The wait is finally over and we are thrilled to announce the 30 inspirational individuals who are making a difference and saving the world.
We’ve been waiting all year long for this: our Green Warriors, photo series, exhibition and award is BACK with its third edition! Our campaign is a tribute and celebration of 30 Singapore and Hong Kong-based changemakers who are shaking up the sustainability scene. This year, our theme is climate change is real. We chose to work with water during our shoot to symbolise the threat of rising sea levels and melting glaciers.
Alex Marco was our photographer for this year’s shoot. Alex is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in magazines, galleries, and on billboards across the globe. With a diverse and prolific portfolio, his work spans advertising campaigns, fashion photography and two decades of projects with NGOs. He refuses to work for cigarette or car brands and has always pushed large clients to look at the beauty they portray. Alex has fought against retouching models in the edit. Instead, he prefers to celebrate the diversity and plurality of life. His current focus is on environmental waste, using his experience and fashion glam aesthetic to the service of the planet.
The Green Warriors campaign stars people from all walks of life, from ecopreneurs to NGO founders, zero-waste designers and wildlife visionaries. It is proof that no matter where you come from or what you do, you too, are capable of making a difference and saving the world. Without further ado, here are all 30 of our 2019 Green Warriors.
Melissa Lam | Founder, Bamboo Straw Girl
For starting meaningful, serious conversations in a light-hearted way through the simple bamboo straw
Melissa Lam, better known as Bamboo Straw Girl, runs a social enterprise by the same name. To date, she has replaced almost 3 million disposable plastic straws and empowered a dozen independent South East Asian makers through full-time employment or an additional stream of income.
Rebecca Cappelli | Award-Winning Filmmaker, Let Us Be Heroes
For inspiring us to end animal suffering and fight against climate change
Rebecca Cappelli is an award-winning filmmaker, and her work aims to help people adopt a healthy and responsible lifestyle. Her documentary, Let us be Heroes, explores the impact of our food and lifestyle choices on our health, our planet, and our values.
J.J. Chuan | Founder, Rehyphen®
For upcycling old cassettes and videos into textile fabrics – MusicCloth®
J.J. Chuan founded Rehyphen® studio with the mission to lead and inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable. She reimagines a new way of exchanging music by addressing our global waste issues by transforming pre-loved cassette tapes into pieces of MusicCloth® that inspire the global community.
Annabelle Baker | Director and General Manager, Lush Greater China
For freeing us of beauty packaging and liberating animals from suffering
Under Annabelle’s direction, LUSH continues to lead the way on sustainability and vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics in Asia. This year we’ve seen the brand launch its first Naked store in the region, which champions packaging-free products. Such is the success of her work, that last year 55% of all LUSH products sold in HK were naked and unpackaged. Annabelle’s work is helping change consumer behaviour and drives sustainability initiatives in the region.
Ming Bridges | Founder and CEO, Rentadella
For making luxury fashion sustainable and accessible through rental
Ming Bridges is a singer/songwriter and entrepreneur best known as the founder of Rentadella; a sustainable disruptive fashion rental experience in Singapore. Her passion is to allow others to realise how easy, fun, and rewarding being environmentally conscious can be.
Charlz Ng | Co-Founder and Managing Director, Hybrid Group, Iris: Your Escape Fitness & Wellness Festival
For awakening Hong Kong through yoga, fitness, meditation, and mindful activities
Charlz Ng is a co-founder of Hybrid Group and boutique gym House of Fitness. Now in its fifth year, Hybrid Group inspires others towards healthier and more sustainable lifestyle choices through leading industry events, including the global craze Spartan Race and Hong Kong’s largest health and wellness festival, IRIS: Your Escape. His work to promote a healthier and conscious way of living is truly moving the needle in Hong Kong.
Alessandro Bisagni | Founder and President, BEE Incorporations
For conscious engineering solutions for green and healthy buildings worldwide
Alessandro launched BEE with a vision to make sustainability a quality investment and create positive environmental, economic, and social impacts on our built environment. BEE is committed to conscious engineering, and since then, he has worked on over 350 green building projects in 30 countries.
Raphaël De Ry | Founder, Edgar
For making Hong Kong a zero-waste place since 2016
Raphaël is the founder of Edgar, the first modern-day zero-waste, plastic-free bulk grocery in Hong Kong. Edgar is truly changing the food game with a philosophy of Reuse, Refuse, and Rethink.
