Sian Powell

A newspaper journalist for many years, Sian Powell has lived and worked in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong, covering everything from presidential elections to polio outbreaks.

Latest from Sian Powell

Why a pre-owned Rolex, Patek Phillipe or Audemars Piguet can cost triple the same model new, and the lesser-known brands to watch out for

WatchBox’s Liam Wee Tay talks about the surging prices of pre-owned luxury watches from brands like Rolex, Patek Phillipe and Audemars Piguet and the dangers when buying.

WatchBox’s Liam Wee Tay talks about the surging prices of pre-owned luxury watches from brands like Rolex, Patek Phillipe and Audemars Piguet and the dangers when buying.

10 Dec 2021 - 7:15AM
Shop less and reduce, reuse and recycle this Christmas: how to reverse the cycle of buying and dumping in a landfill

A Hong Kong Facebook group lets users give away unwanted items, reducing pressure on the city’s landfills. With Christmas coming, we all need to shop less and reduce waste.

A Hong Kong Facebook group lets users give away unwanted items, reducing pressure on the city’s landfills. With Christmas coming, we all need to shop less and reduce waste.

8 Dec 2021 - 7:35AM
Explainer | Why Rolex sports watches such as the Rolex Oyster Perpetual are so hard to find and pre-owned models cost twice as much as new ones

Demand for Rolex watches has risen in tandem with the global leisurewear trend. The Swiss brand’s sports watches are in short supply and pre-owned models command high prices.

Demand for Rolex watches has risen in tandem with the global leisurewear trend. The Swiss brand’s sports watches are in short supply and pre-owned models command high prices.

3 Dec 2021 - 8:47AM
Most men’s tailored Hong Kong suits are glued together, claims women’s workwear brand founder

Frederieke van Doorn, the Dutch founder of Frey, and designer Yulia Tlili tell Sian Powell what makes the women’s workwear brand stand out from the crowd.

Frederieke van Doorn, the Dutch founder of Frey, and designer Yulia Tlili tell Sian Powell what makes the women’s workwear brand stand out from the crowd.

18 Nov 2021 - 10:39AM
6 direct-to-consumer fashion retailers that have launched IPOs in 2021, from Poshmark to Rent the Runway to Roger Federer-backed shoe brand On

From e-commerce platform Rent the Runway to sneaker makers Allbirds and On, several online fashion retailers have launched initial public offerings of shares to leverage a surge in sales and popularity.

From e-commerce platform Rent the Runway to sneaker makers Allbirds and On, several online fashion retailers have launched initial public offerings of shares to leverage a surge in sales and popularity.

17 Nov 2021 - 10:09AM
Squid Game plot holes and loose ends that undermine the Netflix hit

From the actions of Squid Game’s wealthy winner to just about everything involving the police, here are some of the more difficult-to-swallow loose ends left by the show.

From the actions of Squid Game’s wealthy winner to just about everything involving the police, here are some of the more difficult-to-swallow loose ends left by the show.

8 Oct 2021 - 6:40PM
Is Hong Kong doing enough to limit plastic pollution? Supermarkets and other food vendors are slow to reduce single-use plastic use, and alternatives can’t compete

Is Hong Kong doing enough to reduce the amount of plastic waste that washes into the ocean? Some small steps have been taken, but single-use plastics are still widely employed and used excessively.

Is Hong Kong doing enough to reduce the amount of plastic waste that washes into the ocean? Some small steps have been taken, but single-use plastics are still widely employed and used excessively.

1 Oct 2021 - 7:24AM
Luxury brands pivot to sustainable jewellery as consumers demand ethical diamonds and gold from big names like Tiffany and Chow Tai Fook

Big-name jewellers like Tiffany and the Chow Tai Fook group are bowing to growing demand for sustainable jewellery made using ethically sourced gems and gold.

Big-name jewellers like Tiffany and the Chow Tai Fook group are bowing to growing demand for sustainable jewellery made using ethically sourced gems and gold.

13 Sep 2021 - 3:16PM
Hong Kong tailored shirts for women, with a woman doing the measuring – ‘an affordable indulgence’ in pandemic times

Viveka Mansukhani’s tailor-made shirt service is the height of pampering – and with so many choices of fabric, fit, and style, it is the polar opposite of fast fashion.

Viveka Mansukhani’s tailor-made shirt service is the height of pampering – and with so many choices of fabric, fit, and style, it is the polar opposite of fast fashion.

11 Sep 2021 - 8:10PM
Should you have kids if you worry about climate change and the environment? The dilemma facing green couples and how they are dealing with it

That’s the question facing many couples who want to limit their ecological impact. We spoke to those who chose not to and others who work hard to reduce their babies’ impact on the world.

That’s the question facing many couples who want to limit their ecological impact. We spoke to those who chose not to and others who work hard to reduce their babies’ impact on the world.

