women who wanted to bring high-quality jewelry with funky styles at accessible price-points. Great for a timeless pair of stud earrings or a funky statement necklace.
Women’s activewear and yoga gear. Not only do they design the most timeless and practical activewear that makes you look good AND feel good, but they are also committed to making the world a greener place by only using biodegradable packaging.
A Parisian fashion house designing exquisite leather goods inspired by the arts and travel. Their impeccable craftsmanship embodies that effortless French style we all strive for. They make female and male bags and accessories so there’s something for everyone!
A brand with a similar ethos to our own, The R Collective’s mission is to minimise waste and pollution through sustainable fashion. They rescue textiles from leading luxury brands, upcycling it to create some timeless staple pieces.
Cynthia & Xiao is a knitwear label designing garments with bold and colourful graphic patterns enhancing basic silhouettes. They hope to bring joy and excitement to their customers through their unique pieces.
Have a party coming up with nothing to wear? Not enough money in the bank for a new outfit? Yeechoo has you covered– they are a designer rental company holding garments from some of the best in the industry. A fabulous concept, especially for those who don’t like to be seen in the same dress twice!
Cosmos is a conscious fashion brand with an eco-minimalist approach. They manufacture casual staples great for everyday wear. Their Bootle Tee is made from 9 recycled plastic bottles and bamboo and the dying process uses NO water and creates NO waste!
If you are in the market for some new sunnies to combat the sun this summer, Paper Shades brings you a sustainable alternative made from 100% recycled paper. If you can’t find the style you are looking for check out their customising option to curate a pair perfect for you!
With a goal to bring “future classics” to Hong Kong, Kapok offers a stunning selection of unpretentious and expertly curated womenswear, menswear, accessories, beauty and other lifestyle products. Visit their stores in PMQ, K-11 Musea and Wanchai – or check out their visually inspiring website.
Want performance work-out gear that also has a unique flair and is local? Caelum Green is a multi-brand active-wear community-minded retailer that has a keen sense of sustainable practices. If you want to be part of a company that values effort into the environment and has general good energy – check them out!
Made with natural and recycled materials, Lane Eight’s shoes are designed for everyday athletes. Their soles are made from a trademarked material Bloom (TM) Algae, which is extracted from algae that have been causing water pollution problems due to massive algal blooms.
Hong Kong fashion designers have a unique perspective when it comes to style. Sau Lee has taken her city as inspiration and consistently delivers feminine and sexy pieces (mostly gorgeous dresses). Her pieces are perfect for date-night, events or just any-time you want to feel a little more glam.
Emma Wallace infuses nostalgia, culture and elegance into every piece. These ready-to-wear garments are funky, yet refined and are full of unique silhouettes and prints. Emma Wallace pieces are a true breath of fresh air.
Their motto is “treading lightly on the earth”, niin is committed to create earth-friendly jewellery that is responsible, ethical and environmentally-friendly from the very first step in the supply chain. Perfect for enhancing one’s natural beauty, Niin’s pieces are minimalistic and raw.
Ethically sourced leather with original works of art on them? Yes please! Memeraki works with artists to create unique and elegant portable art pieces. You can truly tell there is pure soul in each and every piece as the brand aims to revive traditional Indian folk art. They even have striking hand-painted wooden clutches that are absolutely delicious.
A.C.F. utilizes dead-stock fabrics to sustainably craft genderless, effortless garments. These ready-to-wear pieces have unique colour-palettes and have a model-off-duty essence. This Hong Kong brand is perfect for every-day pieces for work or play!
Design “for a 25-hour lifestyle” is an understatement as PHVLO utilizes practical and edgy garments with dedication to sustainability. Technical fabrics and unique collaborations make PHVLO always on the cutting edge of fashion.
Waiting in anticipation for your next holiday? Check out Beam Bold for stunning, sustainable resort wear for women and girls, made to size if pre-ordered. Their bold colours and lightweight fabrics make for versatile and timeless garments perfect for any holiday in the sun!
Guilt-free trainers made from up cycled materials such as recycled leather and plastic! Check out Lacess for a minimalistic, chic pair of shoes great to dress up or wear casually. ALSO, a portion of their proceeds to Compassion First, a charity helping tackle human trafficking- so when I say guilt-free, these truly are.
