Hong Kong's Best Secret Shops
Recently, we here at toat visited a few local businesses that we just can’t keep to ourselves! Hong Kong is a genuine melting pot of culture and ideas, new and old; we think the following shops are a perfect representation of that… and we hope you love them as much as we do!
Garment2Garment breathes new life into the spinning-mill past of its location, The Mills. With research by HKRITA (Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel) and support from H&M Foundation and Novetex, G2G is a first-in-the-world innovation that takes old garments, breaks them down and—after adding a bit of virgin pulp—re-knits them into a new item! It consists of an eight-step process and is HKRITA’s response to the issue of textile waste and an attempt to close the loop.
Currently, two styles are available: a v-neck or crew neck sweater, but there are three more in the works—turtleneck, scarf and a round-neck raglan sleeve top. The service costs 499HKD (approx. 65USD) per piece and the final product can be picked up after a week or two!
HKRITA’s work has definitely gone global: H&M has unveiled a system just like G2G in one of their stores in Stockholm under the name Looop—and customers can try it out for just 150SEK (18USD). Beyond the G2G tech, Monki also released its first collection created using The Green Machine system, which uses a hydrothermal process to separate and recycle cotton/polyester blends, without damaging the fibres and lowering its quality. It certainly is an exciting time for textile recycling!
At The Tree Stationery, every piece is lovingly curated with a story that Pauline, the founder, is eager to tell. Many of the products displayed are created by local Hong Kong artists, ranging from hand-carved stamps, to wood-fired ceramics, to award-winning pens. Between the innumerable cat-themed designs and, of course, the stationery, one could spend hours here just poring over each item.
Even the ambience is carefully designed, as Pauline described the intent of creating a safe space and shelter (hence “The Tree”). The Causeway Bay walk-up makes for a great respite from the chaotic busyness of the streets down below; anyone and everyone is welcome to browse its shelves, if only to escape just for a little while.
Yuet Tung is Hong Kong’s first and last-standing hand-painted porcelain factory, originally founded almost a full century ago, in 1928. Joseph, Yuet Tung’s third-generation owner, told us of the business’ history: from its beginnings as a live-in, family-style factory, to the limited-edition works that they are commissioned to make in the present day. They have had an impressive clientele of former local governors, military chiefs and even the likes of Elizabeth Taylor. It is, however, a dying art—the business has gone from its heydays of having over 30 painters, to just two to three remaining today, nearing retirement themselves.
The factory itself is a sight to behold, aisles and aisles of porcelain pieces stacked to towering heights, it undoubtedly takes a certain dexterity just to navigate the space. Those who can’t make it to their Kowloon Bay location, but are still interested in ordering (worldwide!) can send a DM to their Facebook or Instagram pages; Martina, Joseph’s daughter, runs the accounts and can cater to your requests in both English and Chinese. Joseph’s wife, Ruby, also leads porcelain painting workshops at the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of Eslite.
An inspiring and innovative space that combines concept-store and café with an event and gallery space. WOMANBOSS puts womanhood and equality first, celebrating creativity, wellness and sustainability with a young, hip and super-friendly team! Its displays and art pieces are constantly rotated out, highlighting different themes and making art appreciation accessible to a younger crowd.
Its catalogue boasts a range of CBD products, self-improvement card decks and meaningful decor, all of which intend to enrich your daily life. Meanwhile, the café is led by chef Phoebe Lo, with a small but delectable menu of monthly-limited dishes. For the month of March, there’s a gluten-free feta pasta that Taylor got to make in the WOMANBOSS kitchen alongside the chef herself and… psst, you can also book out the space for a private dining experience catered by Chef Phoebe!
Oh, and even better yet, the space is dog-friendly!