THE “SO­CIAL” NET­WORK

THEY’RE COOL, CRE­ATIVE, FASH­ION­ABLE – AND ARE MAK­ING A STATE­MENT ABOUT SUS­TAIN­ABLE LIV­ING IN THEIR OWN WAY. KENG YANG SHUEN MEETS FIVE WOMEN IN SIN­GA­PORE WHO ARE RE­DEFIN­ING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ECO-CHIC.

Female (Singapore) - - ON THE COVER - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY VEE CHIN & ZAPHS ZHANG STYLING ADE­LINE ENG HAIR & MAKEUP BENE­DICT CHOO, US­ING KEVIN.MUR­PHY & YSL BEAUTE & ASH­LEY NG/PALETTEINC, US­ING KEUNE HAIRCOSMETICS & NARS

Sure, cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity isn’t the most ex­cit­ing thing, but it’s 2018 – if you’re not do­ing your part, you snooze.

THE FASH­ION IN­SIDER-TURNED-ZERO WASTE CHAMP: JASMINE TUAN

Fash­ion and events folks here will have no prob­lem ID-ing this 39-year-old – for­mer de­signer, pro­gres­sive pro­po­nent of in­de­pen­dent de­sign­ers with her now-de­funct con­cept store Black­mar­ket, and It girl in the lo­cal club­bing scene dur­ing the late aughts. A brand con­sul­tant these days, she’s still in­volved in high-pro­file events like the Sin­ga­pore edi­tion of the an­nual Diner en Blanc, but she’s equally – if not more com­mit­ted to – be­ing a vo­cal force for #ze­rowaste. Think of the grow­ing move­ment as the next step up from re­cy­cling, with ad­vo­cates tak­ing a pre-emp­tive, pre­ven­tive ap­proach to waste man­age­ment, gen­er­at­ing as lit­tle trash as pos­si­ble, and mak­ing sure that ev­ery pur­chase – if any – counts. Tuan says that she’s stopped shop­ping for new fash­ion items – her goal is to be able to fit her wardrobe in a 7kg duf­fel bag. She re­fuses all forms of plas­tic pack­ag­ing (that also means say­ing no to plas­tic bot­tled wa­ter) and brings her own reusables – con­tain­ers, cut­lery, straws – wher­ever she goes. Last De­cem­ber, she helped or­gan­ise the first Zero Waste fes­ti­val in Kuala Lumpur, where she’s been based since 2015. She says that ev­ery in­di­vid­ual can do his or her part: “I know my power as a con­sumer, so I only sup­port busi­nesses that are good for us and the planet. After all, there isn’t a planet B for us to turn to.”

THE CON­SCIOUS CRE­ATIVE HONCHO: JACQUI HOCKING

In Sin­ga­pore, there’s a film fes­ti­val nearly ev­ery week, but one specif­i­cally geared to­wards en­vi­ron­men­tal causes was nonex­is­tent un­til this 28-year-old kick-started the in­au­gu­ral Sin­ga­pore Eco Film Fes­ti­val (SGEFF) with bi­ol­o­gist Ade­line Seah. “When we started in 2016, we had no money, no venue, no films – just a crazy idea and a lot of pas­sion,” she says. Still, the fes­ti­val – free to the pub­lic – was a suc­cess with sold-out ses­sions, a crowd of over 4,000 over the past two years, and venue spon­sors such as the Artscience Mu­seum. A third edi­tion re­turns this Novem­ber with a slate of crit­i­cally ac­claimed works like Jane, the award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary on pri­ma­tol­o­gist Jane Goodall. The Sin­ga­pore-based Aussie na­tive is used to mak­ing things work. Last year, she was sin­gled out for Forbes’ pres­ti­gious 30 Un­der 30 Asia list for var­i­ous fac­tors, in­clud­ing her me­dia firm VSS­tory (short for Vi­sion Strat­egy Sto­ry­telling), which cre­ates films across Asia for clients like Proc­ter & Gam­ble and Linkedin. Also no­table is her work on ex­pand­ing B Corps – an in­ter­na­tional move­ment that pushes for com­pa­nies to meet ver­i­fi­able stan­dards in their so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mances – in the re­gion. She walks the talk – VSS­tory is one of only eight com­pa­nies here to be cer­ti­fied. On what more could be done, she says: “More col­lab­o­ra­tions within the cre­ative in­dus­tries, and con­struc­tive con­ver­sa­tions about find­ing so­lu­tions to­gether, rather than work­ing against each other.”

