When she ran a company that sold American clothing labels in China, textile heiress Veronica Chou was a globe-trotting executive who made headlines for her socialite lifestyle and lavish 2012 wedding in Hong Kong. Now, she’s trying to clean up the fashion industry.
A member of the US$2.7 billion family empire built by her father Silas Chou, the 36-year-old said she’s now devoting her time and money to start-ups that make one of the world’s most wasteful industries more sustainable.
After selling the family stake in a Chinese joint venture with New York-listed Iconix Brand for US$56 million in 2015, she started her own eco-friendly label, backing suppliers that are using innovative technologies to make materials and clothes.
“I’ve definitely changed my lifestyle and behaviour,” says Chou, mother of a five-year-old twin boys. “We have to look at how to cut back consumption and make things that don’t harm the planet. But we have to consume – we need to clothe ourselves.”