From a compulsive shopper to an eco-crusader and zero-waste activist, Jasmine Tuan’s life took an about turn after a near-death experience. She then wrapped up her fashion business – she was co-founder of the now-defunct label Fru Fru & Tigerlily – and decided to make better choices in life.
Jasmine, 42, says: “I started questioning my purpose in life – am I destined to die a consumer without having done anything for the planet we live in?”
A four-year stint in Kuala Lumpur brought her in touch with non-governmental organisation, Zero Waste Malaysia, and enlightened her on the 5Rs of sustainable living: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.
“I used to go straight to recycling, considering myself a very eco-friendly person. But, I realised that there are many stages to go through before getting there,” she says. So, she took up the challenge and decided to apply these principles to her own life – and refusing to give in to her urge to shop seemed to be a good place to start.
She launched Blackmarket Preloved in 2019, and began actively campaigning against fashion waste and advocating a sustainable lifestyle. Now, since moving back to Singapore before the Circuit Breaker last year, she has started organising fashion swop pop-up events through Cloop.sg (short for “closing the fashion loop”), which she started with a friend – part of the proceeds go towards the World Vision Child Sponsorship programme.
She wants to add “Repair” to the essential “Rs”, and is looking forward to working with people who are good at upcycling fabrics as well. “Two designer friends recently helped me upcycle certain pieces, which had a few stains here and there, with good fabric. It’s a pity to throw such pieces away because of a few stains. So, we hope to work with more designers to refurbish or convert them to art pieces — to prevent them from ending up in landfills. We hope to close that loop,” she says.
She also hopes to develop Cloop.sg as a permanent set-up and get into larger events, a marketplace of sorts, to introduce green brands to the public and urge them towards adopting this alternative lifestyle.
Sustainability starts at home for Jasmine. She always carries her own bag, bottle, and cup with her, and avoids straws at all costs. On days that she forgets to bring her own, she makes a choice to not buy. But she is clear that her route towards awareness is not without empathy.
“Eco-anxiety is very real. It can make you feel very defeated when you look at others being wasteful. But I focus on myself. I do what I can with what I have,” says Jasmine. “I believe in the ripple effect. I think people are getting more aware. I really hope we can change for the better together.”
PHOTOGRAPHY Vee Chin
CREATIVE DIRECTION Debby Kwong
STYLING Lena Kamarudin
HAIR & MAKEUP Aung Apichai, using Kevin. Murphy & Estee Lauder
MAKEUP ASSISTANTS Nicole Wui & Toh Yi Shien
In partnership with LEVI'S