WRITTEN BY CHRISTY C
Hong Kong fashion connoisseur Chloe Zhang founded her sustainable fashion e-tailing platform Supermint to prove that eco is most definitely chic.
Always a fashion fan and often the go-to stylist in her social circle, it wasn’t until Chloe Zhang, now the founder of fashion e-commerce platform Supermint, watched “The True Cost,” a documentary on the fashion industry, that she realised the urgent need for more businesses promoting sustainable clothing. According to the documentary, our fashion purchases have increased by 400% in the last two decades, and now number around 80 billion items a year, many of which are produced at a huge cost to both human lives and the planet. It was statistics like these that led Chloe to leave her job in the investment industry to launch her e-commerce venture, focused solely on sustainable brands.
Adopting a business model akin to that of luxury fashion retailer Farfetch, Supermint positions itself as “the mint” – a breath of fresh air in Asia’s trend-driven fashion market. Serving as a third-party marketplace, it aims to make the region’s lesser-known sustainable and ethical fashion brands more accessible by bringing them together in one space. In return for a cut of sales, Chloe gives her chosen brands access to a wider audience.
Chloe handpicks all the brands and items on her platform, taking into account their sustainability status as defined by their materials, production methods and business operations. Currently stocking 26 Asian designers, prices range from HKD 500 to HKD 2500 with a focus on clothing that translates well beyond the momentary sphere. “Sustainable fashion should be timeless, durable, and desirable. If no one wants it, regardless of what recycled fabrics a product is made out of, it’ll eventually become another piece of waste,” she explains. For that reason, she’s turned to designers such as Chinese minimalist YUEL XIANG, progressive Korean designer duo LANG & LU and independent Japanese leather shoe brand CHLOE FRANCIS, all part of a rising crop of Asian creatives whose hope is to turn the tide away from fast fashion towards a more sustainable approach.
As Chloe sees it, “changing consumer behaviour is always the first step to changing the industry.” Urging her customers to “buy less, but buy better,” she explains, “you could put the money you’ve thrown in for 10 fast fashion pieces into investing in a premium quality product that can last a lifetime.” And it’s the combination of this, together with better access to brands that are genuinely changing the way products are made, that she hopes may make fashion something we can all get back on board with.
To check out Supermint, stop by their pop-up store. Details below.
Time: 11 am – 7 pm
Address: The Hive Sheung Wan, 33-35 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan