From breakfast cereals to wines to handbags, our lives have become a deluge of choices which we have to make decisions on all the time – and it’s tiring. What if things could be simplified? Like having a retailer sell only one thing that it does well, so that we have the pleasure of making a satisfying choice. Meet the four budding e-tailers who have done just that.
Speciality: No-wire bras in three neutral colours, for $39.90 a pair
Founder: Terie Sim, 25
Founder Terie Sim will be expanding her wares with underwear and nowire push-up bras.
Comfort is a priority for Sim. A former Silkair cabin crew member, she has experienced the discomfort that comes from long hours of wearing an underwire bra under tight clothes. She discovered wireless bralettes on her travels, and bought batches in Guangzhou and Seoul which she then sold to her colleagues. The feedback garnered – poor construction, bad structure, low-quality fabrics – prompted Sim to create her own. After eight failed prototypes, multiple road tests on friends and relatives, and better understanding of the differences in construction between bras for Asian and Western women, Sim launched Terie in November 2017. What makes her no-wire bralettes a success story: they’re anti-odour, antibacterial, keep out UV rays, and are biodegradable (courtesy of organic bamboo fabric).
Imnue’s socks have strategically placed ventilation mesh to facilitate airflow and keep feet cool and dry.
Speciality: Silver Vein black socks in two heights: low- and high-cut, $13.90 and $15 respectively
Founders: Timothy Sim, 30 (pictured left), and Bronson Woo, 29
They are made of 60 per cent bamboo yarn woven with 20 per cent real silver yarn to help kill odour-causing bacteria, so the socks (and feet) won’t stink. This technology, which the seven-month-old brand calls Silver Vein, is a better option than coating the fabric with silver because it ensures that the socks’ odour-resistant properties endure with repeated washes and wear.
PHOTOGRAPHY ANGELA GOH ART DIRECTION NG SAY LEE SHOES ROGER VIVIER
Speciality: Sustainably made women’s Tencel tees and tank tops, and organic cotton tees for men; $32-$39
Founder: Vincent Ooi, 34
Most basics are poorly made or overpriced, says Ooi. The man has no official training in fashion, but what he does have is more than eight years of experience designing and manufacturing goods for global watch and jewellery brands in Hong Kong. So he’s decided to make a case for “great basics at reasonable prices”, while also championing sustainability in his materials and production.
The fabrics he uses are custom-milled – which means the type of yarn, fabric weight, and dyeing process are customised, tested and ﬁ ne-tuned for more than three months before they are ﬁnalised. The packaging is plasticfree, while the paper used is FSC-certiﬁed, ensuring that it comes from responsibly managed forests. And the clothes are made by a Hong Kong-headquartered manufacturer that has worked with brands like Adidas, J. Crew, and Muji, which have been audited by a third party non-proﬁt organisation to be socially compliant – factory workers work fair hours in safe conditions.
Originally from Malaysia, Ooi spent his secondary school and polytechnic years in Singapore. He relocated to Hong Kong for work, before returning here to start Source Collections.
Lee has plans to expand the range of slides with different materials.
Speciality: Lightweight faux leather slides, $80
Founder: Justin Matthew Lee, 30
The difference between Slate’s slides and those of most other brands is that regular rubber slides can “cause abrasions after long hours of use”, says Lee. His solution: faux leather that doesn’t fade or crack under sunlight, making these slides perfect for just about anything. Lee conceived the idea for Slate while living in Britain, and spent a year “constantly travelling, sourcing and researching” in preparation for the brand, which launched in November 2017. – RT
All uppers are individually handmade and padded with thick foam inserts for a snug and comfy fit.
HOTOGRAPHY DARREN CHANG