Living green: 5 eco-friendly products in Hong Kong

Local eco-warrior and TREE founder Kate Babington shares her favourite things

Kate Babington knows a thing or two about being green. Formerly of The Body Shop, where she was involved in sourcing products that met ethical standards without compromising quality, she is now the managing director of local eco-friendly furniture brand, TREE.

6-Kate Babington Head Shot

Kate Babington worked at The Body Shop for over eight years.

Here, she shares five of her favorite eco-friendly products in Hong Kong with us — proof that it’s really not that hard to live a greener life in the concrete jungle.

1. Gandy’s flip flops

These were given to me as a gift and I love them! They are made from 100 percent FSC certified rubber, come in recyclable packaging and for every pair sold 10 percent of the profits go to helping children in developing countries.

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Make each step count in a pair of Gandys.

Gandy was started by two young men who were orphaned by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.  Out of this tragedy, they realised that they were fortunate to have family and friends to support and help them – something that was missing for so many orphans.

They aim to open their first orphanage in memory of their parents in 2014. I love these flip-flops as they are super comfy and I am building my collection!

Available at www.gandysflipflops.com for HK$250 a pair. 

2) Divine Chocolate

I am a chocoholic and was working for The Body Shop Fair Trade team when Divine Chocolate was being developed. I did a fair amount of taste testing! The cocoa beans used for Divine are the same ethically sourced cocoa beans from Ghana as used in The Body Shop products. Talk about guilt free chocolate.

1-Divine chocolate

Indulge the green way with Divine chocolate.

I am thrilled that they have done so well and have so many new flavours – it is a testament to those that have worked so hard behind the scenes to create a product that has such a strong story but that is also completely delicious!

Available at City’Super for about HK$35 per bar.

City’Super, Shop 1041-1049, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2234 7128

3) John Hardy Jewellery

I am fortunate to be a regular traveller to Indonesia and it was there that I was introduced to John Hardy jewellery. These are a few of my favourite pieces. I love the design and the fantastic workmanship of each piece. Even better is that besides creating these stunning hand-made pieces, John Hardy has a strong sustainability ethos just like TREE!

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Sustainable looks as good as it feels.

John Hardy, B33-34, First Basement Floor, The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong. Prices vary but the twist ring shown is around HK$3,400.

4) Sniff

My favourite thing in the world is relaxing in a bubble bath by candlelight. I love these eco-friendly hand poured, pure soy wax candles. They are created by a passionate boutique Sydney-based team, known affectionately as the Sniffers!

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Light up for the environment.

These candles have a minimum burn time of 48 hours, and I love that they’re fragrant even when they’re not lit! It’s hard to choose a favourite but Sunday Washing Line is one that I currently have in my home.

The soy wax used in these candles comes from a renewable and sustainable source and its 100% natural and biodegradable. The cute take-away boxes are made from recycled materials and they operate a business model that aims to lessen their impact on the environment.

Available at TREE’s flagship store at Horizon Plaza (28/F) for HK$395.

TREE, 28/F Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, +852 2870 1582, www.tree.com.hk

5) So…Soap!

So…Soap is a new favourite for me! These Hong Kong, hand made organic soaps are lovely. They use a blend of saponified plant based oils, essential oils and love! The packaging design is fantastic and I am glad to support a local brand.

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Support a local Hong Kong brand.

The hand soap is so kind to your skin, biodegradable and comes in recycled and reusable bottles. What’s even better is it provides flexible working hours to low skilled or low educated women who can then juggle family and work commitments.

Available at Lane Crawford and TREE.

TREE, 28/F Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, +852 2870 1582, www.tree.com.hk

Erica Fong | Managing Editor
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Erica gave up clean air and closet space to live in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong. In between cookie binges, she enjoys living a green and healthy lifestyle with plenty of running, yoga and tofu. Follow her @wafflerica.

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