Hong Kong is all about efficiency, but there's a cost associated with convenience.
Look around the city, and you'll quickly realize that nearly every purchase comes with an unnecessary plastic bag or gratuitous packaging.
To provide an alternative, Fanny Moritz set up NO!W No Waste, an online shop full of eco-friendly products that makes a 'zero waste' lifestyle more feasible.
Fanny tells us about propelling the zero-waste movement in Hong Kong, her favorite productivity-boosting books, and how she finally established a better work-life balance.
about NO!W No Waste
In 2015, Fanny was inspired by Bea Johnson’s bestseller Zero Waste Home and started to implement the lifestyle. She paused her 15-year career as a web designer and developer to follow this newfound passion.
While attempting to decrease her waste in Hong Kong, Fanny encountered a dearth of eco-friendly products, leading her to start her own.
NO!W No Waste sells a selection of plastic-free and recyclable products that have been hand-picked from social enterprises.
When choosing suppliers, NO!W prioritizes companies that produce their products close to Hong Kong in order to minimize carbon footprint.
A FEW Words Of Advice
On setting up shop...
"It’s easy to open a company in Hong Kong. The administration, paperwork and bank accounts are much easier when compared to France."
"Hong Kong is a very small city so if someone loves your company then word will spread, making it very quick to gain new clients."
"However, the working visa is hard to get especially when you’re the sole employee of the company."
On setting new standards...
"No one in my immediate network was living the zero-waste lifestyle when first I started. Then when I started to go to talks and invested more in the lifestyle, I met Hannah Chung."
"She was the only well-known Hong Kong woman who was living zero-waste at the time and I found her really inspiring."
"Once I got started on my business, it wasn’t hard to introduce zero waste to Hong Kong, because there are a lot of expats in the city who feel concerned with environmental issues."
On accepting help...
"Because I am too much of a perfectionist, I never succeeded in hiring someone for my past company. I believed that I could do everything by myself."
"But then I met my current part-time employee, Berenice. She was filming a project and, at first, convinced me to give her a chance and let her help for free. After a while, I offered her a paid position."
On giving it 100%...
"I think all mistakes are here to guide you. Stay positive -- if you think your idea is going to work then go for it, don't only put 50 percent of your energy into it. Go all in."
"A lot of people don’t focus on their businesses enough, and only say, 'Yeah, let’s see how it goes!'"
"They’re not committing to it. I think if there’s a demand in the city and, if someone’s very passionate about what they’re doing, then they’ll succeed."
On seeking advice...
"I always try to ask for advice from my friends who are entrepreneurs. There are people who tell me that it’s better if I search on Google, but you’re surrounded by people in Hong Kong who are entrepreneurs. Even if they’re not, they can always give you good advice. There’s always a solution."
On tracking her success...
"I usually use Quickbooks to check my expenses and profit in real time. It’s a good price-quality ratio."
On finding the right partners...
"We have a lot of requirements for the brands we are working with -- they should share the same values as us."
"The products we decide to sell needs to have a recyclable or biodegradable packaging. We try to select brand brands that produce as close as possible to Hong Kong to reduce our carbon footprint."
"If they are involved in social projects such as reforestation, access to health services for deprived children, etc, that's even better."
On social media...
"We focus on both, Instagram and Facebook. These two platforms are very different, it's hard to compare."
"We usually use Facebook to interact with our customers and show them our last news. And for Instagram, we try to focus on showing the visual identity of the brand, it’s more like a “mood board."
On screwing up...
"Once, I’ve forgot to order one of our best sellers before a very big event that was bringing more than 4,000 people per day. It was awful."
"Most of the attendees were asking for theses products, but we didn’t have enough in stock. Now, I always try to anticipate at the maximum, and to be more organised before big events like this."
On working smarter...
"There are two types of entrepreneurs: The first type works 200 percent of the time, day and night, and never takes a break; the second type are more organised and deliberate. They focus on one step at a time."
"I’m definitely the first type, working nonstop. It became very difficult for me, because my work is my passion. I didn’t have a social life and I was working all the time, so I had to make some changes."
"I decided to try to reverse the situation by limiting myself to a set number of tasks every day. I re-structured my day and told myself I had to finish all the tasks before dinner. After dinner, I don’t let myself work -- I focus on other activities."
A Few More Questions
How do you unwind?
"Yoga. I try to do yoga and meditate for 5 minutes every morning when I wake up."
Are there any books that have inspired you?
"Yes! There’s 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. It is amazing and it changed my life. It explains how you can divide your tasks during the day and be more productive."
"There’s another book by Anthony Robbins called Unlimited Power. It helps you to find your self-confidence and push your limits to reach your dreams."
There’s a third book by Richard Koch Le called The 80/20 Principle. It talks about doing more with less. These three books helped me to become more productive."
Any websites that boost your productivity?