Friday, July 8, 2011

Cool It and support fight against climate change

SINGAPORE, 27 June 2011: With the firm belief that the youth of today are far from apathetic, the pioneering eco-fashion label Etrican, has partnered with Young NTUC and ECO Singapore to offer a limited edition fundraising t-shirt that champions the cause of climate change. All profits from the sale of the t-shirt will be donated to the youth-centric environmental activism group ECO Singapore, which will be used to fund its environmental outreach efforts.

Intended to raise awareness of the serious issue of climate change among youth - who will be the agent of change in the field of environmental protection and perhaps the best hope for a better future, Dragos Necula, Etrican's Head of Business Development sees this initiative as "a great opportunity to spread the idea of 'clothing with a conscience' among young people in Singapore.” Etrican plans to use this project as a pilot for developing a platform that would give local NGO's both a voice and a source of funding through eco-friendly apparel.

The t-shirt is named Cool It and features the cute mascot of the Youth Against Climate Change initiative launched by ECO Singa
pore. Just as all Etrican apparel, the t-shirt is made of high-quality organic cotton which is grown naturally, free from harmful chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

The fashionable and meaningful Cool It t-shirts are priced at $25 each and can be purchased online at, under the 'causes' section.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New minister brings fresh hope for local cats

SINGAPORE, 6 June 2011: The new minister installed at the Ministry of National Development (MND) after the general elections last month, Mr Khaw Boon Wah, has brought in sweeping change to the local feline scene by promising to look at how the feral cat population can be managed without the use of culling.

Sharing that he himself
has pets, he said last Friday that he would "weigh in on AVA to seriously consider reviewing its culling programme for cats. Stray cats are a source of complaints in HDB estates but killing them is not the best way to go. The right thing is for cat lovers to own the problem, eliminate the nuisance created by irresponsible behaviour, and sterilise the cats to control their population. Where there are enough cat-lovers out there willing to own this problem, we can avoid culling in those estates."

Definitely a welcome positivity from a government official, this stance by the minister under whose purview the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) - the agency tasked with trapping and culling cats - falls, has signalled a move away from the age-old official position that the most effective management of cat population is systematic culling in 'problem' areas.

The unsolicited announcement has taken cat-lovers across the island by (pleasant) surprise with little negative reaction from the general public. The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) - which has for years lobbied for a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the most effective manner of population control - welcomed this fresh willingness to solve the problem at its root cause instead of treating the symptoms.

In a statement released yesterday, its Vice-President, Ms Veron Lau, reiterated that responsible cat ownership involves sterilising their pets, keeping them safely indoors, and taking effective measures to secure their safety in high-rise flats.
In fact, a facebook page created by the CWS to encourage cat-owners to 'come out' (of the proverbial closet) and openly share the existence of their cats living with them in their Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, has now gathered over 1,000 individuals (500 had joined within the first 24 hours) in just a few days.

Looking ahead, the CWS identifies education as the key and will seek to work with the HDB, AVA and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (SPCA) to bring the message of responsibility to all cat owners. At the same time, CWS has renewed its proposal for a responsible cat management programme in HDB estates and is pushing for the reinstatement of AVA’s stray cat sterilisation scheme - where sterilisation of community cats was funded by the AVA - that was terminated in 2003.

Pointing to an active volunteer community at its disposal, the CWS revealed that there are more than 500 volunteers (or caregivers, as they are referred to among the cat-loving community) who spend their own time and resources over the years to sterilise community cats, educate people in the community about responsible cat management and ownership and individually work with local Town Councils to mediate and resolve complaints. In extreme cases, these volunteers have also sometimes taken it upon themselves to help cat owners sterilise pet cats so that future problems of pet abandonment can be avoided.

This position of the CWS is not new however, and is something the group has been advocating and working towards since its inception in 1999. What has clearly changed is the receptiveness of the government agencies - under the fresh leadership of Minister Khaw. Many animal welfare proponents are very encouraged by this open-minded approach to this issue and much positive change is expected to ensue.

Hot on the heels of this revelation by Minister Khaw, Chong Pang constituency, will officially unveil its Animal Welfare Programme on 18 June. Having organised Singapore's first-ever animal welfare public forum in collaboration with the Animal Concerns, Research & Education Society (ACRES) on that day, the details of the Chong Pang Animal Welfare Programme will be revealed during the forum. A notable component of the programme though, is the end of the culling of cats in the Chong Pang constituency in favour of humane cat management.