Brian Reilly | Founder and CEO, Revolv [soon MUUSE]
For reducing food and single-use packaging
Brian founded Revolv in 2018. It aims to cut single-use plastics in the takeaway food sector by enabling customers to borrow then return reusable containers. His proudest accomplishment? Bringing together the Revolv and Muuse teams who together will go on to achieve great green things in the fight against single-use packaging.
Sarah Garner | Founder, Retykle
For closing the loop on children’s clothing through a secondhand resale platform for kids
www.Retykle.com is Asia’s first and largest online platform for buying and selling secondhand designer children’s and maternity fashion. Sarah aims to be part of the fashion solution by developing a circular economy benefiting parents, the community, and the environment. Her ambition to create a sustainable fashion loop continues to drive the business forward and keep high-quality items in circulation and out of the landfill.
Richie Kul | Actor, Model, and animal activist
For using his voice and platform to promote the benefits of cruelty-free, compassionate living
A devoted vegan and proud animal parent, Richie is firmly committed to sharing with friends and fans the many virtues and benefits of going cruelty-free and living in harmony with our planet and the beings we share with her. Richie’s daily activism in championing conscious, compassionate living is an inspiration.
Tanja Wessels | Content Creator and Co-Founder, One Mighty Morning
For using art to communicate climate change and eco-anxiety to bring mental health into the spotlight
A content creator, storyteller, connector and public speaker, Tanja is an eco-all-rounder who’s passion for sustainability is expressed through photography, writing, art, and connecting people to illustrate how individuals and industries can redefine business as unusual.
Tamsin Thornburrow | Founder, Live Zero
For launching Hong Kong’s first zero-waste bulk food store
Tamsin launched the first zero-waste store, Live Zero, in Hong Kong in 2018 and has been inspiring Hong Kongers to change the way they consume ever since. Live Zero stocks everyday groceries and household items free of packaging and plastic. She continues to inspire thousands of individuals to start their journey towards a low or zero-waste lifestyle.
Gary Bencheghib | Co-founder, filmmaker and activist, Make a Change World
For using storytelling to inspire systemic change end the waste issue in Indonesia and the USA
This environmental filmmaker is drawing attention to some of the most polluted areas on the planet, thanks to his viral videos and activism. His nine-part series about the world’s most polluted river, the Citarum in Indonesia, sparked a two-year emergency cleanup project supported by Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo.
Teresa Guttensohn | Co-Founder and President, Cicada Tree Eco-Place
For promoting nature and culture conservation, and eco-living through environmental education
Teresa is the President and Co-founder of Cicada Tree Eco-Place, an environmental education NGO formed in response to the rapid decline of natural habitats, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Teresa also advocates for the protection of Singapore’s natural heritage, last wilderness and rare species of tiger.
Vikas Garg | Founder & CEO, abillionveg
For driving the plant-based movement in Asia and 100+ countries globally
Vikas Garg is the Founder and CEO of abillionveg, a rapidly growing global internet platform on a mission to help a billion people become plant-based by 2030. abillionveg has spread to 100+ countries since its debut in 2018.
Walden Lam | Co-founder and Chief Hustler, unspun
For creating an on-demand supply chain to address fashion waste
Walden launched the revolutionary unspun, a fashion business with an on-demand supply chain to reduce waste. It does this to eliminate back end inventory, wasteful processes, and stereotype inducing fashion norms.
Phillipe Li | Business Development Manager, HK Recycles
For providing accountable and measurable waste management solutions to both commercial and residential clients
Philippe Li is the Business Development Manager for HK Recycles, a social enterprise that tackles Hong Kong’s socio-environmental problems by providing accountable and measurable waste management solutions and provides full-time employment opportunities for the underprivileged.
Paul Niel | Producer & Explorer, Adventure Clean-up Challenge
For cleaning up the Hong Kong coast through adventures
An adventurer, explorer and speaker, Paul has mapped the trash pollution of Hong Kong Islands coastline and captured the adventure in the award-winning film “The Loop”. Alongside his wife, Esther (who is also one of our Green Warriors!), he has removed thousands of bags of trash from the wild and cleaned vast swathes of coastline.
