Annie Chan saw a major improvement in her skin after she started using natural and organic beauty products, yet she also found it difficult to reliably source products from overseas that really were as natural and organic as they claimed to be.
In the end, she decided to start her own business bringing the best of the ones she’d tried into Hong Kong. And so began Cabanee! Initially, the company was just online, but now there’s a retail space in Central, too. We asked Annie about recent developments.
What do you like about having a physical outlet for selling your products?
We’ve found that it’s much better to be able to interact with customers, and we enjoy it too. For example, we’ve done a few workshops with florists and baking schools, and through these workshops the customers have got to know more about Cabanee, our products, and the brands that we work with. There will be more collaborations coming, too.
What else do you enjoy about what you’re doing?
We enjoy working with the various brands because they share our philosophy on life and a passion to find alternative solutions. We’re working with companies and products from the US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and here in Hong Kong.
The term “natural” can be overused in retail; what does this label mean when you use it at Cabanee?
We only work with cruelty-free brands. Most of our brands offer vegan products and use certified organic ingredients, and some of our brands use 100 percent natural ingredients.
Tell us more about the benefits of natural products
There are face products on the market that include the likes of mercury, alcohol and ammonium laureth sulfate – all of which get absorbed into your system and are very difficult to release. From a vanity point of view, the physical results can be red patches and rough areas, plus pimple outbreaks caused by parabins that alter the natural function of the endocrine system. This means you’re actually causing everything that you’re trying to avoid by cleaning and moisturising in the first place. It’s nice for products to smell nice, but many artificial fragrances can even cause headaches. Don’t forget, too, that any products you use on yourself end up going down the sink and affecting other areas of the ecosystem.
For more head to our Style & Beauty section
This article first appeared in the December/January 2017 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.