Indeed, the Animal Welfare Forum has attracted much interest and is largely anticipated to be a groundbreaking event for the local animal welfare scene. Members of the public are invited to participate and share their views on the issue, with representatives from the various agencies, such as the local Town Council, AVA, SPCA and CWS.

The Public Forum on Animal Welfare Policies will be held at Chong Pang Community Club (21 Yishun Ring Road) on 18 June 2011 from 2pm to 5pm. More details are available from the facebook event page created by the ACRES team.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Campaign to save dolphins from becoming entertainers at Sentosa

SINGAPORE, 4 June 2011: In just one week, the number of facebook users who have joined the campaign to persuade Resorts World Sands (RWS) to abandon its intention to display 28 dolphins caught from the wild has ballooned to over 7,000.

Entitled Save the World’s Saddest Dolphins, the campaign has been coordinated by the wildlife rescue group ACRES (Animal Concerns, Research & Education Society) which has been actively working towards enabling the captured dolphins to be released back into the wild where they belong.

Between December 2008 and December 2009, 27 dolphins were captured near the Solomon Islands and transported to 2 training facilities located at Langkawi, Malaysia, and Subic Bay, the Philippines. However, the appalling care and facilities at Langkawi led to 2 of the captured dolphins to die in October, 2010, as a result of bacterial infection, forcing RWS to transfer the remaining dolphins at Langkawi to Subic Bay as well - footage obtained later through an undercover investigation by ACRES officers confirmed the poor and unacceptable conditions of the facility.

On 27 May 2011, ACRES launched this unique awareness campaign to encourage all animal lovers to create videos or take photos that portray the message to stop dolphin captivity and petition against the decision by RWS to bring in these dolphins for entertainment. In addition, it is hoped that the popular support against using dolphins for entertainment and as profit-generating commodities will convince the government to step in and put a stop to RWS' intention to bring in these dolphins altogether.

While the animal activists have cited scientific fact and produced empirical evidence to illustrate why the dolphins should not become installments of the Integrated Resort (IR) at Sentosa, RWS has been hardpressed to offer any convincing argument to support its decision to go ahead with its unpopular plan.

In fact, the man whose company sold RWS the wild-caught dolphins, Chris Porter, has since ceased this business. Although he was considered the world’s biggest dolphin broker, he is now questioning the value of using such animals for entertainment purposes and keeping them in artificial environments that are a far cry from their native habitat. In a similar positive move, United Parcel Service (UPS), which shipped the seven dolphins from the Solomon Islands to the Philippines in 2008, said it would stop moving this kind of cargo as the practice violated its environmental principles.

In addition to these directly-affected parties involved in this particular case, a similar attempt by Mexico in 2003 to bring in 28 wild-caught dolphins for one of its attractions has resulted in almost half of them dying within a 5-year period. This unpleasant experience led the Mexican government to impose an outright ban on the importation and exportation of live cetaceans for entertainment purposes in February 2006.

The growing pressure from the community-at-large - not just animal lovers - seems to be too significant for RWS to ignore and may very well be powerful enough to reverse the negative actions that have taken place so far. But it will take every man, woman and child in Singapore to band together - and ACRES has provided an excellent platform through which this can happen.
Become part of the solution by visiting the official campaign website at, joining the facebook community for the campaign at, and submitting your own video petition to You can also educate yourself on the serious implications of capturing dolphins from the wild by reading ACRES' comprehensive report on the issue at

The Green Room becomes a true living food cafe

SINGAPORE, 20 May 2011: In a groundbreaking endeavour, renowned The Green Room has reinvented itself as a living food restaurant since May 20th, 2011. The dishes on its menu have been drawn up by highly-qualified Diana von Cranach (below), who has been trained at Cordon Bleu, operated a resort in Bali, and who has developed her own range of unique ‘rawfully good’ living food since 2005. Diana has been a guest chef at many hotels throughout the region and will be opening the first ethno-botanical restaurant Elephant Vert in Luang Prabang, Laos soon.

In the meanwhile, she offers her creations based on Southeast Asian flavours using plant-based combinations of fruits, vegetables, pulses, sea vegetables, herbs, spices, seeds, leaves and edible flowers. The dishes have been also balanced to ensure that all the essential enzymes and nutrients are included. And to illustrate the commitment to healthy and safest food, the ingredients used will be locally or regionally sourced, seasonal, pesticide and GMO free, wherever possible. The food will be complemented with herbal & flower teas and an assortment of carefully selected vegan wines, making it ideal for lunch, tea-time or even a quiet evening dinner.

