REVISITING: Take 5 with... Kammie Lau from The Lesser Evil Blog
WELCOME 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 WEEK WE (RE-)PRESENT TO YOU: Kammie Lau from The Lesser Evil Blog! KAMMIE WILL BE THE MODERATOR OF OUR UPCOMING EVENT THE REAL DEAL: A TALK ON SUSTAINABILITY. WE’VE KNOWN KAMMIE FOR A WHILE, BUT WE’RE SURE MANY OF YOU ARE STILL CURIOS ABOUT WHO THIS FIERCE LADY IS AND WHAT COOL THINGS SHE’S DOING!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, where did you study, and why did you choose to be based in Hong Kong (at least for now)?
Hey guys and girls! I am Kammie - born and raised in Hong Kong. I am a proud native speaker of Cantonese, which brings me to what I studied in university! I read Linguistics in HKU and Cambridge, and Cantonese linguistics is my absolute favourite topic.
People often get confused with what I’m trying to do with my life, because right now I’m working in a French alcohol company on innovation. Oh by the way, I am a certified personal trainer as if it doesn’t confuse people enough! I am based in Hong Kong but I need to fly out to SE Asia very often.
2. What was your catalyst to start The Lesser Evil Blog, even though your days are pretty filled up with a full-time job?
I started this blog because I want to change how people around me look at the clothes we wear every single day. I’ve forgotten how I came to start my blog but if I have to construct a logical story (now that I have to), I would say it is after watching the documentary “The True Cost”.
I first started reading books on how to curate my personal style, then eventually moving onto how to identify quality pieces of garments. Then I began to learn about how fast fashion companies are producing loads of cheap quality items that aim to have us throw them away and repurchase new items over and over again. The documentary just tops it all off and visualize how much suppression and horrible shit that these companies was allowed to do on to the environment and people in developing countries.
Then I was determined to do something, with the goal to change ONE person’s mind. I certainly aim very low, haha!
Then as I go on, I realise that what I want to change is a mindset, a way of living, an attitude to life, not just on pieces of clothing. I want to show people it is possible to look at what we consume mindfully - their origin, how things are made, what the values they embody.
3. What are your thoughts on pollution and waste in HK?
I think we’re not the most eco-friendly city, but we’re getting there. I’m seeing friends of mine change bit by bit. To me, awareness is key. It seeds and changes behaviour in days or even years after. It’s never going to be perfect and we will always produce waste, so I am not too fussy about whether we go “zero waste” or not.
One thing that I wish is available in HK is community compost - considering my latest visit to a landfill and I learnt that the component that stinks the most is the ‘mud’ remains from filters of waste sewage AND food waste. In my opinion, there should NEVER be food waste in landfills. They shouldn’t exist in the first place, and when they do, they don’t belong to landfills, they belong to composts.
That being said, I think many people are bogged down by the fact that there are xxx tonnes of waste, and xxx tonnes of plastics, which are shocking yes sure they are, but the mere existence of plastics and waste isn’t the root of the problem. It is the consumerist mindset that facilitated it all. The urge to go ‘fast’, the need of ‘convenience’, etc. I would like to see more and more people moving towards changing a mindset, to live slower and more ethically.
4. What’s your personal battle? How do you make your everyday life greener?
My personal battle? I don’t have any! Instead I see every day as an opportunity to do a little bit better. Setting the tone to start a ‘war’ every day is tiring! I don’t fight for anything, I just do my part and hopefully have people around me doing the same (if not, better!). If I must talk about a recent ‘battle’, it is resisting the urge to buy an absolutely beautiful leather bag knowing that I don’t need it!
I make my everyday life greener by seeking joy from doing everything green. I let myself go a little bit wild with satisfaction (‘yay I’m doing something good!!’), and that keeps me going the days, and weeks after. If anything, I try to influence one person around me every day! I realise that we can only do so much and it is only when we join forces, we create bigger impact.
5. What’s next for you and The Lesser Evil - remember, sky is the limit!?
Just like programming my own training, I value consistency. Nothing new or fancy, I just want to be consistently producing (subtly) aspirational, relatable and relevant content. I have recently started a YouTube channel and I’m hoping to grow it organically to the right audience, particularly to friends around me. It’s never about the number of following but how receptive the audience is and how relevant my content is to them.
In Hong Kong, the ‘green scene’ is still quite niche so I’m hoping to channel it to a specific group of audience. If there’s anything that I have concretely plan on doing, it will be to continue to work to channel my message in a way that appeals to ‘emotions’ - something that is intangible yet very important to behavioural change.
Check out Kammie's INSTAGRAM too!