09 May 2021
Mothers are our role models. Their values influences our values. We meet a mother-daughter duo who is championing sustainable living through their own ways.
Photo credits: Wong Wei Liang
Evelyn Lee and Audris Adabella Quek
At Audi, sustainability is one of our key values that guides everything the brand does. It’s all about “Living Progress”, where we create fascinating and meaningful experiences that help shape the future.
We’ve had the pleasure of meeting with a mother and her daughter who not only embody these principles but are living examples of what it means to take active steps to achieve a more sustainable future for all.
Evelyn has always lived a sustainable lifestyle. Even before she became a mother, recycling, reusing, and repurposing were already second nature to the 55-year-old executive assistant. Her strong awareness for the environment and her daily efforts to live a more sustainable lifestyle has had positive influence on her three kids, particularly her youngest daughter, Audris, 26, who went on to establish Paradigm Shift Label, an ethical fashion label which aims to use fashion for the greater good. Evelyn and Audris share their thoughts on sustainable living and the life lessons they value the most.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Evelyn: It means giving non-living things a second life. I make it a point to bring my own drink in a reusable bottle when I go out, so I don’t have to purchase drinks that come in single-use packaging and I can minimise plastic waste. I recycle plastic, paper, canned drinks, and glass daily whenever possible. I do my best to repurpose them in different ways such as using plastic bottles as containers for my plants.
Audris: It is to constantly question the source of things. And when it comes to the fashion industry, it’s finding out how the people involved in the supply chain are treated. I try to support ethical and transparent brands and to consume consciously to minimise waste. Sustainability to me is to take care of belongings to give them a longer life.
What motivates you to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle?
Evelyn: I believe my actions can contribute to the larger scale of reducing global warming. And I look forward to a cleaner environment and a better earth for future generations while I can still do my part.
My family is my motivation too, I wanted to impart the same philosophies to my daughter as I want her to understand that she does not live only for herself, and that her daily sustainable efforts can have lasting impact for the future. I also hope she would carry on doing her part to save the earth and inspire the next generation — every bit counts.
What are the most important values your mother taught you that you live by?
Audris: Selflessness, unconditional love, commitment and perseverance. She taught me not to live for my own selfish gains, but to have others in mind in all things that I do. The way she loves and commits to family (children and marriage) inspires me deeply. Her persevering attitude is a value I have adopted which resonates with me as an entrepreneur. Every time I feel like giving up, I confide in her and find that her strength gives me strength.
How has your mother’s guidance contributed to who you are today?
Audris: She teaches me to calmly face problems one at a time and reminds me not to have my joy stolen. Mum is my go-to person to dream up new designs and concepts because she is so creative and would not shut me down — she dreams and visualises with me! She was a key person in my pursuit of fashion entrepreneurship, and I attribute my blooming creativity to her.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother?
Evelyn: Seeing my children grow up well and not go astray. I take pride in witnessing their growth and contribution to society. As a new grandmother, I also find joy seeing my eldest daughter’s motherhood journey.
What are the biggest challenges you face when it comes to applying your values of sustainable living, and how do you overcome them?
Evelyn: It is challenging to live with a family of minimalists and be mistaken for a hoarder! My recycling efforts and my collection of items for repurposing sometimes cause squabbles at home but I’m thankful my family compromises and adjusts.
Audris: In the beginning it was not easy to embark on living out the values of living ethically and sustainably as it hinders my personal convenience. Over time, I learnt to celebrate the small wins in practicing self-control while reminding myself to see the bigger picture and understanding that we all play a part!
What does Paradigm Shift Label represent?
Audris: Paradigm Shift Label (PSL) embodies empowerment and respect. Through our brand, we hope to inspire customers to join us in using fashion for good. Through their purchase, they make a difference by providing job opportunities in our supply chain of producing long-lasting, quality wardrobe essentials. Our brand name, “Paradigm Shift” is also one of our core values — we say that the PS Lady is clothed in strength and dignity, she breaks social norms, carries powerful influence, and evokes positive change.
What kind of change do you hope to see in the world through your own contributions?
Evelyn: A cleaner environment and more conscious consumers.
Audris: I hope to inspire people to do their part because a little adds up to a whole lot and a little goes a long way!
What does “Living Progress” mean to you?
Audris: It means recognising that life is a journey and growth requires time.
Evelyn: To constantly strive for improvement and betterment.
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