Many in the vegetarian and vegan community are looking forward to visiting this wonderful combination of pleasing and calming aesthetics with delicious and innovative raw food and is certainly a welcome addition to the vibrant dining scene here in Singapore.

(Sweet & Sour Salad + Chaat Masala Dressing + Green Coconut Chutney)
Price: $12

(Herbed Cashew Cheese + Oriental Vegetable Macedoine + Green Olive, Gingerflower & Caperberry Tapenade)
Price: $16

(Wheatgrass Noodles + Fresh Herbs & Vegetables)
Price: $15

(Mixed Herbs & Vegetables + Dipping Sauce)
Price: $14

(Seasonal Fruit Salad + Peanut Butter & Caramel Vegan Ice Cream)
Price: $11

(Acar, Sweet Chilli & Lemongrass Salad + Curry Leaf Sambal + Papaya Pepper)
Price: $18

(Young Papaya, Pomelo & Goji Berry Salad + Red Massaman Curry Sauce)
Price: $19

The Green Room is open daily for lunch (11am - 3pm) and dinner (6pm - 10pm), and is located at Bishan Park 2, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1. You can place your reservations at 65561533.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dr Esselstyn wows Singapore

SINGAPORE, 27 March 2011: The Vegetarian Society (Singapore) successfully organised this year's major event to a sellout crowd. Dr Caldwell Esselstyn - the man behind former President Bill Clinton's inspired dietary change for the betterment of his heart-health - entertained and informed a packed audience of keen health enthusiasts with firsthand research findings and his personal observations as a medical expert.

A former Surgeon and current author of the book 'Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease', Dr Esselstyn was accompanied by his wife, Ann Esselstyn - a self-taught nutritional expert in her own right, who shared pointers on how to shop smartly and cook healthily.

Dr Esselstyn, who advocates the avoidance of oil and animal products for a healthy heart, outlined how he arrived at his conclusions and offered real-life examples in the form of the patients he has treated as part of a two decade nutritional study. He also illustrated the science behind his assertions using empirical evidence from anthropological studies and underlying the biological premise.

While the content of his talk was the animated representation of what he has well-documented in his book, the ensuing Q&A session (video, below) fielded by Dr Esselstyn and Mrs Esselstyn was quite another matter and comprised mainly practical queries pertinent to the Asian lifestyle - such as how the consumption of coconut may impact diet.

The session was followed by a book-signing which witnessed all 70 copies of his book that were made available at the venue snapped up within minutes (below). In addition, several copies of The China Study - about the exhaustive study conducted by Professor Colin Campbell, were also sold-out.

Later that evening, about 35 guests - mostly volunteers and guests involved with the talk - adjourned to the popular Genesis restaurant (below) to enjoy a specially-prepared oil-free dinner together with Dr Esselstyn and his wife.

Dr Esselstyn was well sought after in his first visit to Singapore and also spoke at other venues and was interviewed extensively during his week's stay.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

AWSS shows promise for the future

SINGAPORE, 19 March 2011: The third annual Animal Welfare Symposium for Students organised by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Singapore was held at Ngee Ann Polytechnic to much excitement and significant success.

Attended by a packed auditorium of over 400 students and teachers from across Singapore, the audience was treated to informative talks by notable experts such as Mr Louis Ng, founder of Animal Concerns, Research & Education Society (ACRES), Ms Amy Corrigan, Education Director at ACRES, Dr George Jacobs, President of the Vegetarian Society (Singapore), Ms
Fareena Omar, President of the Cat Welfare Society (CWS), and Mr Jaipal Gill, Assistant Manager of Operations at SPCA.

The focus being to educate and inspire the young minds and hearts of today, the symposium incorporated interesting activities after each presentation which were well-received by the students. Notably, most students enjoyed the activity (above) following Dr Jacobs' presentation (below) that required them to draw 2 images - one of the typical perception of chickens on a farm (traditional farming) and the other of today's reality (factory farming). This visual representation produced by the students themselves struck home the seriousness and realness of the situation and impacted them greatly.

Farm Animals - Spare a Thought for Them by Dr George Jacobs

This year's installment also pushed the envelope a little by showcasing some actual video footage of the unsavoury practices involved in factory farming as well as the cruel method of force-feeding geese in order to produce foie gras.

