Christmas is all the more special this year, given these uncertain times, gives all the more reason to spread some Yuletide cheer through presents. In the spirit of merriment, we solve the conundrum of holiday shopping and bring you an all-encompassing Christmas gift guide.
Textured and a mini version of Gucci’s ‘Dionysus’ bag, this beautiful craftsmanship of a bag makes the perfect gift for a special someone, like your mum.
Gucci's black belt is a must-have for fans of the iconic brand. This Italian-made style is crafted from smooth leather and embellished with the label's iconic 'GG' logo. Style yours with a blouse and skirt.
Don’t have the wall space for a new painting? Look no further! rgportraits.com now has its very own online shop. Launching exclusively to Malaysia and stocked to the brim with Rachel Gray’s hand-painted wildlife portraits available on items such as, premium cushions, biodegradable iPhone covers, T-shirts, tote bags and much more. Great gifts to spruce up your home or to start the New Year with a little treat.
After a roller coaster year, the new Foreo Luna Mini 2 gift set is a gift that just keeps on giving. With a cute candy colour, the enhanced T-Sonic™ facial cleansing massager with eight adjustable massage intensities offers a spa-like experience within the comfort of home. The Foreo Luna Mini 2 is made for all skin types.
Having the perfect armour for your skin is essential to maintaining skin health. This is where La Mer’s Concentrate comes in — a restorative treatment infused with a concentrated form of cell-renewing Miracle Broth™ to help visibly calm redness, irritation and other signs of inflammation. We know your loved ones would appreciate this little elixir.
The Dyson Airwrap is the holy grail of styling kits and probably the best gift for someone who loves to care for their crowning glory. The Airwrap comes with a variety of tools, including a curler, for that beach wave or coiled curls, all without using extreme heat or causing extensive damage.
Move over Bose, the HomePod mini vows to deliver big sound for a speaker of its size. Don’t underestimate its size though, because at 3.3 inches tall, it can fill the entire room with a crisp and rich 360-degree audio that sounds amazing. Playing Mariah Carey’s ‘O Holy Night’ would feel like she’s right in front of you.
LG has come a long way and is now at the forefront of OLED panel technology, securing itself as a renowned household name. What better gift than a sleek, work of art that seamlessly blends in to the walls of your home and enhances your entertainment experience.
A stunning watch for a strapping man. The 'Mediterraneo' version of Panerai's iconic 'Radiomir' watch oozes finesse by evoking the colours of the deep sea with a rich blue sunburst dial and matching alligator strap. This watch is a mark of great craftsmanship with its polished titanium case, in-house P.4000 calibre automatic mechanical movement with 3-day power reserve and a sapphire crystal case back detailed with a wave pattern.
For the host or men in the family who have a penchant for tipples, this Lorenzo Milani Bamboo and Stainless Steel Bar Set makes a lavish present. Impeccably made in the label's Milanese atelier, this bamboo and stainless steel set has everything a mixologist needs to craft some cocktails — fitting for the festivities.
Alexander McQueen’s doles out a new rendition on the iconic sneakers features croc-effect suede heel tabs stamped with the label's logo. They're made from leather and set on exaggerated rubber soles for a bit of height. Its clean, white colour will match any outfit you don.
We all know that most men have a deep appreciation for cars. While the actual Jaguar E-Type Coupe might not fit in a box, the model car by Amalgam Collection certainly does. Brilliantly aerodynamic, this beaut of a car was designed for racing, guiding drivers to victory in the Le Mans 24-hour in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Beautifully perched on a polished black mount, this 1:18th version has captured the car’s minutiae in perfect scale, right down to the leather interiors.
By: Agnes Aui
Switching to a sustainable lifestyle is extremely important now more than ever before. Though people try to deny it, the evident change in climate and pollution throughout the world shows how vital it is to care for our environment. Should the world turn a blind eye to the effects of climate change and other environmental factors, the human population would be the one to ultimately suffer from health and livelihood issues linked to these environmental effects.
Of course, being 100 percent sustainable is easier said than done, and many people struggle to convert to a sustainable lifestyle. This is because when we try to go sustainable all at once, it’s inevitable that we’ll make some mistakes. These mistakes may demotivate us and ultimately result in us giving up the whole sustainable transformation. Thus, it’s important to take baby steps when it comes to adopting the lifestyle. Make small yet important changes in your daily way of life and soon, you’ll see bigger and better changes.
If you’re wondering where to start, how about making the switch in your beauty routine? Instead of the usual chemical filled and plastic packaged beauty products, go for sustainable options like natural ingredients and biodegradable packaging. Does this pique your interest? Well, then keep on reading to find out more about sustainable beauty.
Firstly, what is sustainable beauty?
