News: Green Monday initiative

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 11:12am

David Yeung Chun-ip has been a fashion events co-ordinator and promoter for years. He is also an advocate of the healthy lifestyle that following a vegetarian diet can bring. Since he co-founded the social campaign Green Monday, he says he can't wait to get to work in the morning.

"It's definitely making me a more complete person and helps me achieve a much more balanced life," he says.

Yeung launched Green Monday in April to promote the cause of eating healthier foods and, specifically, for people to follow a vegetarian diet every Monday.

His partner in the venture is Francis Ngai Wah-sing, founder of Social Ventures Hong Kong and a good friend with whom he has collaborated in getting restaurants such as Café de Coral and Caffe Habitu to offer vegetarian options on their menus. The campaign has celebrity endorsers such as snooker player Marco Fu Ka-chun, television presenter and entrepreneur Janis Chan Bui-yee and Canto-pop singer-songwriter Louis Cheung Kai-chung.

Next Friday Quiksilver Roxy is collaborating with local celebrities including Ankie Beilke and Real Ting Chi-ko on a collection to promote Green Monday's message. The project, called Go Green!, aims to promote not only healthy eating but also a greener lifestyle. Proceeds from sales of the items will be donated to the campaign

Before Green Monday, Yeung worked on a string of opening events for fashion ventures. He recently invested in Shine, a multi-label fashion select shop founded by veteran buyer Gary Wong. The boutique is famous for its curation of avant-garde fashion labels such as Toga, Camilla Skovgaard and Maison Martin Margiela. Its third store, in The Peninsula, opened in November.

In February, Yeung's optical store, Visual Culture, opened in Causeway Bay. The shop includes cult designer eyewear labels such as Linda Farrow and Thom Browne, and acquires handmade frames from Japanese artisans such as Taihachiro Yamamoto.

Ngai had approached Yeung to work on other charitable projects, but he didn't commit until Ngai broached the idea of co-founding Green Monday.

Yeung adopted a vegetarian lifestyle 10 years ago while living in New York. He was spoiled for choice there, but when he returned to Hong Kong in 2005, he found the city lagging behind when it came to vegetarian options.

"I founded Green Monday a bit out of selfishness, because I have been a vegetarian for years and it's not so easy to eat green in Hong Kong," he says. "There's a demand here that's not being filled."

Eating healthier for just one day a week won't drastically improve one's health, Yeung admits, but the idea is to make it easier for the general public to modify their habits, even in a small way.

Yeung goes to great lengths to channel his networks and resources, but he's keen to point out that the benefits are mutual. "It's good for our partner companies to show they care for the environment and the health of their employees; the cost is economical and the process isn't too much of a hassle," he says.

Social campaigning is a far cry from the fashion world, and Yeung insists he keeps his dealings in both separate. "I get to meet a lot of like-minded people and they've inspired my other business, too," he says. "But I'm not doing this to promote my business. If it happens naturally, it happens.

"I hope to be part of a solution to solve some of the problems of our society. That's my intention and my drive," Yeung says.