Ask the Author - Sheryl Bolden

Ask the Author - Sheryl Bolden

Author Sheryl Bolden discusses her inspiration for her new book Sustainably Stylish, highlighting the journey that led her to a more eco friendly and sustainable shopping experience.

As a group of avid readers in the LRP team we are very happy to have recently expanded our book offering online and in the showroom. We knew you would be interested in finding out more about some of the wonderful authors and illustrators who have created the ones we've selected. All books have a Hong Kong theme whether it be written or illustrated by someone who lives here or is about the city, the stories and the history of the place so many of us call home. We have created a series of Ask The Author blog posts where we ask the same three questions (with an added bonus one at the end!) to find out more about their connection to the city, what their book is all about, what inspires them and their favourite things to see and do in the 852.

Sustainably Stylish

About you

I’m British but born in Gibraltar and grew up in Glasgow then Liverpool. Before moving to Hong Kong in 2010, I’d lived in London, Leeds, Manchester, and Madrid. Hong Kong is the longest I have lived anywhere and with both of our children being born here, it is very much home. Like most foreigners we came with work on a two-year work secondment and never left. 

Sustainably Stylish is a guide to becoming a more conscious consumer, the book demystifies what sustainability, in the context of fashion is and combines factual information with “How To” chapters on everything from editing your wardrobe to curating a style that’s right for you. 

The book is filled with practical tips and suggestions to make that journey accessible. I wanted to author a relatable book that people could identify with, so I added lots of personal anecdotes and quotes that hopefully make it a more personable read. 

Your Inspiration

I’ve worked in the clothing industry for more than twenty years and if I’m honest, I’m a bit of a shopaholic. I love clothes in the same way people love art or wine (I like that too!) but when I moved to Asia and began to really understand the true impact that a disposable clothing culture has on both the environment and those who work in its supply chain, I began to feel frustrated at the slow speed of change. In short, I wanted to be part of the solution and not the problem.

My time spent editing wardrobes and working with women frustrated by the fashion industry, as well as volunteering for charities and NGOs that advocate for a more sustainable industry, left me well placed to talk about the increasing waste we are seeing from overproduction and consumption. The reality of what happens to our clothes when we throw them ‘away’ is something I felt needed more discussion, especially in relation to donating to charity shops. I wanted to explain that there are better alternatives. 

Throughout the book I share all my knowledge so that the reader can come to their own conclusions about what sustainability, when it comes to clothes, actually means. There is so much misinformation around. I wanted to empower consumers to question what they are buying and wanted to reassure readers that our actions can have influence. As consumers we have more power than we think and considering how and where we spend our money is a pretty powerful tool.

Sustainably Stylish

Favourite thing to do or see in Hong Kong?

Without any doubt, it’s riding the Star Ferry. It never disappoints, day or night the views are breath-taking. As someone who is partial to a bargain or two, it pleases me no end that is such incredible value for money, the best $3 you can spend. 

and finally - where is your favourite shop or place to buy sustainable clothes in HK and why?

Just one? I can’t, but here are two of my faves, they are quite different retail experiences. 

I am a regular at The Hula, home to an impressive collection of consigned second-hand and vintage designer pieces. Going to their Wong Chuck Hang warehouse is how I imagine stepping into the Vogue sample cupboard would be! They also have a boutique on Hollywood Road. 

At the other end of the retail spectrum is Castaways, the second-hand store situated in the grounds of St John’s Cathedral, it’s a hidden gem and I often pick up incredible (and cheap) additions to my wardrobe. Check out their opening hours before heading there as it’s a bit sporadic. 

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