From reducing fashion waste to tackling plastic pollution, get to know the environment & sustainability advocates from the Gen.T List 2020
Ahead of the unveiling of the Gen.T List 2021 this month, we're giving you a closer look at some of the List's previous sustainability heroes you should know about.
The environment and sustainability is an issue on many minds, with the field of work rightfully gaining more attention in the last decade for a number of reasons, such as tackling issues on soaring temperatures, rising sea levels and massive waste production.
Even the pandemic has affected the environment because of discarded masks and takeaway boxes. To counter this, sustainability practice is on the rise, from eco-conscious brands, products made from recycled items, to eco-friendly hotels. We're profiling five environment and sustainability leaders who are at the forefront, from reducing fashion waste to tackling plastic pollution, here's who you should know.
1. Sarah Garner
Sarah Garner is the founder of Retykle. As Asia's first and largest resale platform for buying and selling pre-loved children's fashion––with more than 2,000 designer brands with 50 to 90 per cent off children's fashion––it allows users not only to save a bundle but also to save the planet.
With more than 10 years in the fashion industry at brands such as Lane Crawford, LVMH and Richemont Group, she knows first-hand about fashion and how it contributes to waste production—the world's second-biggest polluter in fact. Garner is taking on the challenge of making fashion more sustainable, at the same time, giving a solution on what to do when your kids outgrow their clothes.
2. Andy Li
Andy Li is tackling plastic pollution head on through the Missing Link—Polyfoam Recycling Scheme. Funded by the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF), the scheme aims to accomplish the goal of local polyfoam recycling and carry out related educational activities for the public, eventually expanding the channel locally to attain waste minimisation.
As initiator and project manager, Li has helped to establishe collection points for polyfoam waste in partnership with three organisations. As a result, Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market has been encouraged to set up a polyfoam recycling machine on site.
3. Paula Miquelis
Paula Miquelis made green living mainstream, accessible and sexy as the co-founder and creative director of Green is the New Black. The former investment banker––who described herself as "thirsty for power"––now channels her drive and talent into her mission to reduce waste and save the planet. The company she co-founded with fellow GenT honoree, Stephanie Dickson, makes sustainability mainstream using engaging content and experiences that connect brands with people and educate them through actionable little green steps.
Hosting Conscious Festivals across two continents and promoting 180 conscious fashion, lifestyle, beauty and food brands in 13 countries, Miquelis is definitely channelling her power towards green living. Green is the New Black are also soon releasing a documentary, The Naked Arctic Adventure, which documents Miquelis and Dickinson's first-hand experience of the effects of climate change. In the long run, Green is the New Black intends to become the largest, curated database of conscious brands in Asia and Europe.
4. Walden Lam
Co-founder and chief hustler of Unspun, Walden Lam is pioneering innovative technologies to address fashion's carbon emissions. His start-up not only uses a proprietary body scanner to make a perfectly tailored pair of jeans just for you, but it does so using sustainable fabric and producing minimal waste via a design technology that uses algorithms to digitally design and perfectly fit jeans automatically around a 3D avatar.
This innovative method has led Unspun to be named as one of Time's 100 Best Inventions of 2019. But it doesn't stop there. Lam and his team are constantly seeking new ways to be more sustainable. Last year, they launched the world's first digital-fit jeans that can be infinitely recycled. Now, you can easily find jeans that don't just fit well but are also sustainable.
5. Ng Pei Kang
Ng Pei Kang's food packaging company, Tria Foodware is pioneering an end-to-end solution for sustainable eating. As co-founder and CEO, Ng believes that "switching to green should be an easy, thoughtless decision" and to achieve this, his team has developed Bio24, the world's first closed-loop solution to the issue of single-use plastics and food waste.
This breakthrough technology turns almost all food-related waste into hundred per cent organic fertiliser in just 24 hours, turning everything on the table, from leftover food to disposable cutlery to a zero-waste dining experience. A game-changer in the industry, Ng's efforts have made great strides in coming up with eco-friendly solutions that target not just consumers but also for the food and beverage industry.
Visit the Gen.T website for more on this year's list.