With the increasing number of studies detailing the impacts of fast fashion on the environment, consumers have started to move towards sustainable fashion. While it can be a minefield trying to find companies that actually have sustainable and ethical practices, given the amount of greenwashing and lack of regulation in the field, VIPOP is one organization that is trying to help highlight brands and designers that are creating change.
Conscious practices at the core of VIPOP
Established by Lenia Perez and Fabiana Gonzalez in 2019, VIPOP brings artisanal Latin American clothing and jewellery designers. Since the inception, VIPOP has had a focus on ensuring their own policies and procedures are environmentally and socially driven. Even when creating their team, they hired females from Ecuador, Iran, Australia and Hong Kong. Similarly, when choosing designers, they curate brands that espouse these values.
In the slow fashion space, they work with brands that either use sustainable materials, such as vegan, organic or recycled or have zero-waste processes or are working towards offsetting their carbon footprint.
For example, Baobab is a Colombian swimwear brand that uses recycled marine debris such as plastic and fishing nets to create their iconic pieces. Another brand, KRSV, which is Hong Kong based, uses commercial textile silk waste, to create high-end, handcrafted pieces that are flattering and suitable for the Asian climate. Amaré, is a plant-based company, creating eco-friendly and cruelty free handbags from cactus leather. Their vegan leather is PVC free, 100% organic and free from pesticides and herbicides.
VIPOP fully embraces ethical fashion best practices and values and curates brands that display a commitment to their social values. Suki Cohen, a lingerie and swimwear brand promotes positive body image and seeks to create pieces for women to feel comfortable and natural in. Many of their designers also work with indigenous folk and follow ancient practices that would otherwise become extinct. Saru Artesanías, for example, works to expose the best of the artisans of Columbia.
Working with a range of artisanal communities, they empower locals to create and have ownership of their work, imbibing the history, culture and traditions that have been passed on through generations. Similarly, Armadillo Stores, was created to support Kichwa artisans in the remote regions of Ecuador. These handcrafters weave the cabuya plant into stunning bags, ponchos etc, using techniques that are not only tedious but also in danger of disappearing.
Bringing the fashion to life in the heart of Hong Kong
Realizing that online shopping doesn’t always do justice to the intricate and high quality pieces they stock, the VIPOP team also partnered with Nominal to create Artezano.
A combined space with the boutique and café, Artezano allows you to fully immerse in the Latin American experience. With beautiful sunny décor showcasing the stunning clothes and jewellery and a carefully curated menu, you will never want to leave the space. Trying on the hats or earrings will have you truly appreciating the time, effort and craftsmanship gone into every item. Plus, if you’re lucky, you can meet the founder, Fabiana herself, to tell you the stories of brands and designers, bringing you along on this beautiful, vibrant journey.
Shop VIPOP online or at Artezano, 52 – 54 Graham Street, G/Floor, Hong Kong