Biji-biji Ethical Fashion at ISETAN, The Gardens

Malaysia is a shopping paradise, isn’t it?

Type in ‘Largest shopping malls in the world” and hit the Search button on your browser.

Quickly your browser will reveal that, Malaysia is indeed a shopping paradise. You will see names of familiar shopping destinations such as Sunway Pyramid, 1 Utama, Berjaya Times Square and Mid Valley Megamall popping up on those lists.

Not to mention all the many neighbourhood malls that are popping up every few kilometres too.

As a typical consumer, you have access to a wide variety of choices - brands, quality, price, colour schemes, seasonal trends, and etc.

However, if you are an ethical consumer, do you have any choice? In no time, you will realise that department stores are not a shopping destination for you. If you go looking for ethical products, you will rarely find them. You are not the target consumer for whom these products were designed, fabricated, labelled, shipped and displayed for. The many shops and department stores cannot sell you anything.

Challenging the norm, Biji-biji has started selling at Isetan, The Gardens as of February 2017. Among the many bags sold at Isetan, The Gardens Ground Floor, you will find bags made from waste materials. Rejected car seat belts and discarded needle-punch (felt) carpets are turned into fine folders, elegant handbags, exquisite pouches and functional carry bags.

While I cannot speak for other brands featured at Isetan Garden, I can speak for Biji-biji products.

  • Our bags are made from upcycled waste materials.
  • Our bags are hand-sewn by our makers
  • Our bags are design by local designers
  • Our bags are made in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Our freelance tailors are paid fairly and, through them, we are supporting their families back in Pakistan.
  • Our bags - being a Biji-biji product, subscribes to our governance framework which you can find on our website.

We are very proud to present our Biji-biji products at Isetan, The Gardens. I believe that SDG Goal 12: Sustainable Production and Consumption is only possible if consumers are presented with alternative choices at their typical shopping avenues. We do not expect anyone to go out of their way to look for ethical products. Hence, we will go to where you are. We do not ask you to find us. We will put an ethical choice as a legit purchasable option in the shelves of your favourite shopping avenues.

Here the journey begins!

Image: @isetankl

By Ambika Sangaran, Sustainability Consultant