Italian eco fashion brand Save The Duck has just opened its doors in Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui’s K11 Musea mall, debuting to the city their animal-free and sustainable outerwear collection. While the brand is established across Europe and North America with multiple locations in 33 countries, this is their first boutique shop in Asia. This comes as the sustainable and cruelty-free fashion industry has experienced an increase in popularity in the Asian region. The brand hopes that their entrance into the Asian market will make eco-friendly and ethical fashion a mainstream trend in regional shopping malls.
Save The Duck is an Italian fashion brand offering a collection of sustainable and 100% animal-free outerwear. Founded in 2011 by Nicolas Bargi, who was motivated by his passion for animals and the environment, the goal of the brand is to save the millions of ducks, gulls and seabirds who suffer cruel live-plucking practices to make garments such as down jackets. In addition to being feather free, Save The Duck is also 100% free from any animal-derived materials, such as leather or fur.
In place of animal-derived materials like goose down, Save The Duck uses PLUMTECH, a padding material they have developed using nylon. In contrast to polyester wadding used in conventional animal-free jackets, the garments by the brand are able to mimic the lightweight, thermal and breathable properties of animal feathers.
While animal feathers are touted for their unique properties, the down industry is mired by cruelty and a lack of traceability. Over 80% of the world’s down comes from China and it is an uphill battle for manufacturers to get an accurate picture of animal welfare practices because the trade is so opaque.
Commenting on their launch in Asia in Hong Kong, Bargi said: “We are looking to increase our presence in the Asian market. Our first boutique in Hong Kong will be a bridge between Europe and Asia and an opportunity for Save The Duck to tell its unique story.”
The brand likely to resonate with modern consumers in Asia who are becoming more attuned to planetary and ethical issues in fashion. Realising the environmental impact of mainstream fast fashion, consumers (especially younger buyers in Asia and globally) are more attracted to purpose-driven businesses that are animal cruelty-free and engage with sustainability.
The statistics back this trend. For example, the Chinese rental, sharing and resale fashion market is set to take over 20% of the country’s GDP by 2025. There has also been an uptick in used clothing bins in a number of regional retailers, like PUMA who have partnered with textile recycling company The Billie System. Recently, the 2019 Hong Kong Fashion Summit saw the unveiling of a US$60 million Fashion For Good fund to encourage the development of sustainable supply chains in Southeast Asia.
Sustainable and ethical fashion is also a global phenomenon. United Kingdom apparel startup Vollebak, who just launched a compostable Plant & Algae t-shirt line, already has a long waiting list of eco-minded customers since its launch last month. Consumers also care about ethics, which has prompted a proliferation in the number of vegan-friendly and cruelty-free items on the market, such as Dr. Marten vegan boots, which has seen a 279% growth in sales since 2017.
Lead image courtesy of Save The Duck.