In tandem with the recent pushback against fast fashion retailers such as Shein, we’re seeing more and more homeowners on the lookout for ethically sourced and produced home goods. It’s not always the easiest thing to do – many don’t know where to look, and the allure of cheap Taobao buys is always beckoning. Still, there are merits to slow living.
Well, for starters, we suggest checking out Green-House 2023, a bazaar that sees 70 sustainable local brands taking part. Held at Castlery, a furniture shop at Liat Towers, the 2-day bazaar offers interesting and eco-friendly goods such as hand-carved cheese serving boards, paintings made of moss, and even mini hydroponic greenhouses.
Green-House 2023 on 8 & 9 July at Castlery
Image credit: Pass It On
Back again for the second year, Green-House is “Singapore’s first and largest experiential shop-the-house retail event”, according to the brand. Shoppers get to browse through eco-friendly items offered by 70 Singaporean brands, and they run the gamut from home and living goods to consumables such as hot sauces and coffee.
What makes it a “shop-the-house” experience is its location – as the pop-up takes place in Castlery’s flagship store at Liat Towers, shoppers get to envision what the items will look like in their own homes.
Admission to the event is free and will take place on 8th and 9th July, 10am to 9pm.
Seamless “shop-the-house” experience
Uchify was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the event, and we loved how seamless everything was, even though each brand’s stall was technically an island of sorts.
Case in point – a booth selling candles sat atop a coffee table in a living room set-up. Right next to it was a TV console displaying quirky vases and handmade pottery from Casa Alessia – at 30% off, no less. If you squint and mentally Photoshop out some of the items on sale, it could very well be your own living room.
Local brands including Pass It On & Brambe
Sustainable soy candles
This year, there are 70 local brands taking part in Green-House 2023, which is about double of last year’s event. Green-House is actually organised by Pass It On, and we were particularly taken with their plantable candles.
These candles come with a label lid made of seed paper, and once it’s all burnt out, give the container a good wash and fill it with the soil pellets that came with the candle. Tear up the seed paper and bury it in the soil, then water it well. Voilà, you have a cute planter to call your own.
Jesmonite coasters and holders
Another brand worthy of highlighting is Brambe, which sells coasters, trinket trays, soap holders, and even custom trophies. These are made of Jesmonite which, according to the co-founder Bernie Ang, is an eco-friendly alternative to concrete. Some items bear colourful speckles made from plastic waste, while others are dotted with used coffee grounds.
What would an eco bazaar be without a stall or two selling crocheted homeware? At Byiroiro, we were enamoured with their crochet potholders, coasters, vase holders, storage baskets, and even reusable facial cleansing rounds – all of which are made of natural cotton and crocheted by one person.
Upcycled glass bottle planters
As we browsed, something caught our eye – an indoor hydroponic greenhouse sold by Aerospring Hydroponics. While outdoor hydroponics is pretty par for the course by now, indoor systems are relatively new to the market. Aspiring indoor home gardeners, now’s your chance to get started.
Next to it was Plantitude, a lifestyle brand that sells planters upcycled from wine and liquor bottles. Other products of note include reusable silicone food storage bags, handwoven pouches made from cotton and upcycled plastic waste, as well as concrete plant pots.
Reclaimed wood & resin tableware
For all you fancy folks who host dinners parties regularly, take a look at Hands Design by Uncle Ray. Hands Design makes use of leftover wood from logging companies and furniture brands in Singapore, and combines them with colourful resin to create homeware that double as works of art.
Uncle Ray introduced an array of charcuterie and cheese boards, all of which were painstakingly sanded down and cast with resin. According to the brand, each board takes about a week to make. We heard that Uncle Ray is actually a self-taught artist, which made it all the more impressive.
Fans of resin work will know that waste is often a point of contention, but Hands Design has eschewed that by using leftover resin to cast colourful bowls that reminds us of patchwork. In short, waste is kept to a minimum, and every single piece is made with the utmost care.
Vintage crockery tiered stands
Speaking of tableware, Simply R&J is a brand that turns vintage crockery into beautiful tiered stands. Familiar kopitiam-style plates and blue-and-white ceramics are a mainstay, but from time to time, the owner will source for crockery from overseas to create even more unique stands.
Luxury handmade ceramics
Another brand that caught our attention was KRA Sanctuary, a luxury tableware company that offers handmade pottery crafted by an artisan family in Thailand.
One look at their offerings will tell you that every piece is of high quality and made to last for a long time. Though on the pricier side – a dinnerware set for 4 costs $476 – it’s certainly worth the splurge if you have the budget.
Low-maintenance moss paintings
And if you are feeling particularly baller, check out the moss paintings by Studio PLNTY. Prices for each piece start at $2,600, and they offer worldwide shipping. The paintings are low-maintenance as they are made of preserved moss and don’t require watering. That said, do keep them out of direct sunlight and rain to prevent it from fading.
Besides bringing a touch of nature indoors, these moss paintings have another surprising function – they are sound-absorbing.
Self-care while caring for the Earth
Though our main goal was to suss out home and living stuff, we couldn’t help but to be drawn towards the numerous beauty, skincare, and self-care items available.
The cold process soaps by Clean Folks Club immediately had our entire attention. Shaped like cakes and macarons, the soaps looked utterly delectable and lit up the lizard part of our brains that told us to take a bite.
Next to it was a booth selling hand-sewn accessories and reusables in a plethora of brightly coloured patterned fabric. While talking to Kay H., the founder of The Tinkerbox, we learnt that the business started as an initiative to provide girls in Kenya with reusable sanitary products.
Besides that, The Tinkerbox also sells waterproof and leak-proof snack pouches that can store “200g of Famous Amos cookies, 3 Old Chang Kee curry puffs, 1 bagel from Two Men Bagel House, or 1 croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery if you place it diagonally.”
It was clear that she’s passionate about her work, given that she tests each prototype before making them available for sale. By the way, nothing goes to waste. Pieces of scrap fabric are fashioned into cute scrunchies and wrist straps. Waste not, want not.
Shop sustainably & attend eco workshops at Green-House 2023
It’s not always the easiest to shop sustainably if you’re someone who’s used to the convenience of Taobao. However, the extra effort will do the Earth a lot of good in the long run. Green-House 2023 also makes things a little more convenient by gathering 70 local sustainable brands in one location. So if you have no plans this weekend, you know what to do.
Besides the sweet allure of consumerism, you can also take part in green workshops ranging from leatherworking classes to an introduction session on how to incorporate crickets into your diet as a protein source.
Address: 541 Orchard Rd, #02/03-02 Liat Towers, Singapore 238881
Date: 8th and 9th July 2023
Contact: Green-House 2023 website
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Image adapted from: Uchify