written by Jessica Liew - June 24, 2019
Has the idea of sustainability piqued your curiousity in more ways than one? Going zero waste and reducing your carbon footprint can come across as too close for comfort, but these Malaysian advocates and lifestyle brands are making the transition a breeze.
From buzzword to dialogue, the word ‘sustainability’ has brought about a meaningful purpose to living responsibly, in a slew of creative ways. It’s more than preserving planet earth: it’s also about seeing our future generation through. Sustainability comes in many forms: from Tengku Zatashah Idris’ #SayNoToPlastic movement to F&B establishments that are doing away with straws, these initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg. Keen to jump on the movement? Start by making mini lifestyle changes through the help of personalities and brands built on sustainability.
1. Elisa Khong, Mylking.com Founder
ABOVE Photo credit: @elisakhong / Instagram
Vegan, eco warrior, and green thumb enthusiast, Elisa Khong has a wealth of knowledge and exposure to a conscious lifestyle, having lived a life aligned to these causes. She even married Khailee Ng in a Cloud Wedding ‘attended’ by hundreds of their friends from 35 countries without having to fly or spend a single cent. The green queen recently launched Mylking.com, a bible for all things green and kind, from people, food, fashion and businesses. Curious about specific topics like ethical fashion brands to even plant-based cheese and mylk companies? Drop Mylking a visit to expand your green horizons.
2. Yasmin Rasyid, Founder Of EcoKnights
ABOVE Photo credit: @yasmin_rasyid / Instagram
Exuding a gracious aura in her sharp power outfits, professional biologist Yasmin Rasyid looks right at home as a speaker and educator. But one wouldn’t immediately associate her as a keen environmentalist dedicated to sustainability science and sustainable community development, for over 20 years now. Yasmin’s respect for the environment began from a tender age, and in 2005, she founded EcoKnights, who lends her NGO leadership through community development initiatives and by helping stakeholders design, plan and implement their sustainability agendas.
3. Melissa Tan, #ZeroWaste Personality
ABOVE Photo credit: heymelissatan.com
Model, TV host, actress, you name it, Melissa Tan’s got it, but #ZeroWaste advocate remains her top role. A founding member of The Green Guerilla, Malaysia’s eco awareness platform on Instagram, Melissa Tan, better known as a former Asia’s Next Top Model contestant, is a spirited warrior of the sustainability cause via her blog and Instagram. From living with less plastic to vegan food recommendations as well as cruelty-free beauty products, Melissa has inspired her followers to take up the holistic lifestyle with practical advice and awareness.
4. Poptani Asia, Urban Household Farming
ABOVE Photo credit: @poptaniasia / Instagram
Another obvious step into sustainability that every household can consider, be it in a landed home or high-rise condo, is a little urban farm. Poptani Asia had a vision to introduce a farm in every house, to encourage urban dwellers to produce their own vegetables and use their home garden as an educational tool. From soil-based gardens to aquaphonics, Poptani comes into the picture with different technology and innovation to suit every household needs, in a bid to eradicate food problems and excess waste.
5. The Mineraw, Natural Skincare
ABOVE Photo credit: @themineraw / Instagram
Skincare is part of our everyday lives, but it also carries large traces of chemicals that go back into the land and ocean. The Mineraw alleviates that with consciously sourced raw ingredients made in small batches, and turned into natural skincare and products, complemented with recyclable packaging. The Mineraw is also vegan, cruelty-free and caters to all skin types with products like the honey glow scrub, essential-oil concentrate serum, and even a coffee scrub made possible with coffee grounds contributed by RAGE coffee.
6. Kinder Soaps, Natural Soap
ABOVE Photo credit: The Kinder Soap Company / Facebook
Since 2008, the Kinder Soap Company has been churning out soaps using natural ingredients, providing solutions to those with sensitive skin conditions. The cold process soaps use whole, therapeutic grade essential oils to make luxurious bars that are free from artificial ingredients and preservatives. With sumptuous ingredients like goat’s milk and patchouli, dark chocolate and mint, tangy lavender, and double duty beauty balms, Kinder Soaps further affirms its efficacy with a 100% money back guarantee.
7. Muni, Botanical Apparel Brand
Cheap, fast fashion has instigated the throwaway culture, contributing to excess, unwanted clothing that already piles up from the production stages. In a bid to combat that, Muni apparel takes on an artisanal approach to apparel production, that are also made from botanical colours. This ethos is also reflected in its back-to-basics creations of minimalist, practical classics in the form of unisex t-shirts, bags and cushion covers. The carefully extracted pastel shades that imbue Muni’s wares are derived from tropical plants, and are available in stores like Kedai Bikin, Ilaika and The Hive.
8. Little Clothing Shop, Zero Waste Clothing
ABOVE Photo credit: Little Clothing Shop Facebook
The Little Clothing Shop is by no means little when it comes to matters at the heart, which is to ethically produce a zero waste clothing line. Designed and handmade in Kuala Lumpur, each article ranging from thoughtfully design adult clothing to dainty children’s pieces, custom orders too, is fashioned in a jigsaw puzzle cutting technique to ensure no textule goes to waste, whilst giving due credit and fair compensation to the producers and workers.
9. Sayang, Socially Conscious Fashion
ABOVE Photo credit: Shopsayang Facebook
To help reduce the fashion world’s carbon footprint, Sayang puts a mindful spin in its production beginning from the process, sources, production, and right up till the packaging. The environmentally and socially conscious label collaborates with local tailors and traders to use natural fibres in their elegant garments. At first glance, one wouldn’t think that the pieces evoking a classy-meets-boho chic is constructed with the utmost of ethics, reinstating that sustainable fashion can make a trendy statement too.
10. Biji Biji Ethical Fashion, Social Enterprise Label
ABOVE Photo credit: Biji Biji Ethical Fashion Facebook
A brainwave initiative by Malaysian social enterprise Biji Biji Initiative, Biji Biji Ethical Fashion is driven by the agenda for sustainability, specifically to give life to unwanted materials from a range of manufacturing industries. The byproducts are aesthetically attractive bags made from seat belts and vintage kimonos sourced from Japanese textile manufacturers. To top it off, the brand treats its workers and producers with fairness and respect, following a policy of which embraces no child labour, fair wages and a safe working environment.