Sorry it has been a while... But we have been busy playing in our lil' Joo Chiat shop - jushing it up for you and filling it with some yummy new stuff!!!
But I am here ( a tad late.. ) to let you know that YASS our favourite annual Conscious Festival is back this weekend and it is more green than ever! With Stephanie Dickson at the helm of the Green is the New Black Festival Ship which she has steered for 4.5 years now with 8 festivals and 37 Wedge events under her belt - I assure you, she will not disappoint - we are geared up and ready to attend this years' green fiesta which will be held for the first time outdoors at South Beach Singapore.
Photo by Kb
When people mention the words entrepreneur or change maker - there is always one person that jumps to the forefront of my mind who I believe epitomises these two terms. I was lucky enough to have a long overdue catch-up with Stephanie Dickson recently at the swanky - super swish members club - Straits Clan to get the low down on this year's Festival and have some burning questions answered that relate to the Fashion Industry itself and a topic that we will be exploring in more depth that is ~ Self-Care.
Photos of The Straits Clan by Kb
I am a very firm believer that we do certain jobs, enter into specific career commitments and experience highly challenging job roles because they are all important stepping stones in our journey even if we don't acknowledge this at the time. Stephanie is a testament to my theory with her extensive experience running Fashion Events and seeing a need to bring more light to how we can live more consciously, not just with the way we consume fashion but as a whole.
I have always been impressed with her tenacity and as a friend and fellow entrepreneur I am fascinated by her journey and how she keeps it real, manages to keep focused and continue to spread the conscious living message.
I asked Stephanie a few questions that I personally wanted to know, as being a retailer we sometimes overlook processes and I absolutely do want WYLD to move into more sustainable practices to help reduce waste and get into new habits of thinking about more conscious business practices.
Since the last time I spoke to Stephanie in depth about her event, she has expanded the Green is the New Black Festival to Hong Kong!!
KB: So since we last interviewed you which was back in 2017 ... you have done 2 GITNB Festivals in Hong Kong? I am keen to know what the difference between the two locations are if any?
Stephanie: So the main format is actually the same, we have our 3 Main Components which are: (Please click on each one to find our more for this weekend's event)
And of course the ethos of "conscious living" remains the same, however the main difference between the two cities is the actual vibe of the community - it is very different. There's a much more hipper - alternative vibe going on among the crowd - they tend to stay for longer and party a bit more. So we have to localise the event and curate the talks to fit the vibe of the community. Also what is unique to the Hong Kong Event is we have a Mini Film Festival.
KB: So any other region on the radar?
Stephanie: We will be expanding to Europe - London or Paris - we haven't decided yet.
KB: With this next question I feel like as if there are many small businesses, companies as well as individuals in Fashion Companies out there that would like to start but don't know where to.... Can you help shed some light on how small Fashion businesses, companies or individuals can be more conscious, make changes and start conversations?
Stephanie: Yes, such a great question! We work closely with SME's, social enterprises, events, offices and companies. I usually tend to tell people the very first place to 'Start is in the Office' or in the way that the team runs operationally depending on the size of the company.
I'd suggest for a large company if there isn't one already - Start a "Green Group" or join a "Green committee" they usually meet once a month to look at the office practices and operations of the company and decipher what are the sustainability elements that could be implemented. Starting or joining one of these groups would typically mean you'd do this outside of your normal day and would usually require some level of management support. So if you're passionate about making these changes then this would be a great place to start.
They would implement changes such as:
- setting aircon temperatures 23-25 which will have a huge impact
- making sure an energy saving is turned on for computers not in use
- only serving vegetarian at catered events
- making sure there is no single use plastic in the office ( taking away single use cups - and replacing with reusables )
- ensuring that catering companies also use reusable plates, cutlery and cups
- off setting carbon for company flights by planting trees, using a carbon calculator you can see how many trees you need to plant - it just starts from $1 per tree. Our company does this, we use a company called Eco Matcher the trees we plant are $4 each. This can be great for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) if flights are neutral.
Stephanie: Well they can start to look at their whole supply chain. They can start asking questions. A lot of companies do not even know where their fabrics are from or how they are made and by whom. They can also be unaware of where their factories are located and could start looking into how much water is being used during the manufacturing processes. As I mentioned above - they too could look at the carbon footprint they are making from the flights of their shipments and they could look at off-setting them by also planting trees.
KB: Stephanie urges brands, companies and individuals to all keep asking questions. If she herself sees a product she likes and messages the brand directly and asks where and how it is made - if she's not cool with the answer this will deter her from purchasing.
KB: So lastly, you are building this conscious and sustainable behemoth that is touching the likes of SME's, Large Corporations and individuals alike within Asia and soon to be parts of Europe. I know this has been an incredible journey for you!!
WYLDones ~ we love having you in store as always - you bring me so much joy! I am proud of all of you and I hope that you are building the confidence to dream, Live WYLD and free and be who YOU want to be!!! My new mission is to share in abundance information and knowledge so that you can live more happy & beautiful lives. I hope you find parts of this interesting - I would love to know more about what you'd like to hear or see on our blog too!!!