The two Q&A sessions (videos, below) - one chaired by Mr Louis Ng, Ms Amy Corriganin and Dr George Jacobs and the other chaired by Mr Jaipal Gill and Ms Fareena Omar - also illustrated how the current young generation is more informed and aware of animal welfare. Students as young as 7 or 8 and up to the age of 17 posed sincere, in depth questions rather than just the novice questions.

Q&A with Ms Amy Corrigan, Mr Louis Ng & Dr George Jacobs

Q&A with Mr Jaipal Gill and Ms Fareena Omar

Similarly, many students took the effort to visit the booths set up by the organisations involved outside the auditorium (above, CWS booth manned by Vice-President Veron Lau) to find out more about what they could do for the animal welfare movement in Singapore.

While the event was clearly an opportunity for students to learn about the gravity of the situation firsthand, it was also a quantifiable indicator for stakeholders to gauge the level of empathy among youth. Needless to say, the symposium has established itself as a much-needed initiative for the issue of animal welfare - underscored by Singapore Press Holdings' involvement this year - and looks set to become a regular prestigious event on the calendar.

Other Videos

Tormented 'Foods' - Exotic Meats & Live Seafood by Ms Amy Corrigan

The Wild Side of Life - Keeping Wildlife as Pets by Mr Louis Ng

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't HOP to buy rabbits this Easter

SINGAPORE, 29 March 2011: Anticipating the very real possibility of impulse purchases of rabbits, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Singapore and the House Rabbit Society, Singapore (HRSS) released a joint statement today urging the public not to give in to any momentary lapse of judgement and buying a pet rabbit.

The statement comes ahead of a new animated comedy entitled 'HOP' (below) which chronicles the fictional tale of the Easter Bunny's teenage son seeking fame as a drummer in Hollywood. The movie is set to be released in theatres here on Friday, in time for the Good Friday and Easter Day holidays in late April.

With the common trend being people getting excited after such endearing depictions of rabbits - which then motivate some to act on impulse and buy a pet rabbit, HRSS President Ms.Jacelyn Heng observes that “rabbits and children are not a good mix as rabbits require plenty of care and maintenance that children cannot be expected to commit to for the duration of the animal’s life.”

The SPCA took in 481 rabbits in 2010 alone - all were either found abandoned or given up. In addition, SPCA investigations of cruelty involving rabbits revealed that they were often left isolated in small cages along corridors with only the basics provided. In extreme cases, however, not even water was available, or the animals were found to be suffering from neglect and malnourishment through inadequate or improper diet.

The SPCA would like to remind the public that cruelty to animals is a crime - including abandonment of one’s pet - and is punishable by law. Anyone who is found guilty can be imprisoned for up to 12 months, fined up to $10,000, or both.

Ms. Deirdre Moss, Executive Director of SPCA says, “It is the prospect of rabbits bought on impulse or as festive gifts that worries the SPCA. People assume rabbits only live for a couple of years, but they have a life span of eight to 12 years which is comparable to cats and some dogs.”

As the HRSS and SPCA are anticipating pet stores here to stock up on rabbits during the Easter season with the objective of attracting more buyers, they would like to ask everyone to consider carefully before deciding to own a pet rabbit and remind that there are plenty of healthy loving rabbits available at the SPCA and HRSS foster homes waiting for the right owner.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Singapore provides various animal welfare services to the community including a 24-hour emergency service, cruelty investigation, a sterilisation voucher programme for strays as well as running an animal shelter for abused and abandoned pets and strays. For more information, visit
The House Rabbit Society, Singapore (HRSS) runs a fostering programme to rescue and re-home abandoned rabbits and participates in numerous public events to educate the general public about rabbit care and behaviour. For more information, visit

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shelter offers $10K reward in mutilated dog case

SINGAPORE, 11 March 2011: Outraged by the extent of torment suffered by a helpless canine recently, the local shelter that cared for it has been incensed enough to offer a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the abuser.

The female dog called Wander was living in an industrial park under a lorry. Sometime in October 2010, an unfamiliar foreign worker encroached her territory and Wander reacted by barking. The worker responded by brutally hitting her with a thick bicycle chain. The commotion attracted the attention of another worker at the site who shouted at the abuser, upon which the culprit cycled away.

A local feeder of the vicinity, Mr Ng, then came across Wander who he had been feeding over the past 6 years. He established the facts from the witness and tended to the wounds himself.

