Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the entire GITNB team. Because of you we have just closed the curtain on a super successful second iteration of The Conscious Festival in Hong Kong and despite the rain and competing with other festivals like Sonar (and apparently a festival for dogs, too) the event drew almost 4,000 guests from all walks of life looking to discover their own way to live more consciously through #LittleGreenSteps.
In case you thought this was an event that would appeal only to hippies, yogis or activists – it’s not. If anything, this year proved that everyone is looking to live more consciously. From impassioned children to ardent entrepreneurs, nightlife lovers, festival goers, and foodies – it was truly a melting pot of conscious warriors to be. But above all, what this year really proved is that there is hope. What began as a group of people that came together out of worry for the future ended on a positive note as attendees of The Conscious Festival left with an overwhelming number of actionable ideas about what can be done.
We also had a lot of fun (and drank a lot of natural wine). These are the standout moments from the weekend that will stay with us as we work together for a better future one #LittleGreenStep at a time.
All the serendipitous conversations
Around every corner and beyond every turn, there a fascinating person to meet with a captivating story to tell. The conversations that unfolded as a result were enlightening, inspiring and inviting. Once guests were through the door, it was as if everyone was an old friend they hadn’t seen for years. There is something to be said about several thousand people coming together with one common interest and it should be done more often because that’s where the magic really happens.
The vegan truffle mushroom pizza on a charcoal crust
It’s all Mayse’s fault. They had the brilliant idea to bake vegan pizzas and then the smells of truffles permeated the air for two days leaving many people with no choice but to chow down on one (or two). Tantalizing and irresistible, vegan pizzas were the star attraction at the F&B alcove but vegan wraps, salads, baked good, and crisps were also on the menu. Also impressive was Habitu, who served coffee in super chic bamboo cups that you could take home and reuse forever if you forfeited the HK$20 deposit.
9-year-old Lucia’s moving talk
If a nine-year-old can change the world, what’s your excuse? Perhaps one of the most powerful and moving tracks of the weekend was a talk by Lucia Torresi from Ecoparties (yes, that’s right, she has a business), a nine-year-old who spoke about fighting climate change in Hong Kong. In her goosebump-inducing talk, she shed some light on her own journey, which began when she was just four years old, and how she believes change starts with children (since adults are already set in their ways). When she’s not cleaning up beaches or delivering presentations in classrooms aimed at teaching students how to live more consciously, she’s busy changing the world one party at a time through Ecoparties, a rental service providing reusable products. “We’re already eating plastic,” she said. “ACT NOW!”
Liv Lo’s sweat-inducing FitSphere class
The weather may have squashed any sunset yoga dreams but when Liv Lo is leading the class, nobody noticed. Within minutes of the class commencing, sweat was already beading down a room packed with yogis looking to experience their first FitSphere yoga flow class. The class proved to be down to earth yoga for the modern warrior that’s full of love and laughs. Gentle musical accompaniment was provided by DJ Vitto as Liv took the group through a series of postures while taking her time to consciously explain the practice she was leading.
The film screening (with a side of natural wine)
Saturday night saw a special screening of several short films with one common theme: the sea. Titled Ocean in Motion, the Ocean Recovery Alliance turned the lights down low and excited, inspired and entertained the audience through films of various lengths about topics ranging from surfing to ocean preservation to…turtles. And because we like to keep it real at Green is the New Black, in typical Saturday night style we served natural wine courtesy of La Cabane to anyone looking to indulge.
The LUSH pop up and its gloriously overbearing smell
Walking into The Conscious Festival felt not far off from walking into a LUSH store with the brand’s signature smell filling the air from the first step. LUSH was very present onsite with an activation that brought their recently launched Naked line to the festival and even saw their collection of refillable lipsticks in different colour debut for the first time in Hong Kong. In a keynote, LUSH also announced that it would be opening an entire store in Hong Kong dedicated to package-free products. Pro tip: pack your clothes in the same bag as your LUSH purchases and you’ll smell like LUSH all day.
The surprise boat sessions
As festival goers heading across the harbour stepped aboard the GITNB chartered boat that shuttled guests to the Kerry Hotel from Central and back (for which we will offset carbon emissions), they were treated to an impromptu meditation session on Saturday and a conscious communication session led by Cecilia Lui on Sunday. Cecilia’s gifted approach to communication was inspiring to say the least and in 15 short minutes guests left with a greater sense of awareness in the way they communicate with people that they will without a doubt carry with them for their entire lives. We’re not sure why we never thought about adding elevate the transportation experience but we’ll definitely be adding onto the insightful element in the future.
Normally you’d feel a little shameful going on a shopping spree but not at The Conscious Festival where a mindful marketplace made all purchases for a good cause. We picked up a few months’ supply of a kombucha-like fermented papaya leaf drink from, notebook that you can plant when they’re finished (we got one that will grow into a chili pepper), a children’s book made of recycled materials on environmental tops, a copper bottle (pictured in the image below), a reusable Ecoffee cup, Abeego food wraps and so much more. A word of advice for next year is to come prepared to take a couple of bags of goodies home (or an extra suitcase like in my case).
The super glamorous opening night
Who says sustainability has to be stiff? Do it right and there is nothing wrong with a touch of glamour. With the sparkling Hong Kong skyline in the background and our GREEN Warriors from 2018 in the foreground, we kicked off the weekend with a flow of energy that was carried all the way through the weekend.
The Kerry Hotel and its stunning setup
A huge thank you to the Kerry Hotel for putting us up and turning out to be the venue of our dreams. Perfectly situated at the pier made the trip over the harbor painless and the reward was vistas in every direction. Clean, polished and ultra chic, the Kerry Hotel further proved that sustainability can be sexy.
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