30 Aug 2021 - 8:17AM
Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet: why these women watch collectors are wearing men’s timepieces and shrugging off traditional expectations

In-house movements, interesting complications – that’s what these women watch collectors want and more when they buy a Rolex, Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet, and often that means buying a piece meant for men.

In-house movements, interesting complications – that’s what these women watch collectors want and more when they buy a Rolex, Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet, and often that means buying a piece meant for men.

5 Aug 2021 - 10:09AM
The suit is not dead but it’s getting more casual, say tailors amid comfort wear’s rise and the demise of Brooks Brothers

Suits are becoming less formal and easier to wear, with more casual styling, as tastes change and clients emphasise comfort, say bespoke and made-to-measure tailors.

Suits are becoming less formal and easier to wear, with more casual styling, as tastes change and clients emphasise comfort, say bespoke and made-to-measure tailors.

29 Jul 2021 - 7:15AM
‘Naked’ soap, refillable lipstick: to use less plastic, the beauty industry pivots to recycling and refill options

From Dior to L’Occitane to Lush, big beauty brands are creating refillable products, promoting recycling and eliminating packaging to avoid adding to the world’s plastic-waste crisis.

From Dior to L’Occitane to Lush, big beauty brands are creating refillable products, promoting recycling and eliminating packaging to avoid adding to the world’s plastic-waste crisis.

27 Jul 2021 - 9:46AM
Forests expand in Hong Kong, but they lack diversity – researchers are looking at how to make them more hospitable to native wildlife

Hong Kong is one of the few urban areas where forest cover is expanding. While having more trees is good, they are mostly not of the kind native wildlife needs in order to thrive.

Hong Kong is one of the few urban areas where forest cover is expanding. While having more trees is good, they are mostly not of the kind native wildlife needs in order to thrive.

9 Jul 2021 - 7:46AM
Bombyx, organic silk producer for J Crew, Madewell, bets on a rise in demand for sustainably produced garments

Father-and-son Hong Kong company Bombyx has invested in sustainable organic silkworm farming and fabric production in Sichuan, China, in one of the places ‘where silk began’.

Father-and-son Hong Kong company Bombyx has invested in sustainable organic silkworm farming and fabric production in Sichuan, China, in one of the places ‘where silk began’.

29 Jun 2021 - 8:02AM
Opinion | Free international calls via the internet and live video links to space are a far cry from what we used to tolerate phoning other countries

The cost of an international phone call could cut short even the most emotional conversation in years gone by, but cheeky callers had ways of scamming the system.

The cost of an international phone call could cut short even the most emotional conversation in years gone by, but cheeky callers had ways of scamming the system.

25 Jun 2021 - 4:19AM
Essential oil diffusers, scented candles, bath oils, tailored aromas: how smell has become so important to us after coronavirus

Companies dealing in scents report a surge in interest as people try to get away from Covid-19 odours such as stuffy homes, mouldy shops and sanitised hands.

Companies dealing in scents report a surge in interest as people try to get away from Covid-19 odours such as stuffy homes, mouldy shops and sanitised hands.

11 Jun 2021 - 12:03PM
Shoes made from grapes, bags made from mushrooms: vegan leather has fans in Hermès and other fashion brands, but alternatives to hide have their drawbacks

Plant-based leather is having a moment, from Allbirds’ sneakers made using eucalyptus tree fibre to grape-waste shoes by Pangaia and partly mushroom-based bags from Hermès.

Plant-based leather is having a moment, from Allbirds’ sneakers made using eucalyptus tree fibre to grape-waste shoes by Pangaia and partly mushroom-based bags from Hermès.

9 Jun 2021 - 11:25AM
Pandora says lab-grown diamonds the ethical choice. Not so, say diamond miners. Who’s right?

When the world’s biggest jewellery producer said it would stop using mined diamonds on ethical grounds, producers cried foul. A diamond retailer says the argument is less cut and dried than Pandora is implying.

When the world’s biggest jewellery producer said it would stop using mined diamonds on ethical grounds, producers cried foul. A diamond retailer says the argument is less cut and dried than Pandora is implying.

3 Jun 2021 - 2:05PM
Cardboard coffin maker eyes green funerals’ potential in East Asia, but meets resistance in its home market, Hong Kong

Eco-friendly and cheaper, cardboard coffins for green funerals are a growing global trend – one that is slow to catch on in Hong Kong, where a manufacturer recently set up shop.

Eco-friendly and cheaper, cardboard coffins for green funerals are a growing global trend – one that is slow to catch on in Hong Kong, where a manufacturer recently set up shop.

19 May 2021 - 1:49PM
Lawns are a thirsty luxury for many amid climate change, yet Hong Kong’s, well used by the public, survive

Lawns are expensive to maintain and need precious fresh water for irrigation. Faced with climate change, cities around the world are reducing theirs, but in Hong Kong they thrive in public parks.