However, the injury did not heal well and thus Mr Ng referred Wander to Mdm Wong's Shelter which houses a number of stray dogs. At the shelter, Wander was treated for her injuries by a veterinarian and subsequently transferred to Mutts & Mittens whose volunteers provided constant care.

Unfortunately, the severe injuries resulted in "chronic inflammation of her wounds and this most likely led to a tumour growth on her face. Her condition deteriorated and the caregivers made the humane decision to euthanise her as she was in so much pain” according to Dr. Eugene Lin, a veterinarian at Animal Recovery Centre.

The tumour, which was diagnosed as cancerous, had grown rapidly and caused a block in the nasal passage forcing Wander to breathe from her mouth. A secondary cancerous growth on the right side of her gums compounded the situation by causing difficulty in eating as she also needed to use her mouth for breathing at the same time.

Thus, on 5 March 2011, at about 12.55pm, Wander was humanely euthanised and cremated later that day.

The almost six-month ordeal for Wander which resulted in her unnecessary death has now prompted Mutts & Mittens to actively pursue the perpetrator by offering the substantial reward of $10,000. With Wander's story having attracted mainstream media attention, Mutts & Mittens believes that someone will be motivated enough to come forward and identify the culprit. Its director, Mr Cohen Ng says, "Only with the public’s help will we be able to bring the person who abused Wander to task and end this injustice.”

Anyone with information can call Mutts and Mittens at +65-65837371 or email the organisation at

Mutts and Mittens is a boarding kennel and shelter based in Singapore that was established in 2003 which currently provides sanctuary to over 150 homeless dogs and 80 cats. More information on the organisation is available at

Monday, January 31, 2011

Singapore Leads Global Movement in Shark Conservation

SINGAPORE, 31 January 2011: Conservationists, NGOs and thousands of individuals are now heating up Facebook in a massive shark conservation campaign requesting supporters to change their Facebook profile picture to that of a traditional paper cut with the Chinese New Year message asking people to celebrate Chinese New Year without shark fin soup.

The campaign, launched on 26 January 2011 in anticipation of the Chinese New Year, was initiated by local shark conservation group Project: FIN and dive forum Within 4 days, word for the campaign spread to a global level, as organizations around the world unified and threw immediate support for the campaign. More than 20 organizations from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Africa, US, Australia & Europe has joined the campaign, turning the local campaign to an international movement for sharks.

In Singapore, ACRES played a supportive role by placing a dedicated page about the campaign on its website together with a recipe of a vegetarian alternative to shark fin soup. Vegetarian Society (Singapore) has also included the campaign in its weekly e-newsletter to members.

The shark's fin soup originated from China hundreds of years ago, where it was a dish that only the emperor could afford. The dish has only been commercially popularised in the last 30 years. During this short frame, the consumption of sharks has already caused steep declines of shark population, with some species known to have fallen over 80%.

Unlike most fishes, sharks take many years to become sexually mature and produce few young. This made them particularly susceptible to over-fishing because population recovery is not possible, as long as we do not relent on our currently aggressive hunt for sharks.

According to a 2010 study done by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the oldest trusted environmental organization that provides global conservation status of plants and animals, 17% of world's 1,044 shark species are threatened with extinction. At present, human knowledge of about 47% of shark species is data deficient. Assuming half of these 47% are threatened, this would mean that more than one-third are threatened.

Like other traditions such as feet binding and arranged marriages that have fallen with time, the shark’s fin soup is becoming an increasingly controversial dish. In fact those who have eaten shark fins before would be able to vouch that the fins are actually, tasteless. The taste of all other ingredients, is essentially, what makes the soup.

While we take pride in our Chinese tradition, perhaps the importance of cultural practices should not supersede the importance of maintaining sustainability.

Support them by joining their Facebook page here.
About Project: FIN
Project: FIN is a Singapore-based marine conservation group that was established in January 2010. It is actively involved in spreading awareness about shark finning, and works closely with numerous NGOs around the globe. Project: FIN is not a registered company and it does not solicit nor operate on funds nor donations.
About, an online forum of Singapore-based diving enthusiasts, was set up in April 2010 and is currently the only scuba diving forum in Singapore. It has approximately over 2,000 active members and enjoys over 210,000 page views each month.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Barefoot Running takes root in Singapore

SINGAPORE, 06 December 2010: Minimalist footwear running and barefoot running increased its profile and prominence here in Singapore and the Philippines over the past week in the run-up to the Singapore Marathon 2010 (Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore). A group of about 50 minimalist footwear runners gathered together to form Team Barefoot (below) with the intention to run the 42km race tied together and wearing Vivobarefoot shoes.

