With a heightened awareness of the fashion industry’s dirty not-so-secret secret and widespread embrace of the zero waste movement facilitated by social media, sustainability and eco-friendly credentials are no longer niche concerns – it is now everybody’s problem. Between the degradation of our natural environment and the excess at which we are buying, voting with your wallet has never been more important. This is a new age of consumer activism and it’s time to make your voice (and dollar) heard.
Conscious consumers now have a dedicated place to shop and feel good about how they spend. Womb, a new online platform that highlights ethical and sustainable products from independent brands has touched down in Hong Kong, stirring waves of change from and for people who care. Founded by Euro transplants Kasia Galak and Maria Grzywacz, the two co-founders left their contemporary art backgrounds behind to forge an e-commerce community of local and international eco-brands with mission-driven ethics. A serendipitous meeting while the two were working in Beijing’s bustling 798 Art District, the Polish-born pair decided to set roots in Hong Kong to embark on their new path. “We always wanted to do something that would make us feel that we are contributing to something that matters,” says Kasia. “Hong Kong was a natural choice for us because the market is much more open where we can have a thriving discussion on sustainability.”
Showcasing handpicked, mission-driven brands, the new startup can help you discover some of the best eco-friendly products on the market, from fashion to jewelry, homeware and activewear. Giving a voice to slow fashion, be it the sleek unisex cotton shirt from local apparel company, Cosmos Studio, which introduces a new sustainable dyeing technology called GiDelave, or Board Thing, a European brand that collects used and broken skateboard decks whittled down and given a second lease on life as wooden rings, biodegradable yoga mat brand Miamiko or 100% recycled paper stationary line Magdalena Tekieli, the year-old startup represents a carefully curated list of designers that are making beautiful things for consumers without harming or adding more waste to the planet. “We’re really interested in bringing foreign artists to Hong Kong and letting them grow here and also to provide a platform for Hong Kong based designers, who might not have developed their brand yet or are at the starting phase,” explains Maria. As their moniker suggests, Womb symbolically embraces a starting point of what the two are hoping to achieve. “It’s a place of nurturing and a place of growth, because we want these amazing designers and brands to grow and thrive.”
Looking to empower small businesses from all corners of the world in sustainable fashion, fair trade, and workers’ rights, Kasia and Maria will also look to include artists from less privileged countries to provide exposure and awareness. “The green wave is really rising in Hong Kong. People are getting more conscious and more interested in sustainable products and living,” says Maria. “We are trying to reach people who maybe aren’t ready to step down from consumption. They are still looking to buy things, and we want them to cover every part of their life consciously. Every product we source is gathered under the umbrella of sustainability and our goal is to get the clientele to start buying and consuming more consciously.”
Featuring over 20 ethical brands, Kasia and Maria are helping people identify brands that match their values – be it vegan, zero waste, complete manufacturing transparency and so on. It’s this community of likeminded consumers that will collectively push us in the right direction. We’ve reached a tipping point where change needs to happen. As a consumer, you have immense power with your spending. Womb seeks to raise awareness of these innovative businesses – where ecological fashion advocates and conscious consumers find brands with authentic values coincide with a fair economy – to be more readily available to shoppers. Support these companies that are contributing to a better future. They’re trying to be part of the solution.
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All images courtesy of Womb.