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Meet Lily

A Family Silk Heritage

Lily, founder at Ethical Kind with her grandparents in Hong Kong

Image: Lily with her grandparents in Hong Kong

Ethical Kind is your everyday luxury inspired by a personal journey to promote an equitable and regenerative future. 

Our founder, Lily Chong was born in the UK. When she was five years old, she moved to Hong Kong to live with her single mother and grandparents in their village home in the New Territories, Hong Kong.

It was at her grandparent's house she'd first experienced the nurturing and comfort of silk. She later uncovered a family lineage; her great grandparents were silk farmers in South China. It explained the many silk duvets she saw at her grandparents' home. They were marital gifts to them. 

A Woman Who Inspires

Founder, Lily's Mother at the Design Museum

Image: Lily's mother, Ye Lui (Aka second daughter), at the London design museum.

Life as a child, Lily saw her mother work hard as a seamstress and garment maker. At nights she would help her mother count up the clothing tickets for her next paycheque and watch her lovingly make clothes for her.  

Lily appreciates the care and attention that went into clothes making but never thought about a fashion career. The closest she had got to fashion was working as a retailer assistance when she returned to London. Lily's interest in health & disease earned her an undergraduate in Biomedical Science. She then progressed through a commercial career in the life science and renewable industry. The corporate world had been kind to her, but there was an underlying desire for change. 

A Passion for Social Entrepreneurship

Lily chong hosting the social enterprise conference in 2016

Image: Lily hosting her second conference on social enterprise

In pursuit of finding more fulfilling work, Lily volunteered at an International Development Charity. As a result, she learned about the term "Social Enterprise". This concept of business doing social good fuelled an unexpected passion in her. Lily wanted to know everything about the sector and formed a social enterprise meet-up that quickly grew. She combined her commercial experience and insights and started an organization called The Fourth Sector - a service & event platform supporting social entrepreneurs in starting and furthering their business and impact.  

Importance of Sustainable Luxury

Through the work and her humble upbringing, she became aware that the fashion industry's impact was not just about the scale of our consumption habits but also about its harmful production process it has on the people and the planet. She saw how rural communities continue to face education and social barriers caused by poverty, cultural norms, and practices, particularly as girls - she decided to use business as a force for good. 

Inspired by a documentary on the silk road, Lily travelled to China and India to learn about silk. It was in India she found a small community of silk farmers making organic peace silk.  

 

A New Silk Revolution

Founder, Lily at the peace silk farm with silkworm in palm of hand, India

Image: Lily at the Organic Peace Silk farm, Jharkhand, India

Organic Peace Silk is the production of silk designed to sustain the health of soils, ecosystems and people. While traditional silk manufacturing methods involve boiling the cocoons while the silkworm is still inside, Peace silk allows the completion of the silkworm's metamorphosis to the butterfly, so no animal suffers for fashion.  

Organic peace silk production can slow production, but it is fundamental to Ethical Kind's philosophy and ethics. Once the butterflies have left their cocoons, the cocoons are degummed and processed without using any harmful chemicals. The fibres extracted are spun and woven using solar-powered enabled machinery.

Ethical Kind is proud to introduce an honourable and kind production to silk that helps preserve the heritage, protect biodiversity and empower marginalized communities so that future generations can thrive.