By: Supriya Sivabalan
Our Master Tailor utilising the industrial sewing machine to produce Biji Biji bags
Biji Biji prides itself in its Ethical Fashion, staying true to the 4 SDGs - SDG #1 No Poverty, SDG #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG#11 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG #12 Responsible Production and Consumption. We aim to reverse and challenge the exploitative measures taken by major corporations around the world. In order to do that, Biji Biji provides opportunities to marginalized groups and has worked with multiple underprivileged communities including Young Women’s Christian Association of Kuala Lumpur (YWCA), Our Malaysia, Yellowhouse KL and more.
We provide basic training to different communities in producing the popular Biji Biji products including items from the Classic Seat Belt Collection, the Banner Collection and the Felt collection. As the name of our collections suggests, most of the material that goes into producing Biji Biji products are unconventional and unique, to say the least.
How can you help?
At Biji Biji, we use industrial sewing machines that can penetrate the thick hems of the banners, felt and seat belts so that they can be transformed into the gorgeous products you see on our website.
Industrial sewing machines differ from traditional sewing machines in a multitude of ways. It is built for long term and professional sewing tasks. We essentially require these industrial machines due to it’s more superior parts and motors that can cater to the hardy build of the materials we upcycle here at Biji Biji.
Currently, we are on the lookout for generous individuals who are prepared to donate or lend their industrial sewing machines to be provided to our beneficiary tailors and production partners so that they are equipped with the necessary tools thus allowing them to work from home after their training with us here at Biji Biji.
How exactly do we provide opportunities to underprivileged groups?
Learning to sew our seat belt bags!
Biji Biji provides training to our beneficiary tailors on weekdays and on Saturdays, led by our Master Tailor, Ashfaq. We offer the option of training on a Saturday to accommodate working mothers and individuals who lack transportation on the weekdays. The training takes place in the Biji Biji Textile Lab that is based in Me.reka at Publika as we are able to provide all the materials and necessary machines for their use during the training.
In our Textile Lab, familiarising with the machine!
These beneficiary tailors learn how to make our products well through a meticulous process under the guidance of Ashfaq. Ashfaq patiently explains the sewing processes from A-Z, ensuring all the beneficiary tailors understand how to sew and make our unique products. The tailors learn about the standard measurements of the product, how to choose the right material for each item, cutting the material, the stitching of the products and finishing process like ironing and cleaning the product from thread dust.
Once they have become proficient in the making of the Biji Biji products and Ashfaq is satisfied with the products they are able to create, we consider them “graduated” and can continue to work on the products at a place of convenience to them - be it their home or at a different working space.
Ashfaq, our Master Tailor!
Hence, we wish to provide this opportunity to more communities in need. Only with appropriate industrial sewing machines can this happen. So, if you have an industrial sewing machine and intend to make a difference, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!