Come Together With... Emily Lam Ho
She’s the businesswoman extraordinaire with a keen eye on the environment and equality. As the CEO and founder of Empact28, an organisation that specialises in funding women-led projects, and CEO and co-founder of EcoDrive, which promotes the awareness and reduction of single use plastics, we couldn’t think of a better special guest at the opening of our new Hong Kong store than Emily Lam Ho. We caught up with her to find out why she’s supporting #TOGETHERBAND.
What Goals have you chosen today?
For me the hardest part was to choose because I feel each is equally important. I remember staring at the screen for a good half an hour reading and learning about each and every goal and each and every charity they are supporting. But I think wearing all 17 bands on my arm would definitely be a fashion statement! So in the end I picked Goal 5: Gender Equality and Goal 13: Climate Action.
What inspired you to choose them?
People’s unconscious bias can be more powerful than we realize. Highly successful female CEOs, investors and entrepreneurs are still a minority today in a male dominated investment world. I have met so many brilliant women globally who are creating, building and leading important businesses that will shape our future. So together we need to level the playing field.
And my love for the environment and for our next generation drew me to Goal 13. I co-founded EcoDrive - an NGO with the mission to reduce single use plastic through education and awareness. We need to stop the plastic problem at source, and humans are the source. Using a plastic bag or a water bottle for minutes, sometimes even just seconds, is having a detrimental impact on our environment and we all need to take responsibility for our plastic habits.
Tell us about Empact28
I established my own investment platform called Empact28 that focuses on funding women entrepreneurs and corporations that has a positive or environmental angle. One of my first investments was Yellow Leaf Hammocks, which trains women in impoverished communities in Thailand to weave hammocks from sustainable materials. The #TOGETHERBAND initiative rings true to the work I do with my platform to empower women to take charge of their lives.
What drives your work with EcoDrive?
My love for the environment and for my love for my children. I want to ensure that our children and generations to come have a sustainable future. As well as Goal 13, I think Goal 17 is very important too. Partnerships For The Goals is a reminder that in order to create success, we can’t do it alone - each goal is important and we all need to work collectively together. This is certainly something we have experienced in our work at EcoDrive - when we have made a real impact in reducing single use plastic is when we have joined together with different partners from all sectors. The same applies here but on a much bigger scale, I truly hope the world can band together and meet the objectives that the UN has set out to make the planet a better place for all of us and our children.
Who will be sharing your bands with?
I am sharing my Goal 5 band with mother, because she is the strongest women I know. She has been a great influence in my life, encouraging me to chase my dreams and to achieve my goals, and teaching me to not give up just because I was a girl growing up in a very traditional family.
And I will be sharing my Goal 13 band with my best friend Veronica Chou, who just launched her own sustainable eco innovative brand Everybody & Everyone. She is my sounding board when it comes to my sustainability initiatives. And she is a bad ass women founder.
Who are your favourite sustainable designers?
Fashion can be both environmentally sustainable and profitable. Veronica’s brand Everybody & Everyone makes clothes that are eco-innovative inclusive everyday essentials to make life easier. Most importantly it is better for our planet and her brand is carbon neutral, too.
And one of my latest investments is an incredible brand call Thousand Fell. It is a sneaker that is sustainably sourced and recyclable, biodegradable, and landfill free. It’s made from 12 biodegradable or recyclable ’ingredients’ including aloe vera, castor bean, coconut, sugar cane, palm leaf and most importantly recycled water bottles. And it’s not just comfortable and function, it’s chic too.
What small changes have you made in your own life to live more sustainably?
At EcoDrive our motto is start small start now. We want to drive behavioural change through awareness and education in the reduction of plastic use. I think we all need to be more aware and more conscious in our own consumer habits, from the way we shop, to the way we eat and dress by choosing more sustainable products. And you will always see me carrying my favourite reusable water bottle around.
Support the Global Goals with a #TOGETHERBAND. You’ll receive one to wear and one to share with a friend to help spread awareness for the Goal you have chosen.