Sustainable beauty are products that can exist constantly, or in simpler terms, eco-friendly. The products should be safe for people and the Earth while being formulated with all-natural and non-toxic ingredients. The products must also adhere to an environmentally-friendly production practice and packaging method, producing little to no waste and packaged in biodegradable or plastic free containers.
When purchasing sustainable beauty products, take your time to go through the list of ingredients to find a brand that does the most for the environment. Alternatively, you can turn to homemade beauty products using ingredients that you can easily find in the comfort of your own home.
Next, how do you identify sustainable beauty products?
The one thing everyone should know about sustainable beauty brands, is that not one brand is entirely perfect. We could write an entire list of requirements when shopping but most likely, we would find ourselves turning down every beauty product we come across. So, when identifying sustainable beauty products, keep in mind to find brands that go the extra mile.
Another thing is to not limit yourself to only purchasing mainstream brands. Widen your horizons and try small local brands too, you’ll be surprised at the quality as most startup sustainable brands produce their products in small batches, ensuring high quality for an affordable price. When scanning through the ingredients listed on the beauty product, keep an eye out for these words: cruelty-free, non-toxic, vegan and palm oil free. These keywords determine whether a product is sustainable or not. As for business practices, find out whether the brand sources its ingredients ethically and packages its items thoughtfully (plastic-free, reusable or biodegradable). If the product and brand matches the points highlighted above, then they’re safe to add to your sustainable beauty collection.
What should you do if your current products aren’t sustainable?
Let’s say you’ve decided to make the switch, but soon realise that most if not all of your current products aren’t sustainable. The reasonable thing to do is to use the products until they have finished, then make the switch. However, since you’ve made the pledge to convert to the sustainable lifestyle, you’ve got to think what to do with the packaging that came with your products. Don’t panic just yet, because here’s a few things you can do to minimise waste.
First, recycle parts that can be recycled. For products that have more than one element of packaging (for example, plastic and metal), make your effort count by trying your best to separate elements of the product’s packaging and recycling them individually.
Another method is to upcycle the packaging. Little glass containers can be reused to store homemade lip balm while jars can be used to store dry ingredients or other homemade beauty products. Mascara containers and wands can be reused to store unprocessed oils that can be applied to your lashes or eyebrows to stimulate hair growth, and small containers can be used in your travel kit to store your homemade items.
Last but not least, donate the packaging to those who need it. As an example, old mascara wands can be donated to ‘Wands for Wildlife’, a non-profit organisation that reuses old mascara wands to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur and feathers of wild animals. Containers can be donated to children’s homes or retirement homes to be reused for medication or dry foods.
Making your own sustainable beauty products
When switching to a sustainable lifestyle, one of the most common practices is to make your own beauty products with ingredients that you can basically find in your pantry. Ingredients range from baking soda, honey, salt, sugar, coconut oil, beeswax and more - all of which should be natural and ethically sourced.
The benefits of making your own beauty products is that you know exactly what’s in it. The ingredients used are absorbed into your skin, which is why homemade products are always the best as you’re assured that not a single preservative or chemical is used. Homemade products also don't cost as much as the ones you’d find in store. In fact, they cost only a fraction of it. So not only are you saving money, but you’re saving the environment from waste and saving your skin from chemicals.
Homemade beauty products are also fun and relaxing to create, making it a great weekend activity for those who are working. Scrubs can easily be made with used coffee grounds, sugar or salt alongside coconut oil or olive oil. Combine coconut oil and baking soda for an easy homemade deodorant and toothpaste as well. Baking soda can also be used as a mouthwash when diluted with one cup of warm water.
At the end of the day, making the switch to sustainable beauty is a fulfilling process, for you and for the environment. Just make sure to go at your own pace and to never give up.
Angelia Teosaid, “The beauty and personal care industry in Asia Pacific has taken a hard hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumer attitudes and behaviours have shifted as a result and the industry has faced unprecedented challenges, but also opportunities. Innovation is also flourishing in the sector. In our annual Asia Pacific Beauty and Personal Landscape, we’ve focused on the evolution of consumer trends and market opportunities for brands.”
Key highlights of the annual report include:
Growing consumer interest in sustainability and health
The outbreak of COVID-19 has further heightened consumers’ awareness of sustainability and health. According to Mintel’s Global COVID-19 Tracker, 87% of Indian consumers have indicated that environmental issues have become a higher or lower priority for them– second only to eating healthily.
Meanwhile, Mintel Global Consumer research shows that 78% of South Korean consumers would like to see more innovative environment-friendly products, and 90% of consumers in Japan think it is important to manage their emotional wellbeing.
Therefore, how to share and showcase sustainability initiatives and precisely respond to consumer’s health needs is one of the most important factors for brands to engage consumers now and in the years to come.