Supported by Terra Plana which produces Vivobarefoot, the initiative was accompanied by 4 barefoot running clinics held in Manila, Cebu and Singapore conducted by barefoot running experts Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee, who are the founders of the RunBare Company which spreads awareness on barefoot running and consults across the United States on the intricacies of practising the art properly.

Specially flown in by Terra Plana, the barefoot running professionals who have co-authored the fast-selling book 'Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth' were received in Asia for the first time by oversubscribed clinics and awestruck enthusiasts and practitioners of barefoot running. The clinics engaged participants through an interactive 30-45 minute session, which then transitioned into some actual barefoot running drills.

In Singapore, the clinic held at the Botanical Gardens on 4th December saw participants being treated to some humourous moments as Jessica and Michael exchanged banter and ribbed each other. There were also plenty of key points to learn that were based on science and research. Both experts related their own experiences in discovering barefoot running - with Michael's being the inspirational back-from-the-brink-of-death type - and clearly swear by the sport, even to the extent of largely practising a barefoot lifestyle outside of running as well.

Michael also took the opportunity to participate in the national marathon the following day, running half the distance completely barefoot before joining Team Barefoot and cheering them on through the second leg of the race.

In all, Team Barefoot took less than 8 hours to complete the race with 35 runners covering the entire distance tied together, which could qualify as a World Record and VegVibe understands that the Guinness World Records is currently assessing the application. In any case, the purpose of the attempt was to raise funds (specifically, S$15,000) for ACRES, the wildlife rescue group based in Singapore and corporate sponsors are expected to commit various amounts based on the distance covered by the runners.

Those interested to recognise the incredible effort put in by Team Barefoot at the Singapore Marathon and contribute to the ACRES cause can still do so by donating any amount via

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jujube: high-end luxury apparel with an eco-friendly twist

SINGAPORE, 10 October 2010: In a sign that environmentalism is not just the domain of the less-than-wealthy, local fashion house Jujube announced its latest collection entitled Birds of Paradise in conjunction with the Global Work Party initiative organised by

Comprising 12 designs - six modulated and six regular, the collection boasts of the patented G.R.O.W. Modulated Clothing Design System created by the designer and brand owner, Jujube Li. The modulated pieces can be disassembled and reassembled to form new combinations of eclectic designs simply by zipping the modular parts together to create whole dresses, and minimises raw material consumption in clothing design, reduces wardrobe usage and increases the value of each purchase exponentially.

The showcase was held at the Terra Plana outlet at Mandarin Gallery and included a short fashion show for invited guests - although a crowd of curious onlookers had gathered outside the glass walls to enjoy the show as well. Jujube Li herself was on hand to describe each piece as it was modelled and shared the underlying philosophy that inspired the designs.

The home-grown label was established in August 2008 as an ecological brand that adopts a holistic approach from start to end of the business cycle, and prides itself on "using only 100% ecological and biodegradable textiles for its designs".

Jujube Li revealed that she spent
more than a year sourcing for ecological textiles in order to uncover eco-certification standards that are the most reliable and established, even to the extent of creating a handmade newspaper mannequin in order to stay true to the ecological concept.

She believes that eco-fashion is in vogue now "because of the epiphany that is happening to individuals all around the world - a reflection of the understanding that the ever-increasing population of 6.8 billion can no longer afford to continue destroying the environment and pretend that there are no consequences", and sees it as "making the permanent and logical choice to support the eco-system we are part of".

Her designs illustrate the fact that eco-fashion does not always have to be casual wear or for the 'tree-hugger' and can instead appeal to anyone who can appreciate design and fashion.

The collection is made
from 100% Modal, a fiber produced by Austrian fiber production company Lenzing, which is currently the only fiber production company in Europe to be awarded the European Ecolabel for its efforts in maintaining strict environmental standards - from debarking the Beech trees in sustainable forests to neutralising the waste water such that it does not deplete abiotic life.

