Meet Our Ambassador Of The Month, Daniela from Zustain
1. What was your motivation behind starting Zustain? And how does Zustain work? 

After 14 years of non-profit experience advocating for human rights and environmental protection, I realise that in order to achieve a bigger change all the companies need to have the role to do better. Build successful businesses but with a more positive impact on society and the environment.  I believe everyone can contribute to a better world, but sometimes people don’t know where to start.

That’s why I founded Zustain in 2020—just before Covid hit.
Zustain works as an adviser, we aim to help SMEs on their Sustainability journey, strategizing but also creating practical road maps and KPIS that will help founders and teams make the right decisions and evaluate the impact on businesses right away.

For Zustain, Sustainability is more than just looking at the carbon footprint, is the business's ability to sustain itself by doing the basic things right, not just ethically but also by delivering their industry's best practices, compliance and regulations.

2. What are your views on sustainable fashion in Asia, is it a trend or is it here to stay?

In the world of fashion, sustainability is a word that does not get thrown around lightly.

While it's true that the word is trending on Google right now, and while it's also true that more people are becoming aware of the impact their choices have on the environment, there's still a long way to go before sustainability becomes a necessity.

People are still buying clothes based on brand name and trends rather than by their sustainability criteria. Only a very small percentage of shoppers who look at traceability of brands—where their pieces come from, what materials were used in them, and how much waste was produced during production—before making a purchase.

And Hong Kong is perfectly poised to change all this. Hong Kong is an international gateway for both business opportunities and already established brands. With its unique position as an East-West bridge, it has the potential to become an epicenter of conscious consumption practices throughout Asia and beyond!

3. What's the biggest potential you see when working with the Vipop and other fashion retailers in their sustainability journey?

I think a lot of companies, especially in Hong Kong, have the potential to build a different space for fashion. I think Hong Kong is such an interesting place because it's so urban and has so much infrastructure. It's a great place to showcase how other countries do it and how places with less resources can utilize them in better ways.

I think VIPOP could bring this message into the spotlight and share their respect for the environment and workers while still translating it into great quality pieces that people will appreciate once they get to know them and try them. 

I would love to see more opportunities for me to build a new way of selling and buying, as well as remind people that durability is much more valuable than fast fashion. I hope to see more and more fashion retailers start with more ethical practices soon!

4. What are some of the challenges that you encounter in the industry? 
Any recommendations on how to overcome these challenges?

The biggest challenges in sustainability in fashion are the lack of information, education from the consumers and the lack of transparency, traceability and accountability from brands.
As a consumer, I recommend looking past price and brand, checking labels and asking questions. It’s so important to know who we are supporting with our money—it’s a responsibility and a right to be more informed.
For brands, I recommend being more responsible when it comes to producing something new by looking into your product life cycle and making better choices.

Everything we produce ends up somewhere—track your business activity responsibly, measure your environmental and social impacts as you measure your business performance. Communicate better and in a transparent way, you will earn the loyalty and respect from your clients.

5. How would you describe the Vipop effect?

The Vipop effect is the feeling of empowerment, uniqueness and cultural experience that comes with wearing a unique piece of Vipops. I love that as a Vipop client I am connected to this global community of talented artisans who create their pieces with sustainable materials.

I feel like I can find my identity in many cultural pieces—I like statement jewelry that has bright colors and natural elements. In Hong Kong, which is one of the most standardized societies in the world, it's hard to feel unique. That's the Vipop effect for me, a piece that represents me and that it shares my inner voice and my colorful attitude.

6. How can people collaborate with Zustain?

Today you can reach out Zustain on LinkedIn if you have a ESG solution that will help companies overcome their challenges, or if you want to improve your ESG performance and create a sustainability strategy that last and will help your business to succeed.

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