Take 5 with ... ERTH Company
WELCOME BACK TO WOMB'S WEEKLY "TAKE 5 WITH..." SERIES. ROUGHLY ONCE A WEEK WE WILL FEATURE A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH A HK-BASED CONSCIOUS PERSONALITY.
THIS TIME, PLEASE MEET JASON FUNG AND ANGUS KO FROM ERTH COMPANY!
1. Tell us a bit about yourselves, where are you from, where did you study, and why did you choose to be based in Hong Kong (at least for now)?
Angus: I was born and raised in Hong Kong, but took a masters degree in Finance in New York, US. I’ve always been proud of my Hong Kongese identity and the Hong Kong culture, so I decided to come back after working on Wall Street to do something more than a finance job
Jason: I was born and raised in Hong Kong as well, but took my masters degree in Engineering in UK. I chose to be based in Hong Kong because my family is here.
2. When and how did you come up with the idea for ERTH? How and why did you decide to work with up-cycling?
It was nothing more than a Kickstarter project for fun when it started. We’ve always loved the Hong Kong culture and were thinking of a way to integrate it with sustainability and lifestyle. The Bam-Ons then came to life as a project to achieve that goal. Our biggest influence was the Adidas x Parley upcycling project on ocean plastics. We decided that we could do something similar to promote the Hong Kong culture and upcycling.
3. What are your thoughts on pollution and waste in HK?
The Hong Kong government has been promoting recycling for like two decades, yet from a daily life perspective I think we have reached a bottle neck. Industrial pollution and waste can be alleviated through legislation and taxes. Though effective, we believe negative punishment may not be the best way to promote waste reduction or recycling.
This is exactly why we try to "rebrand" recycling and sustainability in order to turn in into a lifestyle or an everyday habit!
4. What's your personal battle? How do you make your everyday life greener?
The personal battle is always the struggle between consciousness and convenience. Hong Kong is arguably the most fast-paced city in the world. That's why convenience is highly valued and appreciated. Pollution and waste are the typical bi-products of convenience. It is always hard to strike and balance between consciousness and convenience in Hong Kong.
Angus: To make my everyday life greener, I start with the tiny bits in my daily routine. I say no to disposables as much as I can. I avoid new purchases and I always choose the vegan alternatives and the products of the shared economy.
5. What’s next for ERTH?
We are building ERTH as an established brand instead of just a single Kickstarter project through more innovative upcycling projects and sustainable products that embody the Hong Kong culture. We are now working very hard on new upcycling initiatives on locally sourced plastic and fabric wastes. We are rapidly expanding in terms of size and product rage. With the help of two designers who recently joined us from SCAD, we aim to push two collections and have two physical stores by the end of this year
Womb is our first ever retail partner since our establishment. We enjoy working with them because of their mission and philosophy. We see this partnership as a long-term relationship that would be mutually beneficial to our growth.