Haircare, clean and green beauty drive innovation and new experiences
Consumers are always ready to embrace new concepts and experience new products, regardless of how the market changes. China's haircare market has maintained steady growth over the past five years with a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8%, according to Mintel research. Haircare products' import value in the first half of the year increased 21%, compared with the same period the previous year. Interest in haircare is continuously growing among Chinese consumers, with many haircare brands taking inspiration from the skincare industry and innovating around textures and ingredients.
Moreover, Mintel Global Consumer research indicates that 75% of consumers in Australia and New Zealand love trying new experiences. As competition for clean and green beauty continues to grow, especially from Western markets, ANZ beauty brands should work harder for their consumers and lean into expertise to stand out in the congested beauty market, rather than just focusing on clean or proving dermatological efficacy or safety.
There have been lots of talks about AI in the fashion scene. Being one of the biggest industries in the world, fashion definitely deserves some attention. As of 2018, the fashion industry is estimated to be circa USD3 trillion; which is 2% of the world’s GDP.
Before we take a look at how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the forefront and a driving force behind fashion’s manufacturing processes, marketing and customer experience, let’s first understand the meaning of AI.
Artificial Intelligence is the stimulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans – they also mimic human actions. AI may also be referenced to any machines that show traits associated with human minds, with examples such as learning and problem-solving.
That said, AI has started to be used mainly to transform the way brands make, market and sell their products. Brands are always on the lookout for new, much efficient ways to create awareness and demand. So, not only Artificial Intelligence makes marketing and selling easier, it also maximizes users’ shopping experiences. Through intelligent automation, improved sales system and enhanced sales process is also achieved. Luxury brands have also jumped onto the AI bandwagon; amongst them are Dior and Nike.
I heard from a friend some time ago about Personal Shopper using AI as the main driver and have been rather amazed by how it works. Some brands have personalized applications to mimic an instore shopping experience. As early as 2015, the brand, The North Face launched its Expert Personal Shopper in collaboration with IBM Watson. An app was made available to ask consumer questions of the items they are looking for and then taking these information to curate personalised sets of recommendation list for shopping. Besides giving better shopping experience, data collected provides a clear and more informative idea of brand’s products and customers’ needs.
Chatbots are the talk of town the world over. Brands have come with a much efficient way to connect directly with their consumers through chatbots by using computerised chats over their website or application. This makes shopping much easier and to a certain extent, exciting for consumers. During the 2016’s London Fashion Week, Burberry launched their chatbot, giving behind-the-scenes insight into the inspiration for their collection. The chatbot also offered a puzzle that allowed consumers to navigate through pictures and gif. When the journey was complete, you could then purchase from the latest collection.
Let’s look at visual shopper, also using AI-technology This shopping tool was aimed to deliver smart interactions with customers. It allows consumers to easily find or locate similar product at a click of a button by uploading a picture of the product. This visual search tool is applicable to different categories, ranging from clothes to accessories.
AI also helps in quality assurance - designers and manufacturers are involving AI in their production methods. For example, a computerized system for spotting defects in the fabric and color of the textile allows quality assurance, which helps considerably in saving time.
Manufacturing is another aspect where AI is brought into. Bulk production can be done by using various technologies like computer-controlled knives, lasers, water jets or ultrasound. Automated sewing is becoming more rampant though still in its primitive stage. In 2019, ITMA introduced software that combines supporting hardware named the Juki Advanced Network System (JaNet). This allows data collection on production activities where sewing machines are interlinked. Digital sewing machines have become essential to provide sewing error detection in mass production.
In the fashion industry, (fashion) styling is the most important segment. It is also one of the most interesting parts of the industry.
Stitch Fix is an online styling application that uses machine learning in personalizing clothing items based on a customer’s size, budget and preferences. Artificial Intelligence is being used to make that more efficient. Optimization in the supply chain reduces transit time and shipping costs while providing updates about the inventory.
With all these said, what can I say, the future of fashion is truly intelligent.
WHAT IS MINDFUL FASHION? Mindful fashion is all about producing the world’s current needs while making sure the way it is done has the earth’s future interest in mind as well. If we are to go deeper, sustainable fashion is also about ensuring all those people involved through the fashion supply chain benefit in the process, too. This means right from the start; farmers, designers, factory workers, consumers and also those working in the end-of-life facilities such as recycling centres or factories.
It is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. This means dealing with interdependent social, cultural, ecological, and financial systems.
We will not see the word fashion in the same sentence as social justice and integrity just couple of years ago. These days, however, those words are repeated over and over by designers, editors, consumers and even fashion conscious invidivuals. Sustainable fashion has been on everyone’s lips for the last decade, although the movement has been around, albeit on a smaller scale, since the 1960s.
In 2013, Rana Plaza Garment Factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 people. This tragedy piqued interest in the fashion world – condition and predicament of garment factory workers around the world come into the light.