Novel Fineries creates decadent wearable art pieces. They hope to revive double-sided embroidery, a declining art form in Chinese culture. They are known for their handmade pocket square art in the style of butterflies and if you have an eye for art, these stunning heritage pieces are definitely worth the investment!
Anthea Cooper jewellery is designed for nature-loving, travel junkies. Handcrafted in India, her pieces use semi-precious stones and precious metals. Anthea hopes to inspire women to have fun with what they wear through her stunning statement pieces.
Sempimimi is a jewellery brand exuding glamour. They believe glamour shouldn’t be limited to special occasions instead preaching that we should feel glam everyday. Teaming with Indian-based craftsman to create stunning statement pieces, Sempimimi produces some beautiful bits you will definitely want to get your hands on!
Inspired by wild, natural flowers and foliage, Floristry offers a fresh, modern approach to floral design in Hong Kong. Discover their contemporary edit of handcrafted bouquets, flower jars and lifestyle products online and with a seasonal selection of bunches using the very best flowers and foliage.
The Flower People offer a seasonal selection of premium, beautiful and uncommon fresh flowers that have been thoughtfully selected and sourced from local & international eco-certified farms and regional suppliers. Their goal is to have zero waste and sustainable options, The Flower People hand deliver on Fridays to consolidate their orders and reduce petrol emissions.
Bydeau are dedicated to making gifting greener, starting with its packaging – its one-of-a-kind flower arrangements and gift boxes are wrapped in recyclable materials, such as linens, corrugated cardboard and wooden keepsake containers. Subscription orders come with vases that are picked up and reused every time. In terms of produce, the studio has reduced its waste by not storing stock, so there are no leftover stems to throw away at the end of the season.
Having trained under the likes of Alexander Macqueen and Christopher Bailey, Hayden Blest has infused her knowledge of fashion, set design and floristry to design impressive botanical installations for events and sets. Scroll through her colourful instagram for some serious eye candy!
HAIR & BEAUTY
Sponge is a beauty-on-the-go app. Created for the modern woman, Sponge is suitable for all whether it be a socialite, mother or career woman. Sponge is an on-demand hair and makeup service that comes right to the home, event space, hotel or office. With a few clicks on the website, gosponge.com, and a look through categories, an appointment is booked at a range of affordable prices depending on the intricacy of what the client wants.
Situated in the heart of Wong Chuk Hang, l’Atelier Guilaine Rabault reflects a unique identity for women looking for an exclusive and pampered moment for their hair. In her new space, in the heart of the hip and artsy neighbourhood of Aberdeen, you can find a carefully curated representation of her passion for hair, fashion, decoration and jewellery. Guilaine is an entrepreneur at heart, passionate about travelling, nature and wellbeing while looking always after the planet. Professional, joyful and friendly, she created a space that embodies her unique joie de vivre.
Founded by Lana Zinovieva is a beauty service with the mission to embrace natural beauty and individual style, including makeup services, hair styling and eyebrow tinting.
Hoping to inspire and reassure women through promoting natural beauty, RARE SkinFuel offers a variety of Australian-made skincare products, manufactured in limited quantities to ensure the utmost quality. Wanting to help women gain confidence as they age; Founder, Michelle Chan, believes that “true confidence comes from bare beauty”.
Equal, ethical and ecological- outlines the main aims of luxury skincare and wellness brand Purearth. Their ingredients are sourced from the World’s highest peaks helping create artisanal skincare products. They also have a social initiative channeling proceeds through their very own charitable foundation.
INUF, a.k.a “I Never Use Foundation”, is a cruelty-free skincare brand using all natural ingredients free from harmful chemicals. They promote a minimalist, easy-to-use, skincare regime to accommodate your individual skin-type needs.
That time of the month is something none of us look forward to, however, LUÜNA naturals are hoping to make periods better…what more could you want! They produce a variety of organic pads and tampons as well as Period Cups, promoting period goods which are not only better for our bodies but better for the environment as well.
Multi-award winning spa Sense of Touch offers an array of services in 6 different locations spread through Hong Kong. If you need some me-time, look no further and book to enjoy a luxe massage, facial, wax or any other service your heart desires.
Located on the infamous Hollywood Road, Moksa is a brand new spa offering a chance to slow down amongst the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. For ultimate relaxation, book in for a 60 minute spa massage catering to your individual needs or check out their juice bar for a wellness kick after a hectic weekend.
