Singapore-based sustainability lifestyle events and media company Green Is The New Black (GITNB) has been acquired by Sean Lee-Davies, founder of impact and venture studio Awethentic Group, for an undisclosed sum.
Green Is The New Black was founded by events and marketing professional Stephanie Dickson and former GA Circular project manager Paula Miquelis in 2015. The company is best known for its sustainable lifestyle event The Conscious Festival, which was held for the seventh time in Singapore earlier this month.
Lee-Davies will take on the role of chief executive of both GITNB and The Conscious Festival, which has held festivals in Paris and Hong Kong as well as Singapore, the company’s headquarters.
Dickson and Miquelis have agreed to stay on for at least another 18 months as part of the partnership agreement, although both executives plan to stay on at the company. “It’s indefinite for us now,” Dickson told Eco-Business.
Lee-Davies, the former editorial director for Tatler Asia, founded Awethentic Studio in 2016, and has overseen the launch of food tech brand GOOD Meat in Singapore in 2020. He is currently supporting the growth of Singapore-based food tech company What If Foods in the United States.
Awethentic has a presence in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and US. The acquistion will extend the company’s footprint into Singapore.
The acquisition reflects Awethentic’s “dedication to delivering transformational experiences and products promoting sustainable lifestyles,” the company said in a statement.
Dickson said that she and Miquelis had taken the company as far they could on their own, and were selling the business as the time was right to “take it to new heights”.
She shared that the company “barely survived” during the Covid-19 pandemic, when its plans to hold The Conscious Festival in London, Hong Kong and Singapore in 2020 had to be shelved, and the event was put on virtually with just seven weeks’ preparation time.
Dickson said the plan was to pivot GITNB into more of an eco-wellness platform and grow the “conscious leadership” side of the business, which was trialled at The Conscious Festival with partners such as car maker Mercedez-Benz, airline Lufthansa and cosmetic brands L’Oreal.
Dickson said she would be looking to launch The Conscious Festival in Lisbon as the next step for building the brand in Europe, and potentially later in the US.
Launching The Conscious Festival elsewhere in Southeast Asia beyond Singapore is not part of the growth plan for now, as the event is run in English, and the language barrier and finding a strong local partner presented challenges, she said.
Dickson, who also hosts the Live Wide Awake podcast and co-founded women’s Web3.0 impact platformoriginally launched GITNB because she could not find a space for sustainability-minded people in Singapore, and saw the need to build a community for “conscious” people.
“It’s [GITNB] not just about sustainability – it’s conscious living. We need to look after ourselves so we can contribute positively to the world,” she told Eco-Business.
“More than ever, people need sacred spaces. There is so much doom and gloom and negativity around the environment and sustainability. We acknowledge deeply and respect what is happening around us, but positivity is crucial – it’s still possible to enjoy life,” she said.
“It’s important to acknowledge that both [mindsets] can exist at the same time,” she said.
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