Brands that caught our eye at the Conscious Festival Singapore
Yet another edition of Green Is the New Black’s Conscious Festival is behind us. Another year in the row, the festival in Singapore brought a healthy dose of clean food, conscious thought, exciting brands, some powerful networking and inspiration. Its homeland Singapore-based edition prepared us for the next one that will take place in Hong Kong for the second time, in April 2018 - so save your dates for that one everybody!
The Conscious Festival by GITNB Asia took place in PARKROYAL on Pickering, in Singapore’s prime location and a very convenient spot right off the Chinatown. The hotel boasts the impressive zero-energy sky gardens and green corridors, aims at a high level of energy conservation, and attempts to reduce amounts of single-use plastics. Compact form of the event made it very clear to walk around, plenty of food options could satisfy even the most picky vegans and, as the organisers were proudly pointing out, the whole event was entirely carbon-neutral. We did not participate in all the talks, but for the small amount that we could actually experience, the conversations were on a really high level and left us with some reflection and interesting discussions afterwards.
The selection of brands was interesting (with quite some of them offering cosmetics and beauty products) and we also found a couple of vendors that really caught our eye for a longer while - was it because of a great product or a really friendly chat. Here are our favourites:
Upcycled aluminum jewellery. Qualities that define the brand are practicality, positivity and sleek and timeless visual aesthetics. The 4Rs are the core of the brand's design: recover, recreate, recycle and respect constitute the motto for the creators of aluminium accessories.
We haven’t been that excited about reclaimed re-melted plastic since JOLENE JOLENE. BOPE is yet another proof of the thesis that says that material does not always have to be evil, but everything depends on its application. The brand comes from Chiangmai in Thailand and makes small plastic accessories and coasters out of collected plastic leftovers. They melt the plastic to form it into cool and cheeky pieces of unique accessories that could brighten up even the gloomiest interior.
After having been mesmerized by Deep Lake, the newest discovery of Hong Kong offering vegan silk beddings, we found its (sort of) equivalent at The Conscious Festival! Sojao brings us organic cotton beddings that feel like silk. Another alternative to silk for those who wish to sleep with amazing smooth covers that keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The prices are also extremely affordable. The expense of a full set is something that even IKEA could be appreciative of - for a nice quality of the product, Sojao really knows how to price it well!
It was great to meet friends from Hong Kong! The lovely ladies behind ZeroYet100 came to Singapore and created a blast with their zero-waste natural deodorants, and the display really made an impression! We love the brand for their constant lookout for cleaner and chemical-free alternatives to cosmetics. Their deodorants and other new products in offer involve zero toxic components, minimal packaging that also involves cork and incredible philosophy towards more clean and transparent self-care. Stay tuned for them joining The Garden Gathering in a marketplace curated by WOMB - happening on 7-9 December!
What would WOMB be if we didn’t mention cool sustainable accessories for period? Menstrual cups, reusable pads, Modibodi period panties - these guys have it all! Seems like solutions for period that are more sustainable and zero waste gained their harbour in Asia. It’s extremely important to even spark conversations of comfort around periods, which are an inalienable part of womanhood, let alone sustainability that can come with it. Disposable pads and tampons have been around for long, but only recently women started wondering what actually ends inside of them every month. Such a sensitive and important part of a female body needs care and protection - that includes making sure no chemicals and toxins can get there. Standard tampons and pads cannot give us that guarantee.
Final Green Thoughts
and a dash of Green Criticism
It is extremely inspiring to see people from all around Southeast Asia work with materials like reclaimed plastic and aluminium, natural cosmetics, sustainable solutions for periods but also sex toys - there is a whole rest of brands that we did not mention but definitely deserve attention. We strongly encourage everyone to check the Green Is the New Black’s website and browse through the marketplace brands. We were extremely happy to observe ethnic identities and artisanal skills to have a rightful representation within it with beautiful and long-lasting products. It’s really a fuel for us to keep working and promoting conscious thought and work alongside such ambitious and passionate projects.
We wouldn’t be ourselves without a tiny dose of criticism of course. Also this time, unfortunately, the festival, like a lot of events in Southeast Asia, felt a bit elitist (we already wrote about this in the blog post dedicated to Bali Vegan Festival). The Conscious Festival was held in a hotel in Downtown Singapore, one among the high-end hotels around. We don’t say the choice of the location was bad, especially taken into account their sustainable policy, but it did feel as if it managed to attract a certain type of audience - a rather well off, already highly informed in the topic. There is still a certain feeling of exclusivity in the expat-run events dedicated to sustainability that tend to cater to expats only. The faces promoted during the event at times also didn’t surprise. With all the love and respect that we have towards everyone behind GITNB Asia and the Conscious Festival, with all its utility - inclusiveness towards more local communities and small environment players, independent bloggers and “small fish” in general would be surely much appreciated and undeniably valuable - not to mention, super interesting.
With that, see you in April in Hong Kong!