Forward-thinking and digitally savvy, these Malaysian brands are leading the way in both creativity and business acumen
To celebrate Malaysia Day last month, we did a series of Shop Local articles on Malaysian businesses making waves in their industries – and realised just how much there is to celebrate. While 2020 has been a tough year for any business, we wanted to take the time to acknowledge the agility, ingenuity and successes of local enterprises across the sectors.
Whether that’s cruelty-free skincare, fashionable face mask, an online jewellery platform or a sustainable fashion brand, there’s much to celebrate. Here we explore some homegrown brands that have been pioneers in their industries, pivoted with the times and brought satisfaction to their customers.
Forward-thinking style leaders
With our very own annual fashion week in Kuala Lumpur and a growing number of talented designers making it in global fashion capitals, it’s an exciting time for the Malaysian fashion scene. Whether it’s through heritage-inspired pieces or the championing of local crafts and artisans, local designers are putting Malaysia on the global stage. The handcrafted timepieces at local watchmaker MASA Horlogerie, for one, feature songket-weave straps, keris-shaped watch hands and even a songket tapisserie-style dial, creating watch designs with an unmistakably Malaysian look.
In recent years, new fashion businesses have embraced sustainability. Subang Jaya-based fashion rental platform Lylamod, is one of them. In a world of fast fashion, they’re encouraging the far more sustainable choice of renting a curated selection of luxury dresses on their website. While this model is fairly still new in Malaysia, the brand hopes to feed the appetite for fashion while eliminating its problematic “wear-once-and-throw-away” culture.
Even the more traditional, high-value pockets of the style landscape are finally adapting to evolving consumer habits and tastes. Certain jewellery brands have left behind the brick-and-mortar model and embraced the digital wave. Award-winning brand Tailored Jewel, for one, not only has two physical outlets in Johor Bahru and KL but a web store where customers can browse a sleek collection of fine earrings, wedding bands, hijab pins and more. Zcova, a local diamond business run by two brothers, on the other hand, has doubled-down on personalised service and has in-house consultants to help clients to find their perfect rock.
Discover more Malaysian fashion and accessory brands here.
Modern beauty products with a conscience
With customers becoming ever more discerning about the ingredients used in their beauty rituals, the demand for natural, cruelty-free products is only set to rise – and local brands are listening. Many homegrown beauty lines in Malaysia are now embracing natural formulations, whether that’s a honey extract-infused skin oil by NP Skincare, a red ginseng eye mask by La’derm or an entirely paraben-free line by Ischia. Homegrown haircare brand Beaute Method features products that’s made with non-toxic, TCM-approved ingredients and entirely made without animal testing. (Learn more about their haircare line here.)
A growing global interest in Asian beauty rituals and generations-old secret ingredients means that these brands are well-positioned to take off around the world as well. Since starting out as an online store, cruelty-free skincare brand Bare Skin has now expanded to countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Australia and the UK.
Discover more Malaysian beauty brands here.
A growing emphasis on wellness
With the recent lockdown pushing consumers to rethink their wellness and lifestyle habits, the focus on personal wellness has never been stronger than it is today. With three clinics around Kuala Lumpur, Da Vinci Medical’s award-winning doctors continue to serve men and women with a personal touch, offering treatments and surgeries for dermatological, anti-aging, cosmetic and other needs. On the non-surgical front, TCM clinics such as Yinee Beauty Wellness are quick and agile in addressing modern problems, through non-surgical, osteopathic reshaping for those of us hunched over for hours while working from home or during extended smartphone use.
Recognising that customers are now looking for ways to take care of their well-being at home as well, 31MM does additive-free fruity drinks that you can easily incorporate into your #stayhome pampering rituals and are designed with detoxing, slimming and anti-aging properties in mind.
Of course, the buzzword in the wellness scene these days is masks, with dozens of labels popping up to address a booming new need. Malaysian cosmetics brand Empro has recently launched a line of three-layer, top-quality masks that not only offer maximum protection, but come in a multitude of colours to suit every outfit.
Discover more Malaysian wellness brands here.
With thanks to our partners Ischia, The Bare Skin, La’derm, NP Skincare, Zcova, MASA Horlogerie Kuala Lumpur, Tailored Jewel, Beaute Method Group, Empro, 31MM, Yinee Beauty Wellness and Da Vinci Medical