Store Explore: The Lounge by Zerrin is a rare, safe haven for eco-friendly shoppers 

Take the stairs to the floor above The Social Space at Marina One and you’ll find yourself in a millennial shopper’s paradise.

We’re talking about the kind of responsible shopper who looks out for values, sustainable practices and ethical production from the brands that they patronise. While those words are thrown around so often by the fashion industry today, you can find comfort knowing that The Lounge by Zerrin, that aforementioned paradise, offers the real deal.

It’s a (very Instagrammable) pop-up that brings Zerrin’s online curation of independent Asian brands, encompassing fashion, beauty and jewellery, to the offline world. A sign on a wall which reads “Ethics + Aesthetics” sums up Zerrin’s entire philosophy.

The platform, founded by former fashion editor Susannah Jaffer, aims to educate the public about the fashion industry’s impact on the environment and developing countries, as well as spotlight the emerging, ethically-run brands that “respect people and the planet”.

On Zerrin’s website, you’ll find a repository of brand profiles that dig deep into each company’s business practices and contributions to the community. (Being fans themselves, Zerrin knows every brand they support inside and out.) At the pop-up, though, that information is likely to come to you by way of Zerrin’s welcoming staff.

They’ll be able to tell you the stories behind the brands on display at the space, which is welcomingly styled like a Bali home. (Appropriately, many of the clothes would suit a resort vacation, or a climate like Singapore’s.)

Many of the brands featured, hailing from the likes of Hong Kong, Cambodia and Indonesia and the Philippines, can’t be found elsewhere in Singapore. There are also local names in the mix, including artisanal fine jewellery brand Eden + Elie and slow fashion labels Esse and Su By Hand.

The pop-up, held twice a year, offers Zerrin shoppers the chance to discover these brands in person. That’s a treat, as many of them boast beautiful craftsmanship. It’s something else to try on the intricately woven mules and slides offered by Indonesian label Step Of Grace, or to see how each handmade beaded charm bracelet by Eden + Elie catches the light.

And the space has proven very popular: the ongoing third edition of The Lounge, which was meant to run until last December, was extended until the end of March.

“Despite COVID-19 casting a shadow of doubt, we knew it would be the right decision to bring back The Lounge,” shared Jaffer. “Our pop ups have always been an intimate and exploratory space for consumers — a respite from hectic malls and big crowds. We also wanted to give our brand collective and community something to look forward to.”

That spells out the whole appeal of The Lounge. Beyond the summery clothes, the stylish jewellery and all-natural skincare offerings, the pop-up is a vision of what retail spaces should be: somewhere for people to come to together and discover things that excite them. They’ll leave with an appreciation of how their purchase are made and the people they’re supporting, instead of guilt about who or what was exploited in the process.

(Photo credit: Zerrin)

The Lounge’s location plays into the whole experience, too. When you’re done making your feel-good purchase at the natural light-filled pop-up, you can head back down to The Social Space, another socially conscious multi-label store and choose from an array of food, home decor and lifestyle offerings.

If you’re looking for places to explore this weekend, be sure to put The Lounge by Zerrin at the top of your list.

The Lounge by Zerrin is located above The Social Space at 5 Straits View, Marina One #01-03, 018935. It runs until 31 March. Discover Zerrin’s website here.

Header photo credit: Zerrin

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