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THE DREAMY ECO-ARTIST: TAN ZI XI

Go­ing by the moniker Messym­sxi, Tan’s best known for her whim­si­cal il­lus­tra­tions that have net­ted her an il­lus­tri­ous clien­tele that in­cludes lux­ury fash­ion houses, Kiehl’s and Face­book. Child-like fan­tasy-in­duc­ing qual­ity aside though, most of her works ad­dress hu­man­ity’s mis­man­age­ment of nat­u­ral re­sources – a topic she’s been ob­sessed with since school. Take for ex­am­ple, “Plas­tic Ocean”, a large-scale installation com­mis­sioned by the Sin­ga­pore Art Mu­seum in 2016, and ar­guably the 33-year-old’s most prom­i­nent work to date. She col­lected and strung up over 20,000 pieces of dis­carded plas­tic to cre­ate the ef­fect of be­ing un­der­wa­ter – sur­rounded by trash. It was in­spired by the Great Pa­cific Garbage Patch, a gi­ant area of the ocean (es­ti­mated to be thrice the size of France and grow­ing) choked with a high con­cen­tra­tions of plas­tic de­bris. The installation gen­er­ated global head­lines, and trav­elled to Mum­bai for the Sas­soon Dock Art Project last year, with Tan recre­at­ing it us­ing 400kg of plas­tic bought from re­cy­cling cen­tres there. When asked if go­ing green might be a pass­ing trend, Tan says: “Even if so, it can only be a good thing, but it’d be much more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive if there are more top­down ini­tia­tives from pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions – like in­creas­ing ed­u­ca­tion for ev­ery­one, and charg­ing for plas­tic bags.” Iris And Ink silk dress, www.out­net.com.All other ac­ces­sories,Tan’s own

THE VOICE FOR FIGHT­ING CLI­MATE CHANGE: INCH CHUA

Not so fun fact: If all the ice in Antarc­tica alone were to melt, it would raise global sea lev­els by re­port­edly more than a me­tre – and Sin­ga­pore (be­ing a low-ly­ing is­land) is squarely in the crosshairs. Trump might not buy it, but this pe­tite in­die-pop singer-song­writer cer­tainly does. In Fe­bru­ary, she made head­lines by trav­el­ling to the icy con­ti­nent as part of an ex­pe­di­tion with 2041, an NGO that aims to find so­lu­tions to pro­tect the land and re­new the Antarc­tic Treaty, which will be up for re­view in said year. Since re­turn­ing in March, the 29-year-old has dis­tilled her sin­gu­lar ex­pe­ri­ence there into an in­ti­mate, one-nightonly show – ap­pro­pri­ately ti­tled No Man’s Land– at Theatre­works in May. The hour-long set of new tunes in­spired by the trip is her way of en­gag­ing what she says is a largely dis­en­chanted crowd on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. “New poli­cies, sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies for green tech­nolo­gies, or the ev­ery­day fight (to be eco-minded, de­spite perceived in­con­ve­niences) can­not come to be if peo­ple lose hope in the abil­ity to change our fu­ture. That’s where the arts can come in.” Be­yond its de­but stag­ing, No Man’s Land is in fact a col­lab­o­ra­tive work-in-progress with the vet­eran theatre com­pany, and a full show (Chua bills it as an “anti-mu­si­cal”) will be ex­e­cuted next May – also when her next al­bum will drop. 4SP]IWXIV XYVXPIRIGO XST 7ERHVS ;SSP TERXW ERH TEXIRX PIEXLIV FSSXW 1MY 1MY

THE MODEL REBEL WITH A CAUSE: LIV LO

TV pre­sen­ter, fit­ness model, yoga in­struc­tor. Now add eco-ad­vo­cate to the 32-year-old’s list of ti­tles, in part thanks to Be­fore The Flood (2016), the Leonardo DiCaprio-backed doc­u­men­tary on cli­mate change. Watch­ing the mov­ing film was a turn­ing point for her, she says, and she be­came an am­bas­sador for Green Is The New Black, Sin­ga­pore’s first Con­scious Fes­ti­val, that same year. This June, she went a step fur­ther and started a pe­ti­tion urg­ing Dr Amy Khor, Se­nior Min­is­ter of State for the En­vi­ron­ment and Wa­ter Re­sources, to re­con­sider her stance on im­ple­ment­ing a small levy on plas­tic bag us­age. (Khor had an­nounced in her min­istry’s bud­get in March that “im­pos­ing a charge or ban on dis­pos­able plas­tic bags and sub­sti­tut­ing them with other types of dis­pos­able bags is un­likely to im­prove en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes”.) The num­ber of sig­na­to­ries Lo got: 13,000. (Plas­tic bag levies have in fact proven to be ef­fec­tive in coun­tries as di­verse as Ire­land, Den­mark, Bri­tain and closer to home, Hong Kong and Tai­wan, with us­age drop­ping by more than 85 per cent in Bri­tain with a five pence – or S$0.09 – levy.) For now, Lo has an­other tip: “Sim­ply hold on to your trash for one day in­stead of throw­ing it out. You’d be amazed by how much trash one per­son gen­er­ates – and that’s just over the course of a day. Peo­ple have this out of sight, out of mind men­tal­ity. They as­sume once it’s down the chute, it au­to­mat­i­cally dis­ap­pears.” Dr Khor? Your move. ;SSP GSEX QEXGLMRK FVE XST ERH WEXMR WOMVX /IR^S

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