We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Bright Red Triangle community member, Wendy Lam, founder of EQUIPLY, to find out more about her business. Since our interview, Wendy has been shortlisted as a finalist in our Bright Red Sparks competition in the Business for Good category. Congratulations, Wendy! Keep reading to find out more about Wendy, EQUIPLY, her plans for the business in the future, and how you can help.
Tell us a little about yourself. Your name, where you are from or live now, what you are interested in/passionate about, what did you study and where, and where you are currently working?
I am Wendy, I am from Hong Kong and am living in Hong Kong at the moment. I obtained my bachelor’s degree at Edinburgh Napier University, in International Business Management. During my final year, I learned about sustainability at a class called “Business Strategy and Sustainable Development”, and to be honest, I always heard this buzzword, but never took it seriously. It did inspire me a lot and triggered me to work on sustainability. Afterwards, I went back to Hong Kong and talked to different people about sustainability and realised that not many people (even from my generation) know or are aware of sustainability, not even the 3Ps. I realised that “sustainability” is not a hot topic for Asian people and even organizations. They don’t think this is important or don’t even know why we need to care about sustainable development.
I am now working on my startup company (just established in October last year), EQUIPLY. EQUIPLY is a new supply chain model, which aims to reach supply and demand equilibrium by avoiding excess supply. The name of EQUIPLY came from EQUILIBRIUM and SUPPLY CHAIN. I hope manufactures or producers can just produce what the customers need. Besides, we would also like to achieve supply chain equality. Suppliers, producers and consumers should have the same rights and opportunities.
I am trying to start by blogging and I hope to create a community about sustainability. Essentially I blog about everything related to sustainability or leading a sustainable lifestyle.
How did you come up with the idea of establishing EQUIPLY? What motivated you, and what inspired you?
My lineage is wrapped up in the garment industry. I grew up in a garment manufacturing family. In my teens, I always had chances to shadow my father, following him around and wandering around the factory. During this time, I had a chance to try packaging, sticking the labels, allocating the price tags… and it has always made me think – how we can show our producers’ heart and story? How can we best enable the equality of the whole supply chain? I set up EQUIPLY because I believe in ending the inequality of supply chains by connecting the producers and consumers.
During the last summer holiday I spent some time in Cambodia, where I got a chance to work with a Japanese NGO (Non-governmental organisation) for the EQUIPLY project. It gave me a totally different experience and inspiration. What I found most inspirational is that the NGO’s operation is not just a community factory for women, but also a school for them, which means providing them with not just employment, but also access to education and other opportunities.
After my experience in Cambodia, I realised that everyone is capable to help and reaffirmed my belief that I need to work on an equal supple chain.
I believe we must expand our can-do mindset and cultivate care to the underprivileged and establish the beauty of humanity in combating the man-made sufferings, creating a sustainable community together.
What is your vision for EQUIPLY? Where do you see it going in the future?
I aim to create a community that links both consumers and manufacturers, through our platform. I am optimistic yet realistic: Equiply is not aiming to solve world poverty per se, but I believe it is most beneficial to help factory workers in developing countries—by helping them add value to themselves and their future. Such an achievement would help lift them out of their current low-income situations.
How can people who read this blog post support you/EQUIPLY? What would you like them to do?