If there’s one thing Malaysians love to do during festive seasons, is shop till we drop. Now with Hari Raya just over, post-Raya sales have popped-up just about everywhere, taunting us with rock bottom discounts that no sane person can resist.
Since we’re hopeless shopaholics anyway, why not give in to our weakness but make the conscious effort to contribute back to society by picking homegrown brands with charitable initiatives?
To inspire you into making conscious purchases this year, here are four local brands that provide some retail therapy with a clear conscience.
Founded by philanthropist Deborah Henry in collaboration with Frankie Turner of Frankitas and Amy Blair of The Batik Boutique, Fugeelah is a self-sustaining initiative by Fugee School, a UNCHR-recognised non-profit school especially for refugee children.
The brand Fugeelah was inspired by the song ‘Fugee la’ by The Fugees which also speaks about the lives of the refugee community.
A collection of accessories featuring print motifs inspired by the students’ various cultures, Fugeelah showcases their children’s unique life journeys and most importantly their talent.
The children at Fugee School were coached in the art of making beautiful accessories by both Frankitas and The Batik Boutique, culminating in accessories such as earrings and clutches made entirely by the students themselves.
The Fugeelah accessories and jewellery pieces are now available online at www.instagram.com/fugee_lah and www.facebook.com/frankitasbagandcluth.
Alternatively, the items can also be purchased, by appointment-only, at the Frankitas Gallery in Damansara Heights when you call 017-378 7070.
2. Quench by The Hope Factory
The Hope Factory, a cause-prioritising entity by Selangor-native Tengku Munazirah Shah that combines social entrepreneurship and business principles, is creating awareness in six different areas of need in Malaysia with Quench, a 500ml mineral water bottle.
Produced locally in its entirety, Quench is the first mineral water in Malaysia to give back its proceeds to areas of critical need.
With every purchase of the mineral water bottles, 15% of the company’s sales is channelled back to the community in the areas of medical care, protection of children, education, hunger prevention and raising awareness on animal rights.
Head to www.shop.redtick.com/store/quench-awareness-mineral-water to get Quench delivered to you.
3. Baked KL
What started as the hobby of two sisters, Izi and Izza, quickly took the shape of Baked KL, a home-based online bakery that shares their love for cookies, whoopie pies and brownies.
Since its inception in 2011 with their mother’s tried and true recipes, the sisters have expanded their repertoire rapidly – their offerings now include vegan and gluten-free options as well.
Baked KL’s mission is to plant and encourage empathy as they believe it is an important tool to understand issues happening in our community for social change.
In line with their purpose, Baked KL chooses a beneficiary of their choice every year to whom 10% of total sales is donated. The chosen beneficiary last year was Women of Will, an organisation that aids disadvantaged women.
To enjoy Baked KL’s treats whilst donating, head to www.bakedkl.com.
4. Gerai OA
Literally translated, Gerai OA means Indigenous People’s Stall, and is a volunteer-run nomadic stall selling crafts by the Orang Asal of Malaysia.
Although the word “stall” is in the name, it is not exactly a physical stall but rather a mobile retail channel that makes appearances wherever there is appreciation for the unique handicrafts of the marginalised indigenous people of the country.
The items sold by Gerai OA vary from clutches to baskets and are entirely handmade by the OA communities from many corners of Malaysia, including Gua Musang in Kelantan and Carey Island in Selangor. The best part? 100% of their sales monies is returned to the artisans themselves.
If you wish to get your hands on one of Gerai OA’s offerings – limited to one item per customer – simply send them a message on their Facebook page.
This article first appeared in uppre.com