Open since 2005, Flex is a deluxe fitness studio located on the Southside of Hong Kong and in Central. Their clients range from marathon runners to children to everyone in between with the aim of addressing individual needs. If you are in need of some Pilates, Yoga, Barre or an all round sweat-sesh check out Flex for group and private training!
Asia’s only BarreAmped studio offers you with the most qualified trainers in the business bringing you Barre classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training. They hope to enrich your life through fitness whilst burning your booty at the same time!
A cosy neighbourhood yoga studio located in Soho, Kita offers a great way to wind down after a busy day of work. They welcome yogi’s of all levels, even those who think that they are totally unbendy, hoping to alter your way of life both on and off of the mat for the better.
At HIT 45 expect to be welcomed by inspirational instructors passionate about their job. This is the place to go if you are looking to give your all in a quick, 45-minute class to burn fat, tone muscle, and build strength. Each session is a hybrid of endurance and speed treadmill training and weights hoping to improve overall mental and physical wellbeing.
At H-Kore don’t expect your average exercise class. All classes incorporate elements of their Strengthen, Stretch and Sweat philosophy guaranteeing overall invigoration. MegaKore incorporates an extra large pilates-style reformer which will strengthen and tone your whole body leaving you sore for days. If you are new to H-Kore check out their Basics class to get you started.
Coastal fitness is a community driven strength and conditioning facility based in North Point founded by brothers Ant and Ed Haynes. If you are looking to improve overall fitness, build muscle or compete in a crossfit environment this is the place for you! The team is made up of the very best in the industry helping you reach your full potential one rep at a time.
If exercise isn’t something you crave but partying is in your blood, The Flye Experience is for you. They offer an immersive fitness experience blurring the lines between exercise and a Friday night in Lan Kwai Fong. Their classes will not only improve overall fitness but have a profoundly positive impact on mental health and stress relief, promising great tunes and a fun time!
Beginning their journey in Bali, urban wellness concept Five Elements Habitat opened its doors last summer in Causeway Bay. A multi-award winning wellness and lifestyle company offering plant-based cuisine and 20 sacred classes a day including yoga, mindfulness, tea, sound, movement and core. The beautiful, calming studio brings their traditional Bali retreat right to your doorstep.
PHOTOGRAPHERS AND CREATIVES
Daniel Murray gave up the corporate world to follow his creative side as a photographer. His stunning portraits capture a diverse array of clients in an honest setting uncovering Hong Kong beyond it’s stringent financial reputation.
Berton Chang is an independent freelance Hong Kong-based photographer with a diverse range of expertise shooting portraits, still life, interiors and wildlife. The majority of his work is in portraits and corporate photography, shooting for well-renowned businesses such as the SCMP and Financial Times.
Denise Pontak is a photographer specialising in family portraits, children’s portraits, profile photos and events. Her family shots will make you feel warm inside capturing priceless memories, great for the years to come when your little one’s grow up and fancy a trip down memory lane.
Julia specialises in pre and post-natal photography capturing the true essence of family and love. Shoots take place from the comfort of her at-home studio or another location of your choice (including your own home). When shooting from her home she wants to make her clients feel as comfortable as possible, welcoming them with baked goods and refreshments– what more could you want!
My Camera My Rules
Introducing rebel meets rebel, a.k.a the mastermind behind the lens Nicolene Aagesen. Breaking the rules of Hong Kong’s fashion photography her images represent sexy individuals in a raw and unedited manner standing out from the mundane! Scroll through her instagram to see some of her work.
Having worked with people across the globe, Adele Leung has styled an impressive array of clients. Her mastery does not stop there, as well as styling you will find Adele doing nearly everything– from producing, to photography, to writing and more, she is a woman of many talents!
Brigita, a.k.a The Style Pheonix, aims to help women look and feel their very best. Having been in the industry for over 17 years, she certainly knows a thing or two about what to wear! Her services include wardrobe revival, personal shopping and styling accommodating her clients needs no matter what.
If you are looking for a VIP shopping experience Carla is the lovely lady to go to. Her impressive contacts ensure a luxe shopping experience at hundreds of locations around Hong Kong catering to every single wish of her client.
As a professionally trained personal stylist and interior designer, Moushimi Khara has recently merged her expertise together to blossom into A Lifestyle Editor; your one stop shop to bespoke personal styling and home styling. Her creativity, passion and eye for detail will dazzle you!