Rana Plaza was a building that housed several clothing factories, despite the fact that it was not meant for factory set-up. The building’s architect mentioned that the building was designed for shops and could not handle the weight and vibrations of factory machinery. Primark, Zara, Mango, Benetton and Accessorize were some of the brands that have their factories in Rana Plaza.
Further investigations revealed that the workers at Rana Plaza Garment Factory were not fairly paid, worked in bad conditions and it was also revealed, prior to collapsing, the owners had been warned of the deteriorating building; cracks were seen. However, due to the no-production-no-revenue situation, workers were forced to continue working; with threats of withholding their salary. The Rana Garment Factory is just one of the many that exist, just to feed the world’s demand for high street fashion.
Fashion itself has such a significant impact in our future. Take climate change for example and if we’re going to tackle the real threat of it, the fashion industry needs to urgently address its unsustainable practices. The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluting on earth with 100 billion products being manufactured out of factories every year.
Consumers are at liberty to buy and dispose of clothes even more prevalently now than it had ever been. It is not surprising waste is one of the most, if not the most pressing problem in the fashion industry. Fashion wastes are burned or sent to landfills - totally polluting, unsustainable and inefficient. While some brands have announced their target of becoming 100 per cent zero-waste in the next decade, the question still lingers whether or not it is possible to be circular by then.
Let us look into water consumption in the fashion industry. Cotton, in particular, requires a huge amount of water; it takes almost 3000 gallons of water just to produce one cotton t-shirt. What about viscose, which is causing deforestation and affecting endangered species and trees while polyester is made from non-renewable resources like oil?
How long can we keep on using these resources before we have none left?
Something needs to change.
Unsustainable resources and wastes, be it for fashion or not, is our responsibility together and it needs to be addressed immediately.
Mindful or sustainable fashion has started to be on roundtable discussions in many nations, with ideas and innovations being developed as we speak. However, the question still remains whether or not regulation and legislation will be introduced. Fashion is a multi-billion dollar industry . We will need more companies to come forward and address this pressing issue collectively. More awareness campaigns need to be done. Brands need to involve consumers; bring them together in a new era of a more elevated and conscious consumption. Fashion can be seen as something that is facetious or superficial but it is one of the major economic players, which impact the world and environment in a huge way.
It is therefore important to understand the industry and how it has changed over the years in order to be in line with what is ethical or otherwise.
Gentlemen, dressing-up for dress-down Fridays is more than just tee and jeans combination. Let’s get a little bit creative, shall we? Here's a little take on feeling good and looking fine on a casual work day.
I love the classic look of a roll neck jumper and trousers. Do opt for good quality, no patterned (rolled neck) jumpers; stick with neutral colors. Team it up with cotton trousers and loafers.
A well fitted white t-shirt and blazer combo is always a winner. Make sure the blazer is of good quality; 100% cotton material for that polished look. You may for opt for undistressed, unripped, clean, darker-colored jeans or cotton trousers and loafers..
Suits and trainers would not have worked some years back. However, that changed when Silicon-Valley relaxed chic made its appearance. This is easy to wear and just (oh) so stylish. That said, taking one of the smartest pieces in menswear and pairing it with the most casual can be a tad tricky. Done correctly, it can make you look sleek, without trying too hard. The most important thing to note is to make sure your trainers are white and clean at all time, if this look is what you are after.
Jumper / Sweatshirt and Shirt – Jumper with a crisp dress or oxford shirt always nail the smart casual style. Choose a comfortable casual trousers and a pair of loafers to complete the look.
The print that almost always receive bad rap and associated with dubious characters is making its comeback and should be embraced; just like Jacqueline Kennedy did in 1962, when she stepped out – hair all coifed, make-up flawlessly applied, elegant in her leopard print.
However, I say it now and will say it over and over, whichever animal print you wish to wear, make it a faux one, please. No animals should be harmed for our vanity. That said, lets look at ways to wear leopard print without looking tacky, trashy, tarty or perhaps even all the three..
Leopard print maxi dress teamed up with a simple clean, button up jacket is a go to look. I’ll then throw in a pair of strappy heels and finish off the look with a clutch..
If you just wish to experiment with teeny bit of the print, go for leopard (print) handbag, drawstring purse or clutch - it automatically fizzes up a simple outfit.
I am so crazy about the leopard print long-line trenches. I’ll usually have on a simple black or white dress and just nonchalantly hang a leopard trench on the shoulders. This always receive second looks and compliments; so simple yet stylish not mention classy; quite a contradiction for leopard print’s reputation.
With any animal print, the cleavage-or-leg-rule applies. Decide which one you want to bare; just not both..
Leopard print shirt in soft, flowy fabric, jeans and heels; need I say more!
Either one of the above you choose, have fun with the piece. All it takes is a little spring in your steps and lots of attitude; that will definitely seal the look!
Jacky Kennedy in Oleg Cassini leopard-print jacket in 1962.
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