Life under tree shadow

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Life as an earthling.

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This is how you get a life

Food moment of the day – Sinmei Tea

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Dumb vegetarian.

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Matcha Soul  – green tea with honey, soy milk, almond and warmth.
Tofu Burger – Totally the best in Sheung Wan.

On Air: Drummer – Original Mix

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Life as an earthling.

Rice and neighbourhood

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Dumb vegetarian. / Ethical urbanite.

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This is Hong Kong. Supermarkets don’t reflect much about who we actually are, how we actually live. That is a fabrication – of who the corporates want us to be, want us to choose. They want our souls. Rice they feed us with – that very basic element of a Hongkongese family dinner for centuries – comes all the way from Thailand and Japan, steeply marked up. Like we never grow our own rice – that very basic element of a Hongkongese family dinner for centuries. You buy 5 or 8 kg of rice in a cold, soulless plastic package. Like food is to be shopped, rather than to fuel. But hell, that is a very basic element of a Hongkongese family dinner for centuries. There should be warmth and humanity in what we eat. After all, Chinese culture is cultured.

Hidden in alleys or weathering old stores, from which we derive the very Hongkongese name ‘士多’, we still find rices in buckets (sometimes wooden). You don’t buy per pack. You buy as much as you want. Most of the time, rices in local stalls are way cheaper – and way warmer and soulful. Because you can talk to the stalk owner about the weather or the day, about the rice and everything. More important is – you buy unpackaged. I can use a furoshiki to wrap away the precious food, which is the very basic element of a Hongkongese family dinner.

From Shanghai, the sign reads, Pearly Big Rice. 

Food moment of the day. Bak Choy with red quinoa miso

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Dumb vegetarian.

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Thought of the day

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Ethical urbanite.

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COSSAC, slogan tees for young rebels

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Ethical urbanite.

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Amidst all similar labels emerging / upcoming, COSSAC – which just celebrated its official launch on October 24 – picks a distinctive position in ethical fashion by bringing back slogan tees with messages.

The postman brought me a carton box that brought me a gift from COSSAC, a new sustainable fashion label from the UK. Yea, you may think, there are many of them out there bearing words like sustainable, eco, ethical like it’s a new Le Smoking. I might as well think so I didn’t check out on this new name that is serious about what it is doing.

I am not sure how people see this but something is really important to me – packaging. There are green companies that appear to be aspiring but you know what they are about when you are 5 minutes into the conversation. COSSAC – likewise, I am not sure how they see this but, again, it is really important to me – does their packaging consciously. No tissue paper, no plastic loop for tags. Trivial it may seem, it does tell whether a brand is here to challenge the status quo. And you know COSSAC is a brand of this kind when you see what I’ve got: Namaste bitches!

WP_20141024_18_31_44_Pro 1Besides this humourous one, there are also ‘Time is Now’ , ‘Never Sorry’, and the long-sleeved ‘This was only an X‘ from the For the Soul collection. The other collection marking the debut is ‘For the Eye’ comprised of fashionable, sculptural pieces using eco-friendly and recycled fabrics like organic cotton velvet and recycled leather. Even more ambitious, For the Soul highlights:

  • Global Organic Textile Standard® (GOTS) certified cotton - in case you don’t know, when fashion labels call their cotton certified, it basically means nothing if it doesn’t come with symbols of GOTS, Soil Association, OE and other professional bodies. When there is GOTS, you can be rest assured that the cotton is really organic because products are both grown and processed to organic standards, and strict environmental and social criteria ought to be met during processing and certified by an independent, third party along the whole supply chain. Okay this is going educational. Back to the topic…
  • Organic African cotton – someone left a comment on my Instagram that she had never heard a term like this. Well this term seems very literally understandable to me, but to some people you always have to break things down alphabetically… Read ITC EFI to see why I reckon it’s important to support. (Because there are indeed billions of people who would never get rid of the loop of poverty without fair trade and fashion business opportunities.
  • By ‘fair trade’ above it means workers in India, Turkey and other suppliers are receiving fair wages and factory audits are carried out to guarantee this.
  • COSSAC operates purely as an online retailer! Because this is a more eco-friendly approach to fashion distribution – hopefully the carbon footprint of delivery is set off by potential emissions saved by not running shops, printing receipts, and delivery details ( which are communicated via email to reduce paper waste.)

What also captivates me is – slogan tees just cannot go wrong. When you do ethical fashion, it will never work or be justified if you don’t want slow fashion. Slogan tees are a case in point. And I look forward to more statements comparable to Katharine Hamnett’s.

As soon as I posted the below photo to social media, friends were already asking me where to buy this. Well, now you know!

cossac.co.uk

One food moment a day.

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Life as an earthling.

6tag_261014-122900The plastic crab does make the cinnamon roll and soy milk latte better tasting.
At Saffron Bakery.

Think of a quick West-meets-East dinner to start with malabar spinach

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Dumb vegetarian.

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When the friendly old man rang my bell, I was anticipating with an empty stomach. 4pm, the clock read. This time with just a HKD140 order, I still received 4 kinds of vegetables – more than enough to last me for a week. For some reason I wanted to start this week’s ritual with malabar spinach. The impulsion quickly developed into the meal above.

As a lazy vegetarian I can hardly be a great cook. But one thing that still encourages me to try is the possibilities for West-meets-East fusion that happens in my tiny kitchen. This three-course meal is another ‘milestone’ I would proudly put into my private cookbook (if there were any).WP_20141029_16_43_49_Pro 1

Malabar Spinach in Chinese kitchens usually becomes light-boiled soup with tofu and pork. It’s considered a very healthy kind of vegetables that helps digestion (because of its rich soluble fibre contents that create the succulence). It is also rich of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium. Though I only knew what it is called in English before I am doing this post, I cooked it as if it were a spinach curry-lookalike – only with tofu because tofu always goes with malabar spinach in Chinese cuisine. So that’s how I made this:

  • Pan-fry tofu slices.
  • Boil malabar spinach.
  •  Blend the boiled leaves with little water to make a thick soup.
  • Pour the puree back to a pot, heat with a pinch of salt,  pan-fried tofu and a spoon of coconut oil.
  • Top it with parsley (from my rooftop).

Scrambled egg is common in both Western and Chinese cuisines. But from my boyfriend I have learnt to add milk into the pan for a creamy texture. So tonight scrambled egg is actually mixed with Oat milk (no more dairy under my roof!) and Chinese fermented bean curds. It makes a great balance because egg and oat milk are pretty tasteless whilst bean curds have an eccentric, strong taste. Spring onions from my rooftop, which I have been growing from cutouts months ago, make a great note too.

Green tea noodles with red quinoa - another West-meets-East. What I like about green tea noodles is that it doesn’t take much time to cook. Pour them into boiling water on heat and it is ready to serve in 3 minutes. This time, however, it took longer because red quinoa was sharing the pan. The colour combo reminds me of green tea and red bean ice-cream :)

Bon appétit!

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This is the batch of vegetables I received from the local farm AuLaw today.

Go Green Awards 2014 Ceremony

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Life as an earthling.

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This Sunday I travelled all the way to Stanley for Weekend Magazine’s Go Green Awards 2014 Ceremony. Last year I was there as one of the winners, this year I was here because I was of the judge panel. And I was so glad to see winners, organisations and individuals, who totally deserve the recognition! What’s more, JupYeah had a stall there sharing used goods – gathered from our Crew Juppers team –  raise fund for WWF. :)

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