Lawns are expensive to maintain and need precious fresh water for irrigation. Faced with climate change, cities around the world are reducing theirs, but in Hong Kong they thrive in public parks.

26 Apr 2021 - 2:45PM
Non-alcoholic beer and low-alcohol beer are a trend among drinkers who choose a healthier lifestyle or don’t want to get drunk

Drinking alcohol-free beer used to be frowned upon, but has become trendy, especially among young people who choose a healthier lifestyle, and among older drinkers who don’t want to get drunk any more.

Drinking alcohol-free beer used to be frowned upon, but has become trendy, especially among young people who choose a healthier lifestyle, and among older drinkers who don’t want to get drunk any more.

2 Apr 2021 - 12:45PM
You can learn yoga interactively online, so why not cooking? Hong Kong pair celebrate first anniversary of their World Kitchen Club with fundraisers

Two Hong Kong friends half a world apart launched online cooking lessons with a difference amid the coronavirus pandemic – they are interactive, with chefs answering users’ questions and seeding global conversations about food.

Two Hong Kong friends half a world apart launched online cooking lessons with a difference amid the coronavirus pandemic – they are interactive, with chefs answering users’ questions and seeding global conversations about food.

30 Mar 2021 - 9:45AM
Food rescue: restaurants, shops and apps reduce food waste by applying technology

Charities collecting unused food to distribute is one way to reduce waste. Apps that alert users to discount offers by member shops and restaurants on unsold food are another whose use is growing around the world, including Hong Kong.

Charities collecting unused food to distribute is one way to reduce waste. Apps that alert users to discount offers by member shops and restaurants on unsold food are another whose use is growing around the world, including Hong Kong.

25 Mar 2021 - 10:45AM
There’s a fashion revolution happening: made-on-demand clothes will stop wasteful fast fashion heading to landfills, say experts

The future of fashion may be made-on-demand, not fast – from a fashion designer who has collaborated with Meghan Markle to a production company in the US, more people in the industry are adopting the practice to minimise waste.

The future of fashion may be made-on-demand, not fast – from a fashion designer who has collaborated with Meghan Markle to a production company in the US, more people in the industry are adopting the practice to minimise waste.

25 Mar 2021 - 6:26AM
Becky Li, Chinese KOL who sold 100 cars online in four minutes, on brands’ new tool to gauge influence: ‘They are cruel’

In 2017 Becky Li sold 100 Mini Cooper cars online in four minutes. Today, her brand, Becky’s Fantasy, influences the purchases of millions of young women, giving her huge power in the Chinese marketplace.

In 2017 Becky Li sold 100 Mini Cooper cars online in four minutes. Today, her brand, Becky’s Fantasy, influences the purchases of millions of young women, giving her huge power in the Chinese marketplace.

22 Mar 2021 - 11:19AM
Rolex winners, Swatch losers after Swiss luxury watch industry’s devastating year

More expensive Swiss luxury watch brands have coped with the pandemic better than cheaper counterparts, a report says, with strong Chinese demand for mid-price brands driving the market.

More expensive Swiss luxury watch brands have coped with the pandemic better than cheaper counterparts, a report says, with strong Chinese demand for mid-price brands driving the market.

10 Feb 2021 - 6:45PM
Air conditioning adds to global warming, making us use it more. How to break the vicious cycle

In the heat and humidity of places like Singapore and Hong Kong, we rely on air cons to stay comfortable. They use a lot of electricity, and generating it adds to global warming, so we use them more. We need alternatives, say ecologists.

In the heat and humidity of places like Singapore and Hong Kong, we rely on air cons to stay comfortable. They use a lot of electricity, and generating it adds to global warming, so we use them more. We need alternatives, say ecologists.

3 Feb 2021 - 10:41AM
Western museums pressed to return stolen treasures to Asia and Africa, so why are some dragging their feet?

Museums in Europe and the US are filled with ancient artefacts from around the world, many plundered from Asia and Africa. Nations have called for the return of their heritage, with mixed results.

Museums in Europe and the US are filled with ancient artefacts from around the world, many plundered from Asia and Africa. Nations have called for the return of their heritage, with mixed results.

21 Nov 2020 - 6:13PM
The history of rhubarb: medicinal uses, recipes and why owning it in Russia once meant a warrant for your death

Considered an important medicine in China for thousands of years, rhubarb is now more commonly known as a tasty pie ingredient, but there was a time when owning it was punishable by death in Russia.

Considered an important medicine in China for thousands of years, rhubarb is now more commonly known as a tasty pie ingredient, but there was a time when owning it was punishable by death in Russia.

1 Oct 2020 - 12:56PM