Esther Röling | Co-Founder, Adventure Clean Up Challenge
For cleaning up the Hong Kong coast through adventures
Esther is a co-founder of the Adventure Clean up Challenge: the first multi-disciplinary sports event with an environmental purpose. During the most recent Adventure Clean Up Challenge, 1327 bags of trash were collected, two tonnes of bulky items were removed, and over 840 volunteer hours were clocked.
Inch Chua | Artist, Singer-Songwriter
For capturing the weird and wonderful planet with music to inspire us to dig deeper within ourselves
Inch is an international singer-songwriter and artist advocating for a greener tomorrow. For her dedication in pursuing her passion and her commitment in giving back to the community on multiple fronts, Inch was conferred the Singapore Youth Award in 2018.
Bjorn Low | Co-founder and Managing Director, Edible Garden City
For converting dead city spaces into urban farms
Edible Gardens was born in 2012 with the hopes of building urban farms to help Singapore tackle its food security challenges. His passion has been the foundation for Edible Garden City. Today it employs a team of 40 full-time staff members and is carving its niche in a new industry sector in Singapore, having built more than 200 food gardens for hotels, schools, F&B outlets, property developers and home gardens.
Christina Lee | Founder & CEO, Global Green Connect
For empowering and connecting businesses and the next generation to build a sustainable future
Christina is deeply passionate about sustainability and business. She founded Global Green Connect, an integrated sustainability network that provides sustainability consulting, market entry advisory and business accelerator program.
Esther An | Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited
For being a prominent eco champion proving corporates can lead change in climate action and low carbon economy towards a more sustainable future for all
Esther has been a pioneering advocate for green building and sustainability for over two decades. She is instrumental in establishing CDL’s leadership in sustainability and ESG best practices. Recognising her as a forerunner in embracing the UN SDGs, UN Global Compact conferred Esther the 2018 SDG Pioneer for Green Infrastructure and A Low Carbon Economy.
Renard Siew | Climate Change Advisor, CENT-GPS
For fighting the climate crisis on multiple fronts and creating a low carbon environment
Renard is a Climate Change Advisor to CENT-GPS. He is actively involved in engineering solutions for a low carbon environment across multiple fronts through his role as lead for the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and involvement in UNEP’s Collective Commitment on Climate Action task force.
Christian Mongendre | Founder & CEO, TREEHOUSE
For creating the biggest plant-based fast-casual restaurant chain
Christian Mongendre is widely recognised as the visionary behind the plant-based movement in Hong Kong. He successfully co-founded and opened well-loved restaurants such as Mana! and subsequently, Mana! Raw and Mana! Café. From there, he founded and launched HOME — Eat to Live reclaimed from an old Burger King in Central, Hong Kong.
Christina Dean | Founder & Chair, Redress, Founder & CEO, The R Collective
For making the fashion industry more conscious and building a sustainable fashion industry in Asia
Christina is a leading sustainable fashion advocate who founded The R Collective, a social impact upcycled fashion brand that creates luxury upcycled fashion using waste materials, and also a charity called Redress that’s on a mission to reduce waste in the fashion industry.
Pat Dwyer | Founder and Director, The Purpose Business
For making sustainability the new norm within organisations
Pat is passionate about sharing her 20 years of sustainability leadership to help businesses in Asia thrive through responsible growth. Pat also serves on the World Economic Forum Council on Future of Environment & Natural Resource Security.
Ho Xiang Tian | Co-Founder, LepakInSG
For advocating for systemic change for a better future and shifting the conversation away from individual action
Xiang Tian is the co-founder of informal environmental group LepakInSG. The group is lauded for being a social calendar of all the green events unfolding in Singapore. Before that, he had spent nearly half a decade dabbling in various environmental issues and trying to crack the code on creating systemic change.
Melati Wijsen | Founder & Changemaker, Bye Bye Plastic Bags & YOUTHTOPIA
For ending the plastic problem in Bali and youth empowerment
Melati Wijsen is an 18-year-old Indonesian/Dutch activist and changemaker. She graduated from Bali’s Green School in 2017 and has been a full-time changemaker ever since. She founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags at age 12 with her younger sister Isabel, then 10. In June 2019, an official ban of plastic bags, straws and styrofoam was enforced by the Balinese government which is not only but also thanks to Bye Bye Plastic Bags’ campaigning for the past six years.