Name of Recipient:
Mr. Daniel Cossette
Ms. Danielle Champagne
In this modern day and age, fashion is now used as a measurement for one’s status and spending ability. The famous shopping venues around the world such as the Fifth Avenue in New York City, or Mayfair district in London, and even Orchard Road of Singapore are testaments to that. However, with each passing year, Earth’s natural resources around the world continue to deplete, and the movements and campaigns for a greener Earth are more prominent than ever. What better way to merge sustainability with fashion by creating eco-clothing? Rising to this challenge is Zhai Pte Ltd, an eco-clothing brand operating right here in Singapore itself.
Established in 2009 by Ms. Kim Rose Allen, Zhai Pte Ltd has a whole range of clothing for both men and women. Knowing of Asia’s bond and cultural affinity with bamboo, Zhai’s products are made from the finest, 100% organically grown bamboo fiber. As bamboo is the fastest growing sustainable plant and is grown free from pesticides and chemicals, its fiber is an environmentally friendly solution that can be used in various industries and products. Their benefits also go beyond the surface; they are anti-bacterial and fungal, odor resistant, absorb moisture, have UV protective properties, and ideal for people who possess sensitive skin. With this fabric, ladies can choose from a range of cardigans, dresses, tops and bottoms, accessories and more, while the men can find T-shirts and socks that will suit them.
It all started when Kim, who has an interest in fashion, read various articles about eco-friendly clothing; as she read on, she realized that such environmentally friendly options would provide an alternative and better choice in fashion. Although latest trends in fashion are rolled off the machines all the time, Kim found that it is getting harder to find reliable, staple clothing for women. Beginning research into starting an eco-friendly clothing brand, Kim is drawn to the positive benefits of bamboo, which is suitable for the hot climate in Singapore.
Setting up a company in the niche eco-clothing market was a tough process; Kim found herself going through the whole educational process of the properties of bamboo and how it is different from the usual fabrics. In addition, she had to research on the relevant suppliers, and originally design the collection. Although this process was not an easy one, the rewards were gratifying. Zhai found itself with a high volume of customers, all of them impressed with the quality and its eco-friendly properties. Kim also found it very satisfying that she has made a difference, “If everyone chooses to make a small difference, it all adds up to a huge difference you have made to this world.”
Now, Zhai is the leading eco-brand clothing in Singapore, with its fashion range renewing itself every three months, providing up-to-date fashion, as well as classics that can be worn on any occasion. Since their establishment, they have promoted the awareness of sustainable fashion, making a difference in the world one clothing at a time.
Despite all that, Kim is still very humble about the achievements Zhai has made, and is still intent on giving back to the community however she can. For example, she has sponsored various events and magazines with Zhai’s clothing, as well as participating in a fundraiser event for women. In December last year, Panasonic chose Zhai as their Singapore representative for their showcase, which truly speaks to their standing in the fashion industry. In addition, they have also provided internships for local students; two of their interns in 2011 stayed on to work part time with them after it ended, and one of them, who graduated in fashion design, even went onto full time work with Zhai this year as their Shop Manager and Assistant Designer.
When asked for advice about achieving entrepreneurial success, Kim had the following to say, “I feel that you have to have the passion for what you are doing. With it comes motivation and perseverance. There will definitely be challenges, you have to be realistic about it, but there is no such thing as failure if you try.” She also added, “Approach things as professionally as possible, try to gain as much inside knowledge about your business as you can, and have respect for the people you work with; if it is not a cohesive environment to work in, there is no team environment, and the spirit will falter.”
Since their establishment, Zhai has well and truly put itself in the map of the fashion world, having exported their clothing to eight countries. They now plan to open new outlets in other areas of Singapore, and hopefully establish an overseas outlet as well. Kim also plans to expand and widen their range of clothing as well, building more brand awareness for Zhai. With a commendable mission of giving back to the environment and the world, we wish Zhai the very best, and we have no doubt they will achieve great success in their future endeavors.
82 Haji Lane S(189272)
T| 6396 6865