For some, sustainability is a trend, but for daughter of billionaire textile and fashion tycoon Silas Chou, Veronica — the founder of Everybody & Everyone — it’s a state of being. She shares with us the important message behind her brand and what keeps her sane during the pandemic.
Tell us about your business. What do you do?
I grew up going to my family’s knitwear and denim factories asking “why is it so dusty, what is this smell, where is this coloured water going?”. After finishing high school and university in the US, I launched 12 mass-market American brands opening 1,000 stores in the very polluted second-, third- and fourth-tier cities of China. Leaving polluted China, struggling to get pregnant, I went on a trek in Nepal, and had a moment of epiphany — purpose over money, and that meant that everything I do must be in sustainability. I am lucky to have been able to learn from my older brothers, who are tech investment veterans. They opened my eyes to the exciting world of material science and technology. Now with investing and advising, everyday I see groundbreaking technology that can change the survival of humans and our planet, which often are on the brink of commercialisation. Especially for tech in fashion, I wanted to bring these technological eco benefits to everyone, so I launched my eco-innovative, size inclusive, practical womenswear brand last year. It’s been on pause during Covid-19, but we are happy to have just relaunched last week!
Can you tell us the important message behind your brand?
We believe that eco is for everyone and inclusivity is never up for debate. We use material science and technological innovations, so that things we make not just do less harm, but good to our planet and people.
Every product has a story, from our best-selling wrinkle-free trousers made from fermented sugar that are adjustable at the length and at the waist, to our transformable puffer made from 330 recycled plastic bottles tied to an open clean up project, and our 2-in-1 sustainable sourced cashmere sweater that can easily change from a turtle neck to a crew neck sweater, to our organic silk that is grown by regenerative farming methods that actively give back to soil and people — the possibilities are limitless.
And because I struggled with my body image from a young age, I am well versed in diet, organic foods, health and wellness, biohacking, mental health and much more. This is also the reason why, even despite the higher costs, I am adamant that my brand must be size inclusive (ranging from sizes US 00 to 24), because eco is for everyone.
What is a normal work day like?
Kids, work, kids, and back to work ’till late at night after they have gone to bed.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Believe in yourself.
What’s kept you sane during the pandemic?
Nature… which we must protect.
Which travel destinations are you missing the most and why?
I want to go to new places I’ve never been before. A safari in Africa is on my list.
What would your perfect Sunday be like?
Playing with the kids at the park or doing something outdoors.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Greek yoghurt with chocolate granola and frozen strawberries.
Tell us something that not many people know about you?
I don’t really like going out. My pre-Covid lifestyle was mostly working from home, attending online meetings via zoom. I even launched my business on zoom, and now everyone has joined my lifestyle.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
I was thanked for educating people on sustainability. Every little change counts, every person counts, so when my words or my actions affects someone else, I am happy.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
Monetary wise, it was selling my business which introduced 12 mass market American brands to China. But launching Everybody & Everyone is much more meaningful and purposeful, especially knowing that some of our sustainable products actively restores our planet.
(All images: Veronica Chou/Everybody & Everyone)
This story first appeared in Prestige Hong Kong.