Kayla Wong of Basics for Basics wants to make the fashion industry less "ugly"

by: Abegaile Legaspi
20 Nov 2019

As the daughter of one of Hong Kong’s OG supermodels, Janet Ma, fashion is in Kayla Wong’s DNA. “I’ve always known that I wanted to do something related to fashion,” the 26-year-old style maven shares. “But I also wanted to do something that gives back.” Three years ago, Wong combined her passions for fashion and philanthropy to launch her own sustainable clothing label, Basics for Basics. 

The 26-year-old entrepreneur always had a knack for personal style.

Fast fashion labels such as H&M, Cotton On and Zara maintain their popularity because of the 3Cs: they’re cheap, cute, and convenient. But they’re also remarkably harmful to the environment. From the excessive production of synthetic fibres and garments to mishandled waste management, the textile industry has become one of the biggest culprits when it comes to air, soil and water pollution. Recognising what she calls the ‘ugly side’ of the industry, Wong started researching the adverse impacts on the environment, and started thinking of how to create a label that minimised these negative impacts.

Basics for Basics is an ethical clothing brand based in Hong Kong.

Modelled after her personal style, Basics for Basics sells ready-to-wear graphic and statement tees that Wong describes as ‘casual, but fashionable’. Focused on minimising its carbon footprint as much as possible, the ‘slow’ fashion label only make its tees using surplus fabrics (mainly sourced from India) or organic cotton. Also adhering to fair trade practices, Basics for Basics implements ethical manufacturing regulations that ensure fair working conditions for everyone.

Through her platform, Wong has also been actively educating the public about ‘green’ and ethical fashion. So does she see a change since she started her eco-entrepreneur journey three years ago? “I think Hong Kong is still a bit slow but we're definitely getting there,” Wong optimistically remarks.

Basics for Basics only sells products made from surplus fabrics and organic cotton.

On her mission towards a green future for fashion, Wong’s ultimate goal is education – for people to ‘understand the habits that we can actually change to be more sustainable as a lifestyle’. Through Basics for Basics, the eco-fashion warrior aims to inspire others to help carve a path towards a fashion industry that no longer has to be ugly.

Find out more – and shop your own basics – at Keep up with Kayla at @kaylaiw

All images are courtesy of Kayla Wong and Basics for Basics.