Founded in 2019 by two remarkable women, Lenia Perez and Fabiana Gonzalez, VIPOP had a goal of showcasing Latin American artisans in Hong Kong. At the heart of their mission was ensuring that not only are they bringing underrepresented brands to Asia, but also working with handcrafters that use sustainable and ethical practices, with quality materials and craftsmanship.
With both co-founders hailing from Venezuela, the first stop was finding creatives that echoed their ethos in their home country. Lenia herself had an artisanal upbringing inspired by her mother. So they sought out women-owned designers, especially those that used eco-conscious practices and/or were employing marginalized groups such as indigenous people or single mothers.
Conscious brands with sustainable and ethical practices
In alignment with their mission, they are a completely female team. When sourcing brands, VIPOP puts their values first, working with brands that are “doing good”. Be that in the sustainability and slow fashion space, such as brands that use zero-waste processes, use vegan, organic or recycled materials, use local means of production, techniques and/or are carbon-neutral.
Read More : Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion: What are the Most Important Differences To Know?
The ateliers themselves are primarily owned by women or indigenous people that work with their local community, often using dying artisanal techniques to create the beautiful pieces that you can wear. Giving back, whether it’s through monetary donation, carbon offsetting or employing overlooked populations, is also at the core for these brands.
With this strong vision, VIPOP has since grown into a leading marketplace for women who are looking for high quality, sustainably sourced and unique clothing and jewellery. As items are curated and brought in small batches, no more than 2-3 pieces per size, you are sure to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, knowing the story and heritage of each item that you purchase, be it a fair-trade dress from the Columbian brand Azul Selva, handmade jewellery created by disenfranchised individuals including people with mild disabilities and former inmates from Vattea, or zero waste swimwear from Makara, will inspire you daily.
Alongside their large collection of Latin American brands, you can also find gems from around the world, as they continue to grow their offerings. The Hong Kong based brand, KRSV, for example, uses commercial textile silk waste, to create high-end, handcrafted pieces that are flattering and suitable for the Asian climate. Another incredible brand that they work with is the Belgian, vegan plant-based designer Amaré, which creates luxurious handbags and more from cactus leather, combining Italian artistry with modern sustainability.
Artezano – a concept store bringing artisans to you
In Hong Kong, they have created not just a brand but a lifestyle. The opening of their concept store, Artezano, that is both a boutique and a café, allows you to soak in the full experience. You can enjoy a cup of coffee or their special drinks such as the Sparkling Rose Lemonade, while you browse their beautiful clothing and jewellery selection. And if you are hungry, be sure to try Brazilian head chef, Agnes Lessa’s creations including their ever popular Avo Avo Avo, a smashed avocado toast, topped with poached eggs.
Being at their store, where you will often be greated with a familiar and smiling face, very often Fabiana herself, is like tasting a little slice of Latin American paradise in Hong Kong.
VIPOP, 52 – 54 Graham Street, G/Floor, email@example.com