The Weekly’s Great Women of Our Time Awards is an annual initiative to shine the spotlight on ordinary Malaysian women, doing extraordinary things.
By The Weekly | August 17, 2016
While fashion from recycled plastic is hardly new, Kloth Malaysia’s breakout success is unprecedented in Malaysia. From being a mere concept three years ago, the fashion and lifestyle company has saved more than 20,000 bottles from becoming harmful landfill, an achievement that earned it a MyHijau Mark certificate for being Malaysia’s only socially responsible company under the textiles and waste sector category.
Its success boils down to a business model that combines its founders’ chic fashion sense, great product positioning and a strong conscience.
Nik Suzila Nik Hassan, who co-founded the brand in 2013 with three close friends, recalls, “When I saw designer Monique Maisson wear a dress created out of recycled plastic, it hit me that sustainable fashion could be environmentally friendly, safe to use and utterly chic too.”
Before quitting her job in the media industry to concentrate on Kloth full-time, she spent a lot of time educating herself on green IT.
“I have to educate myself before educating others,” she says. Years in the media industry taught her that getting the right information out was crucial to creating an irresistible product.
That hard work has paid off. Going from strength to strength, Kloth inked a historic JV with GreenTech Malaysia Alliances Sdn Bhd – a subsidiary of Malaysia Green Technology Corporation – to set up marketing agency Kloth Lifestyle, in order to develop, market and promote certified eco-friendly products nationally.
Last July, Kloth scored its bigest coup when OSK Property Holdings Bhd signed up to purchase 1,000 company uniforms made from regenerated polyester fibre derived from recycled plastic bottles.
“We believe that waste is only waste when we do not do anything with it,” she says.
Text: Alexandra Wong /Shoot Coordinator: Jasnitha Nair / Styling: Sabrina Salehuddin / Photography: Brian Fang/ M8 Studio / Hair: Cindy Hor / Make Up: Zoee Low / Elizabeth Arden
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