Updated: Jan 4, 2020
Entrepreneur Sissi Chao, the founder of social enterprise REMAKEHUB and winner of Generation T and Luxarity’s R.A.W. Prize, discusses her mission to make the planet a better place
Entrepreneur Sissi Chao, the founder of social enterprise REMAKEHUB and winner of Generation T and Luxarity’s R.A.W. Prize, discusses her mission to make the planet a better place.
When Sissi Chao started her social enterprise REMAKEHUB in 2018, her parents were horrified. The company, which provides circular solutions for waste in the fashion industry, was not what they envisioned for their daughter, who had studied business in the UK and gone on to earn an MBA in the US. They were reluctant to tell family and friends that she was, essentially, working with trash.
“They wanted me to have a nice, prestigious job,” Sissi says. “But me, I’m different. I felt that if I could help sort out the planet’s problems, it would be my honour. I feel like this is my mission and I’m blessed that I can use my knowledge to solve waste problems for the planet and for humankind.” And so, she went against their wishes. “I’m independent and once I made the decision, I was going to prove that it works,” she says. “I’m very optimistic and good at execution.” Her can-do attitude paid off, and validation followed. Sissi was interviewed by a local television station and featured on the evening news. This helped convince her parents the business was legitimate—so much so that they have since become part of it, helping with production. After all, it was their business that inspired Sissi.
There is no way that we cannot move towards sustainability, it’s the only choice left. If you still want to be competitive in 10 years’ time, you have to start preparing now
When Sissi moved back to Mainland China after her studies, she worked in her parents’ factory. She saw first hand the pollution the fashion business caused. She was also struggling to adapt to being back. “I wanted to leave. I told my parents that I didn’t want to be here. But they didn’t let me go. So I said, okay, let me think about what we can do better. Instead of being the pollution, we can find the solution.
“I dived into innovative recycling technology and creative design, and realised these two elements could be the DNA for REmakeHub because they can have a big impact, not only by cleaning up waste but also through producing sustainable products on a large scale.”