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Seminar: “Re-allocation of Resources”

Some lack the basic necessities of life whereas some have stacked or laid idle too many resources. The result of resource mismatch is that the right resource is not allocated to the right people. We organized the seminar “Re-allocation of Resources” on 7 October. Wong Kin Yu and Ren, founder of “Share Your Tee” and “JupYeah” respectively, were invited as the guest speakers to share their views on how to better utilize idle resources and reduce waste.

Sports brands and insurance companies advocate a healthy lifestyle incessantly and sponsor countless running competitions all year round. The runners are given a commemorative sports tee-shirt every time and heaps of these tee-shirts end up at home. Wong Kin Yu pointed out that the situation was like buns offered in local cafes. They are included in the set meal for free. People may not voice out even if they don’t want them and the buns end up in rubbish bins. Witnessing the waste, he initiated the project “Share Your Tee” and donated sports tee-shirts to local grass roots and even those overseas.

The story of excessive buns and sports tee-shirts reminded participants that a good project must address current social issues. During project implementation, the organisers should consolidate the needs of different stakeholders, think from their perspectives and allocate resources according to realistic circumstances. For example, if runners lack storage space at home, donation can free up space. He emphasized that out of respect for the recipients, only brand-new sports tee-shirts are accepted. He suggested that participants should carefully consider the value of resources before making purchases or using them. As second-hand sports tee-shirts are less valuable than lady’s wear, the rules of collecting them are more stringent.

Ren, the founder of “JupYeah”, shared her experience in establishing a resource sharing platform. She believes that caring for the environment does not necessarily require professional knowledge because environmental protection is closely related to our daily life. With this in mind, she founded “JupYeah” and created the slogan “Consume Less. Share More”. Ren pointed out that Hong Kong people are too used to consumption, forgetting that there is not that much need. The production chain of the garment industry, including manufacturing and logistics, actually generates a lot of carbon emissions.  It is therefore necessary for us to rethink before buying garments. 

Ren started her swapping project in a rented unit inside a factory building. She finds that many “trash” items are deemed as “treasure” in the eyes of others. Therefore, she continues to offer a platform for idle items exchange. Then, she set up an online platform where users are granted tokens to exchange for other items after they post their second-hand items on the platform. She finds the online platform more mobile and convenient. The 24-hour operation is actually more flexible than running a warehouse. In addition, website can give clearer and more systematic displays than the social media. It also allows item preview and approval.

The seminar participants  were concerned about the waste problem and were willing to share with others the wastage they have observed in their daily lives or at work. In the sharing and discussion session, the participants suggested to routinize flea markets in Hong Kong, set up more stores for second-hand goods or upcycle canvas banners to reduce waste. Participants were keen to practise swapping at the end of the event, filling their bags with notebooks, clothing, post cards and antique wine glasses.