Karrie Bitanga April 21, 2021

Earth Day

In celebration of Earth day, we interviewed 3 inspiring leaders to share how they include personal wellness and sustainability in their day to day life.

What inspired you to come up with a sustainable brand/join a sustainable enterprise?

Elena, founder of sustainable active wear brand: I always wanted to do something in life that could have a positive impact on the planet. Since I was very young I was concerned with environmental issues, fascinated about the beauty and power of nature and into outdoor sports like skiing. I started noticing the catastrophic effects of global warming and pollution in my early life and the most obvious ones were happening to our winters and to the ocean.

I started to think of ways to put my biggest passions together: sports, fashion and nature. In university I started building the ideas for Skin of Nature, a brand that would celebrate both Nature and sports by making high quality and performance apparel using advanced technologies for sustainable product development and production. Advocating for the environment while celebrating its beauty through apparel. I moved to HK and gained experience in fields like responsible sourcing and material innovation and the journey began.

Christine, Impact investor and sustainable fashion entrepreneur: We’ve been investing in the impact space for a few years through our own platform, Lapidary. Our theory of change for all our activities and investments is to create positive behavior change. Whilst we were seeing more capital come into this space generally, we were not seeing as many of the concepts we wanted to fund.  We started looking at the sustainable apparel space and really love the sector for the tremendous opportunity to achieve both positive social and environmental impact as well as sustainable profit.  We started the venture building strategy specifically in the sustainable apparel space so we could incubate and scale the concepts we believe in and build businesses which are sustainable from the inside and out, from day 1. We launched our first concept in December 2020—a line of gender neutral and circular shirting called AndAll.

Roy, Business Development for Carbon base: My journey began more than 10 years ago when looking into reducing sugar and eating healthier. This led me to look into how food is made and what diet is not just sustainable and healthy for my body but also good for the planet. Reading about sustainability and living a healthier way of life, allowed me to connect deeper with myself and be more interested in personal growth. Realizing all this, It was clear to methat I wanted to work in a company that had purpose and money was not everything. When I had the opportunity to join www.carbonbase.co, an online platform dedicated to individuals and corporates reducing carbon footprint, I knew this was the company I wanted to be part of.

As an entrepreneur/working professional, how do you find balance between activity and rest?

Karrie Bitanga

Elena: I get most inspired and when I truly enjoy the results of everything I’m doing. Finding time for yoga, outdoor sports, walks in nature, dancing, is my own way of resting.

I’ve been practicing yoga for 5 years and through the practice I ground, relax and get wonderful positive energy. My love for Nature generates a great deal of my mindfulness practice as I live every day paying attention to the marvels that Nature, very aware of its importance and the influence it has on me. People and Nature are what inspires me the most. Nature inspires my work and my life in so many ways, all I have to do is stop and listen.

One of my new favourite places to reset is a waterfall not far from home, near a jungle path that goes to Pok Fu Lam. I go there to do breathwork or just switch off and listen to the sounds of Nature.Another favourite is Cheung Chau and I have a few spots there that I always come back to. Mostly the rocks by Elephant rock or Pak Tso Wan small beach, and the path between the two is also part of the pleasure.

Karrie Bitanga

Christine: What does work for me is to keep the weekends sacred and allocate ‘me’ time, however short that might be. It could be a quick Headspace guided meditation, listening to an interesting podcast, learning to make a new vegan dish, or having a nice walk outdoors with my dog, Bongo.

I am not a huge outdoorsy person, but I really find a lot of grounding by committing to doing guided meditation using Headspace. It is as simple as getting my yoga mat out and doing the guided meditation and breathing exercises. I live in front of the harbour, which is a real source of reset. Even just a 10-minute walk along the water gives me a tremendous source of calm.

Karrie Bitanga

Roy: For grounding, I practice yoga, stretch regularly and do breathwork sessions, relaxation includes going outside to enjoy some sunlight or listen to audiobooks. To increase energy I do active sports like playing Spikeball (roundnet) or do Muay Thai. To get inspired, I listen to music and practice meditation which helps me relax.

I love Hong Kong’s beaches and explore its nature to unwind. I frequent Sun Yat Sen park in the late evening or do a walk/run along the waterfront for exercise.

These three young individuals found it their personal mission to contribute to saving earth. Whether it is coming up with a brand that uses recyclable or biogradable materials, investing and supporting businesses promoting sustainability or working for a company that is dedicated to creating a community of like- minded individuals working towards a carbon neutral environment, they have dedicated their work to make sure we all have a better place to live in, for now and in the future.

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