Inspired by the exotic creature known as the Bird of Paradise, famed for its rich plumage and royal poise and even revered by some as the most beautiful of all birds, the collection aspires to be just that - natural and magnificent, with the bright colours reflecting the climate derived from the vivacious fauna found in the lushness of the t

The Bird of Paradise collection from Jujube retails from SGD$208 onwards and can be purchased online at the Jujube Boutique or in person at Parco Marina Bay #P2-31 and Terra Plana @Mandarin Gallery #02-04. More information on the brand and its apparel is also available at

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Eight Treasures gets non-vegetarians to celebrate World Vegetarian Day

SINGAPORE, 1 October 2010: Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant hosted a dinner for 70 guests on World Vegetarian Day to celebrate the special occasion. A collection of VegVibe readers, Singapore Vegetarian Meetup Group members and Vegetarian Society (Singapore) members and their respective friends and family joined host, Ms Zenna Ho, in a sumptuous 8-course spread.

In an effort to create awareness, the stipulation for the dinner was that each vegetarian guest be accompanied by a non-vegetarian, and the sizeable number of non-vegetarians that had dinner for the first time at a vegetarian restaurant would surely have been a first of its kind in Singapore.

Unsurprisingly, the vegetarian half of the guest list was impressed by the quality of the food and the ambience of the premises - something diners have come to expect from Eight Treasures. But it was the non-vegetarian contingent that held the litmus test, with all agreeing unanimously that the food was exceptional. Whilst views were divided between 'tastes like any other good Chinese restaurant food' and 'tastes different but is equally as good', it was clear that these first-time diners were similarly impressed.

A few of these non-vegetarian diners whom VegVibe spoke to also mentioned that they would be coming again with other friends to sample the food in the near future.

This was not the first time that the restaurant had organised a special invitation dinner for guests. In 2009, it celebrated World Vegetarian Day by inviting a handful of vegetarian food bloggers to sample an equally-stunning spread of fine food and special culinary creations (read story). Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 282A South Bridge Road, next to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ACRES going strong on all fronts

SINGAPORE, 6 October 2010: The Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) had an eventful week - releasing the results of 3 successful sting operations late last week , organising a cruelty-free living exhibition at the main shopping belt here over the weekend, and appearing on a national news programme this morning as well.

Beginning with a press release on 30 September, ACRES described how its undercover officers posed as buyers in Hougang for the sale of a hedgehog (15 September), in Choa Chu Kang for the sale of a whole alleged tiger skin complete with the head and claimed to be from Sri Lanka (21 September), and in Serangoon for the sale of pieces of alleged tiger skins claimed to be from Thailand (22 September). The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) responded immediately when alerted and the items have been seized for further investigation.

The hedgehog was offered for sale by a Chinese man for $150, the whole alleged tiger skin by an Indian man for $400 and the pieces of alleged tiger skins by a Chinese woman for $128 each. “These seizures together with the major seizures of alleged tiger parts in Singapore in March this year have put a huge dent in the illegal wildlife trade,” said Ms. Anbarasi Boopal, Director of ACRES Wildlife Crime Unit.

Moving on to more proactive initiatives, ACRES launched 'SHOP WISE, SAVE LIVES: say no to animal cruelty', the first-ever event in Singapore that promotes cruelty-free living and raises awareness about product testing on animals, factory farming and the cruelty behind some fashion products.

The 3-day event was held over the weekend from 1 to 3 October in the heart of Singapore and featured a mock supermarket display revealing the hidden cruelty behind the production of some toiletries, cosmetics, household products and fashion items while offering the many cruelty-free, animal-friendly alternatives available.

Members of the public had the chance to try out and purchase cruelty-free products at a discount, brought in by leading brands such as The Naturally Better Company, Lemongrass House, Terra Plana and Bud Cosmetics, to kickstart their new cruelty-free lifestyle. A free iPhone application which lists non-animal tested products and Singapore’s first-ever Cruelty-Free Pocket Shopping Guide produced by ACRES were made available as well.

The guide lists cruelty-free brands and the exact locations their products can be purchased in Singapore. These brands have been approved by the BUAV’s Humane Cosmetic Standard or Humane Household Product schemes and often feature a “Leaping Bunny logo” on the products.

Finally, Louis Ng, Executive Director of ACRES, appeared on Primetime Morning, a weekday news programme that airs every morning on Channel NewsAsia. In the five minute segment (watch clip), the hosts of the show interviewed Louis who gave a brief overview of the illegal wildlife trade and reiterated the need for the community at large to work harder to stop this, especially in Singapore.

ACRES continues to live up to its mission of creating "a caring and socially responsible society where animals are treated as sentient beings and where the environment is preserved for future generations”.