Extracted from the KACTUS Magazine
Our lifestyle choices have never been as blatantly questioned as it has in our recent past. As we are continuously fighting through a pandemic, our health, mind, body and spirit has been the focus at large. Now that most of us has had the time, and probably still do, to take on a slower pace in life, how many of you have questioned yourself what this time means to you? Is the current health crisis a blessing in disguise – as in, does it make us take better care of ourselves by taking a step back? What about taking better care of our community and environment, too?
White Labelling has been founded during a difficult time, but founded for a greater purpose. As a yoga mat business, it is entering into a saturated market where there are already quite a number of mats for yogis and non-yogis, who have taken up this practice years before, to choose from. What sets White Labelling above all other mats in the market is how it takes into consideration not just the health and well-being of an individual, but also the health and well-being of our planet. Their yoga mats are made using vegan suede, which is a compilation of fine recycled polyester fiber, that makes it recyclable and biodegradable. They also offer a plethora of designs on top of creating bespoke designs that speak to the mat user.
Kactus was delighted to be able to speak to White Labelling founder Sherwin Tsang, ex-corporate lawyer turned creative, who talks about the purpose of her brand and its success.
K: What distinguishes White Labelling from many other yoga mat brands out there?
WL: It is a lifestyle driven yoga mat brand, which places a lot of emphasis on the aesthetics, touches of the surface, and the eco-friendly aspect. Functionality is a given, too.
We see the White Labelling mats as more than just a mat. It is a lifestyle piece which is so aesthetically pleasing that can be used for home decoration. This is why we are actively collaborating with a lot of local artists, including Chinese watercolor painters, calligraphers, illustrators, VR artists etc.
The surface of the mats is uniquely soft and comfortable. This is because we use vegan suede that makes it perfect for child poses. We also note the mats are unexpectedly popular amongst dogs, because the surface is so soft and ideal for dogs to lie around and chill.
K: What are the materials used in your mats that make it vegan?
WL: The whole mat is eco-friendly. The vegan suede surface of the mat is made of recycled nylon and polyester, and the bottom hit is of natural rubber.
K: Are you a yogi yourself?
WL: Embarrassingly I cannot call myself a hardcore yogi, but I go for regular late yoga classes. Given that I am an amateur yogi, I always find it difficult to justify myself to get these professional mats from market leaders. Further, I am looking for something more than just for functionality. I needed something that satisfies both functionally and aesthetically. This is how the White Labelling vision came to life.
Unlike many yoga mat brands that focus on hardcore professional yogis, White Labelling wants to be a lot more inclusive with the wider population, who may not be regular yoga practitioners. These people, as much as the professional yogis, deserve a yoga mat that serves their needs and personalities.
K: What made you decide to be in this industry? And, what purpose do you want White Labelling to serve?
WL: I have always been active in the wellness industry. My interest stemmed from my stressful days as a corporate lawyer, where I found the importance of mindfulness. This lead me to quit law and continue to explore myself.
Years down the road, fate has led me to the wellness industry fully. I am spearheading the wellness business unit of a world renowned hospitality group. This is where I was handed the opportunity to understand more about the market trends and customer needs.
In light of COVID-19, wellness has been growing faster than ever. Being in the industry, I also wanted to find a way to promote wellness whilst practicing social distancing. This is why I decided to execute the business idea I’ve been fermenting in my head for months.
In a nutshell, it is White Labelling’s vision to be the nature into the indoor areas via its botanically-inspired prints, and encourage everyone, regardless of their age or fitness level, to work out at home.
Further, to educate the public on the importance of mindfulness, sustainability and wellness, we will be holding a mindfulness stitching workshop in the near future, where participants would be able to stitch up their yoga mat straps by upcycling unwanted/ unused garments,
K: How do you view lifestyle choices in HK?
WL: We are spoiled by options. However more often than not, we are either forced to compromise on the quality or to pay for a ridiculously high price for these products.
As a hardcore shopper, I understand the consumer needs. As such, I want to provide a yoga mat with a high quality, eco-friendly product but sold at a reasonable price. Our mats are market as at least 20% – 40% cheaper than some huge yoga mat brands.
K: What issues do you see around you that yoga could help mitigate?
WL: I work very long hours and I often have to go on marathon conference calls that could go on for hours, especially when I work from home. This is when I pull out my yoga mat and stretch whilst participating in the conference calls. It helps me relax, wind down and stretch out my stiff muscles.
Well, there you have it. Ambitious ideas have sprouted in pandemic days, many of which target beneficial effects for leading an enriched and sustainable life. A business is more than just a means to a financial gain. Now more than ever, it is about finding meaning to our lifestyle choices.
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