Years of migration and international trade has given Malaysia its greatest strength — diversity. Home to a melting pot of cultures, its colourful landscape is a rich source of inspiration for entrepreneurs who seek to create and market unique items. Since our National Day is just around the corner, we trawled through the local business scene and shortlisted 5 brands that feature a distinct Malaysian flavour in their merchandise.
Pestle and Mortar
Pestle and Mortar has grown tremendously since it was established in 2010 by three high school friends — Hugh Koh, and brothers Arnold and Arthur Loh. The team made the decision to draw inspiration from Malaysian culture from the outset, launching their first collection based on quintessential icons like the roti man and mamak culture. The brand also invests time in nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs by giving lectures at colleges and other events.
Inspired by our bountiful rainforests, native Brazilian Jurema chose Malaysia as a base for her immaculately designed homewares. Each piece is crafted manually, from the sourcing of natural materials like palm fronds and bamboo trunks, to the painstaking process of colour-coating and lacquer application. Her beautiful pieces have been exhibited in various galleries and five-star hotels.
Sakura Malaysia was formed in 2011 with a mission to revive the lustre of local textiles like batik and pua kumbu. Intricate cultural motifs are incorporated into one-of-a-kind designs, making each bag a statement piece. Their extensive collection cater to both men and women, and have been spotted at KL Fashion Week 2015!
Founded by Malaysian pop star Yuna Zarai, November Culture prides itself on offering stylish and modest fashion for the masses. Colourful batik-inspired scarves, comfortable jumpsuits and chic home decor items are crowd favourites on its online store. With a lookbook that would look right at home among other high-street fashion brands, we believe it is only a matter of time before November Culture becomes a household name!
Follow Mylegasi on Instagram
Mylegasi is handcrafted in The Land Below the Wind, otherwise known as Sabah. Based in Kota Kinabalu since 2013, it is known for iconic pocket tees that carry a hint of local culture. As Sabah is home to many orang asal with a rich tapestry of traditional art and textiles, we believe there is huge potential for Mylegasi carve a niche for itself in the local and international fashion scene.
Entrepreneurs are great ambassadors for our country, leaving a footprint of Malaysian culture everywhere they go. Many local brands have ventured abroad, flying the flag for Malaysia on the global stage. As shoppers, we can also share our love for Malaysia by supporting local businesses who are driving the growth of our nation. Selamat Hari Merdeka!
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