"Imagine a world where every time you shopped, the proceeds would be fairly distributed to the people involved and the planet would be cared for. Imagine a world where shopping this way does not mean you have to compromise on your style and budget. Now imagine that this world is here today.
Thousands of fashion brands worldwide are already creating beautiful products while meeting your sustainability needs, breaking the stereotype that sustainable fashion is only for tree-huggers.
However, these same brands often find it difficult to reach a wider audience as they typically don’t have the resources that Big Fashion has. As shoppers, we experience this as a narrowing of our options to a handful of Big Fashion brands when the true range, which includes scores of sustainable fashion brands, is far wider. This often leads to us buying items that are easily available and “good enough”, instead of items we truly love, resulting in the “nothing-to-wear” syndrome despite our overflowing wardrobes.
I am Chu, and I am a shopper who’s had enough of this.
Up until 7 years ago, I was your average shopper, visiting your standard high-street stores ... until in 2013, when a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1000 garment workers and injuring over 2000. The issue made headlines because of the factory's horrible working conditions, and because it was found to be the manufacturer of several big-name clothing brands — many of which I had regularly purchased from.
This was the first time I'd heard about the atrocities of the fashion industry. I realised I had contributed to the disaster through my shopping habits. I realised that I didn't want to be part of the problem. And this was the reason I began my journey searching for ways to shop more sustainably.
What began as an examination of my personal consumption habits has since evolved into a calling — in 2017 I left the language industry I was trained for to commit myself fully to the world of sustainable fashion. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working in multiple organisations in the industry, both non- and for-profit. I am also currently the Country Coordinator at Fashion Revolution Singapore.
I first conceived of Shop Bettr as an idea in 2015, when I was frustrated with my own attempts at shopping for clothing in a more sustainable manner. I was appalled by how difficult it was to
- differentiate greenwashing from genuine efforts,
- understand what the various certifications mean, and
- simply find the items that appealed to me aesthetically.
But this frustration didn’t lead to action as I didn’t feel ready to take on Big Fashion, especially since sustainable fashion was considered extremely niche with only a handful of tree-hugger shoppers. So instead, I waited, hoping someone else would solve this problem for me.
It is now 2020. I am happy to find that as the years have passed, shoppers like you and I, who care about people and planet, are no longer dismissed as a small group of tree-huggers. We are now a significant and ever-growing community that votes for the future we want through our spending.
I want to make it easier for all of us to Shop Bettr. My hope is that you’ll join me on this journey."
Founder, Shop Bettr
Having worked on business strategy and implementation in the corporate world, Chu now focuses on solving problems and increasing efficiency in projects related to the environment and social causes. Chu specialises in sustainable fashion, with experience spanning across multiple organisations in the industry, both non- and for-profit. She is currently the founder of Shop Bettr and the Country Coordinator of Fashion Revolution Singapore.