Cover Trina Liang-Lin

Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Decked in Louis Vuitton’s latest eco-friendly accessories, sustainability warrior Trina Liang-Lin shares how a string of small steps can eventually lead to a better tomorrow

According to a 2020 report by the Global Fashion Agenda, the fashion industry’s emissions are predicted to increase by 2.7 billion tonnes year-on-year by 2030.

This report—amongst other developments—has triggered a seismic shift in the industry, resulting in a number of fashion brands making significant commitments to reduce their environmental impact. One of the brands that is clearly walking the eco talk is Louis Vuitton.

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For the past few years, the French maison has taken important steps to eliminate all single-use plastic in its packaging and to deploy the highest environmental standards for its raw materials by 2025.

To further reinforce its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, Louis Vuitton introduced two new designs this year created from recycled and bio-sourced materials.

The Charlie sneaker is not only androgynous and the brand’s first couple shoe, but is also made from 90 per cent sustainable materials. The signature LV Pillow bag collection presented in Louis Vuitton’s iconic bag shapes is similarly eco‐friendly: 100 per cent recycled nylon fibre is used to create the iconic quilted and portable design.

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As Louis Vuitton continues on its path to greater accountability, Tatler speaks to two eco warriors on the impact they hope to make through the sustainable actions they’ve taken.

First up, Trina Liang-Lin. As the founder of the Women in Sustainability and Environment (Wise) society, an avid philanthropist and a passionate advocator of food sustainability, Liang‐Lin wears many hats. Over the years, she has held leadership roles in organisations such as the UN Women Singapore, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations and the Financial Women’s Association Singapore. Currently, she is focused on educating people on how to eat sustainably and shop responsibly.

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On what started her on her philanthropy journey... I started when I was in university and I volunteered at old folks homes and hospices in particular. While it was quite sporadic, it was very good for me because I got a sense of the landscape and it allowed me to be much more targeted in the ways I help people in the future. Working at places such as the UN Women Singapore and the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations helped me see the needs of the world. Now, I’m moving on to sustainability, which I feel is a very current and pressing concern.

On kick‐starting a food sustainability movement... In 2017, I had a health scare and that got me reading up about how I could better my diet and help myself heal. Food is very healing and I wanted to share what I learned with others, so I started Halo Health Asia, to bring food nutrition to the front of people’s minds, particularly those from lower‐income backgrounds.

We started holding panels with experts to educate people about healthy eating and make the complex jargon understandable, so as to encourage them to be more conscious about how they’re eating. We even went to the supermarkets and found healthy produce that could feed a family of four, for $15 a day, to prove that eating healthy does not have to be expensive. I think people are slowly realising that the kind of food we eat can make a difference environmentally, but many don’t know where to start.

On her new sustainable initiative... Wise came about more recently. We wanted to increase the green participation of Singapore residents as well as the visibility of women in the sustainability space. Women are key when it comes to consumer spending. In fact, their influence makes up about 85 per cent of global consumer spending and it has moved from just household decisions to bigger products such as financial investments, property and infrastructure over the years.

So at Wise, we’re simply hoping to target women so we can equip them with the knowledge needed to make more sustainable choices, so we can encourage responsible consumption and even better production when it comes to businesses.

On sustainability in fashion... I like to limit my fast fashion intake by focusing on good design, craftsmanship and, of course, where and how it was made. I make sure I look at the labels and that I can trust in what the brand is telling me. Sustainable fashion should basically not be a trend.

I believe that the brands that are the most transparent and honest with their consumers will come up tops in the sustainability race.

  • PhotographyShawn Paul Tan
  • StylingAdriel Chiun
  • Make-UpCheryl Ow
  • HairSean Ang
  • Photographer's AssistantXie Feng Mao
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