5 Questions With Johanna Chan

Anna Uvarova

Since we opened our doors in April of 2018, we have been lucky to build up a great circle of like-minded and well-aligned people.

I recently sat down with some members of our Atlas community for a candid conversation on sustainability, health, and wellness.

Our first hero is Johanna Chan – yoga teacher, eco-warrior and a big part of the Atlas family.

Can you Introduce Yourself?

Hello ATLAS community, my name is Johanna Chan. I am building a sustainable handbag label, RIL CREED under the company my mom and I co-founded called LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability). We may have met on Thursday nights during Spinal Health Yoga at ATLAS, as I teach yoga by night. I am on a mission to disrupt the fast fashion and luxury goods industry by offsetting carbon footprint one handbag at a time.

Tell us more about your brand, and the contribution to the Sustainability movement it’s making.

RIL CREED is a community that empowers women with ethical fashion. Designed in Tokyo, each RIL CREED bag is handmade from upcycled material with age-old craftsmanship at a woman-led family-owned factory. Each decision from sourcing through to delivery is based on sustainability and empowering women. RIL CREED is disrupting the handbag industry by promoting slow fashion and repurposing off-cut leather from other designer brands. By saving industry waste from landfill, optimizing our sourcing and cutting procedures, we are able to create affordable leather goods that do good to our mother earth and community.

What was the main reason for you to start your company?

Did you know that every handbag is made from over 100 small parts and crafted together by more than 30 pairs of hands? With parents who have been manufacturing for other fashion brands for three decades, I have learned the creation process from start to finish and witnessed the literally tons of waste generated season after season.

I started the company with my mom with the goal of spreading a lifestyle of health and sustainability. We want to make eco-friendly products mainstream, affordable and accessible. We are here to raise awareness of the current textile waste problem and to show the true cost behind it.

Who is your inspiration?

My parents are my biggest inspiration. They are social entrepreneurs and risk-takers who truly care about people, sustainability and planet before profit, even before this became a trend. Being able to work with the team they built as a family is my biggest honor and motivation to grow RIL CREED.

The biggest piece of advice you can give to anyone who wants to live eco-friendly?

Don’t worry about going zero waste or vegan when you can start with only a small step each day. Bring your own bottle, use reusable utensils, cut down on plastics and paper and be conscious about the daily waste you create.

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