There are a lot of ways to educate our kids to look after the planet, but first and foremost we need people they can look up to – who can inspire them to do good in innovative ways. These are the people that have made it their lives work to get us to change our habits – to avoid plastic packaging, to buy products that are produced sustainably and fair and who care about that what we eat and drink is both good for us and the planet. Meet the Eco-Warriors behind three recent initiatives in Singapore and see our videos, where the founders guide us around in their space. Our first entry is: The Green Collective.
On 18th of January ’18, a group of green businesses got together to talk about how they would be able to make a difference and help each other – as a unit. Soon after, an offer was made to Danielle Champagne, founder of Zhai Eco – about a new retail space in an East Coast mall. But she refused the offer – for her own brands, because Danielle immedately thought of the January meeting and a different opportunity: a chance for a Collective of green brands to all work under one roof.
Danielle Champagne teamed up with 3 of the green entrepreneurs from the meet-up: Mayur Singh from Coopita, Adel Ng from Taikensonzai as well as Textile Artist, Agatha Lee to explore how this space could be used. And with 4 great minds, this didn’t take long – in April ’18, the pop-up shop “The Green Collective” was a reality.
One month later, I turn up to the beautiful space in 1KM Mall and meet with the founders in their adjacent co-working space. Not just to hear how The Green Collective came about with such speed, but for them to tell me how it has helped them as entrepreneurs in a difficult field of business.
Because the idea behind The Collective, was not only to sell the founder’s own brands, but up to 18 other conscious labels – AND just as importantly, to help the green businesses grow with the help fron each other:
“We all have great ideas, but running sustainable businesses is tough, especially as many of us are alone in doing it. Entrepreneurs blame themselves a lot when thing are hard, and in this way, we can help each other with basic business problems and on top of that, get the social aspect of having likeminded colleagues for a change”, Danielle Champagne says.
And new initiatives are necessary according to The Green Collecitve, because despite the increasing interest in sustainable products and conscious living, retail is a struggling business everywhere:
“We are ironically part of movement where consuming less is good and the consumer atmosphere is to stop buying – this unfortuntately also affect conscious brands like us”, Adel Ng says.
And Mayur Sing adds:
“What we sell is often a subsidy to what you are buying already, and that makes it tough, but if you are 18 conscious brands in one shop, one purchase might lead to another + the know-how we can add, in order to help each other, should help us all in the long run”.
All the Collective brand owners are expected to put in a certain amount of hours to the shop and share news on social media, all while looking after their own business. And if this wasn’t enough work, the Collective doesn’t only run the shop – it hosts a vast range of workshops in their next-door co-working space.
A lot of work for The Green Collective, but the strong collaboration has now proven so succesful that the original pop-up dates have been extended until October. Visit the Green Collective at 1Km Mall – and see our video, where the founders tell you the stories behind their brands: