Cover Chen Kai-ping and Dora Lam (Photo: Nic and Bex Gaunt for Hong Kong Tatler)

As part of our Eco Heroes series for our Sustainability issue, we talk to five of the city’s most innovative eco-warriors saving Mother Earth, one impactful idea at a time. Here, the founders of Slowood, a shop for sustainable lifestyle products in Kennedy Town, share their story

The idea for Slowood, a one-stop shop in Kennedy Town supplying a huge range of eco-friendly lifestyle products, occurred to a pregnant Dora Lam in April last year when she had to traverse the city in search of sustainable household items for the family home.

“I wanted to create a place where people could easily get organic food, skincare and home decor [in one place],” she recalls. “No one else was doing it, so I had to take action.” So she and her husband, Chen Kai-ping, set about developing Slowood.

Slowood, which opened in January, sells a range of produce, skincare, cleaning supplies and dishware. With its minimalist decor, floor-to-ceiling windows and wood accents, it looks more like a Scandinavian showroom than a supermarket.

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And buying organic won’t break the bank. Dora says prices for Slowood’s produce are 30 per cent below supermarket versions because the items are sold in bulk and without packaging.

“A lot of products like vegetables don’t need packaging, and we end up using less plastic,” says Dora. “And people can buy as little or as much as they want.” Under its zero-waste policy, customers are required to bring their own shopping bags, or they can purchase muslin totes and glass jars.

Before, I was working with numbers, and it’s not very down to earth. I didn’t know how to take care of myself. Now I feel closer to nature.
Chen Kai-ping

See also: How To Live A Zero Waste Life In Hong Kong

Dora and Kai agree that adopting a sustainable lifestyle has improved their quality of life. Kai left a career in finance in 2010 feeling burned out. Since then, in addition to Slowood, he and his wife have established a cosmetics store and clothing boutique featuring eco-friendly products, and Kai has never felt happier.

“Before, I was working with numbers, and it’s not very down to earth,” he says. “I didn’t know how to take care of myself. Now I feel closer to nature.”

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