As global warming becomes more and more apparent, a greater number of people have started to make small switches in their everyday items. These can go a long way, not just in helping individuals become zero waste, but also by signalling to companies through our dollars that protecting the environment is an important value to consumers!
While most of our products in Hong Kong currently come in single-use plastics that pile up in landfills, there are a number of companies available that provide reusable, refillable, or biodegradable alternatives. For someone just starting on their green journey, here are some eco-friendly products you can find locally or online.
Fashion and accessories
Vipop is a Hong Kong-based sustainable fashion curator that sources resortwear, swimwear, dresses, and handcrafted jewelry from Latin American artisans.
Brands are carefully vetted through research and photographic evidence to ensure that they comply with one or multiple defined ethical fashion practices including local production and carbon neutrality. Vipop works with over 70 brands in Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, as well as international brands from the Netherlands and France that put sustainability at the forefront. These are primarily women-owned and employ single working mothers and members of marginalized communities in the local country.
From earrings made from upcycled Japanese glass to naturally dyed woven straw hats, swimsuits made from salvaged fishing nets and bags handwoven with ancient Colombian tribal techniques, they carry small batches of no more than 2-3 pieces of each product in their Central boutique, which is one-half sustainable clothing store and one-half Middle Eastern & Mediterranean luxury grocery store as well as being a hub for coffee and food (Artezano, 52-54 Graham St, Central).
Personal care products
For plant- and mineral-based products that are safe for you and kinder to the planet, check out Ecostore HK. From baby care to body care to home care, they have alternatives for many of your daily needs, inclusing various household items, laundry or dishwashes. Check out their amazing bar soaps, shampoos, and conditioners made in New Zealand with either FSC cardboard or sugar plastic packaging made from sugarcane. They also have 13 convenient refill locations in Hong Kong, as well as 11 stores where you can return Ecostore bottles for reuse.
Hong Kong-based brand Coconut Matter uses fair trade, organic virgin coconut oil as the base for many of their body and beauty products. Plastic-free, ethically made deodorant, body butter, body soap, and insect repellent are just some of the sustainable body care items that you can buy from this family-owned business. Find their products in O’Farm locations all over Hong Kong.
Another option is the well-loved Lush. With 9 stores across Hong Kong and Macau, you can always pop in and smell all their amazingly scented body care in mindful recyclable or compostable packaging. Whether you’re looking for bath bombs, body lotion, or dry shampoo made from simple, recognizable ingredients, you will surely find what you are looking for! As Lush is so well-known, they’re doing good work in helping make the journey towards plastic freedom smoother.
INUF (I Never Use Foundation) was founded in 2013 by Olivia Wong Chui and opened the doors of their brick and mortar store in Tsim Sha Tsui in 2015 (21/F Penthouse MW Plaza, 40 Kimberley Rd). It is a mindful and earth-conscious lifestyle brand that both collates organic brands from around the world and also creates their very own naturally-derived skincare products formulated to combat the effects of air pollution, which come in glass bottles or compostable materials with recycled paper labels.
For environmentally-friendly skincare and makeup, there is the online beauty boutique, Astrid Wylde. The Hong Kong-based online beauty boutique showcases a carefully curated selection of cruelty-free and luxurious clean beauty products. With vegan lipsticks from Axiology, organic cheek tints from Olio e Osso, and non-toxic nail paint from Sundays, this is a one-stop solution for all of your ecologically sound makeup needs.
Refillable makeup is another great way to reduce your plastic consumption, and Charlotte Tilbury offers a number of their products in refillable packaging. A number of their lip, brow, and bronzer products are built to withstand multiple refreshes, with refills available at in-person stores. For example, their Hot Lips 2 lipstick comes with collectable replenishable cases so that you only need one tube to try their 11 different shades.
You can find a number of plastic-free kitchen products at PureAll Solution. As a Hong Kong-based online store, they are on a mission to create long-term change with their bamboo lifestyle products while supporting local artisans and small companies. Their products always follow the ethos of sustainability, socio-economic well-being, natural raw-materials and plastic free packaging. Check out their bamboo plates and bowls, bamboo toothbrushes, or bamboo straws.
For another place to get long-term use daily reusables such as cutlery, mugs, and lunch bags made from earth-friendly materials, visit the ECO Concepts online store. They show clear, extensive research behind the materials they use to create high quality reusables. While they specialized in customization for companies wanting to release branded merchandise, you can also get one-offs for your own home!
For everything bamboo, check out Bamboa Home. Bamboo not only releases 35% more oxygen than trees, it also matures in just 5 years compared to 30-40 years for trees, making it a great alternative for many of our day-to-day products. Bamboa makes the majority of their home products with this incredible sustainable resource – think toothbrushes, flasks, and even sleeping masks and bedsheets crafted from bamboo silk – there is a sustainable option for all your lifestyle needs. Visit them online or at their store in PMQ (S304, Tower A, 35 Aberdeen St).
Lantau Island-based store Tong Fuker emphasizes the marriage of functionality and comfort with sustainable materials to reduce the amount of waste going into the ocean. Check out their biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes that can be personalized with your name and their multifunctional reusable facial rounds.
For all your bedding needs, there is Okooko by European Bedding. Besides being designed to be great for your back pain, their mattresses are also sourced from carbon-neutral certified suppliers. They use organic natural latex, along with other sustainable materials to ensure their impact on the planet is minimal.
A little bit of everything!
For a one-stop-shop for all your eco-friendly needs, you just need to visit Slowood. Hong Kong’s biggest eco store, with locations across Kennedy Town, Discovery Bay, and Sha Tin, Slowood is primarily a grocery store but they have a number of things to help you along your green journey. Their bulk food and refill stations include not just food, but also household basics like soap and laundry detergent. You can also find a number of personal care, beauty, and home products and if you’re lucky, you can spot some of their really cute food containers and vases.
An awesome zero waste-focused company is Live Zero, which has physical shops in Sai Ying Pun (33 High St) and Sai Kung (22 Yi Chun St). They store bulk food items ranging from coffee to candies to cereals. And they offer completely plastic-free home goods, such as cloth wipes, sponges, brushes, and candles. You can also find a number of essential reusable items including produce bags, lunch boxes, beeswax food wraps and coffee cups – all to help you ensure you’re sustainable on the go!
Finally, there is the online store, Delightfully Green, where they aim to be environmentally-friendly, healthy, and easy on the wallet. They have an eclectic assortment of products, including toothbrushes, masks, facial care, and upcycled clothes – you never know what you may find! They also have their Facebook community dedicated to sharing DIYs, tips, and news about how to start living a healthy, delightfully green life.
Header image credits: Anna Oliinyk via Unsplash