I looked at this bracelet that was gifted to us.
A response from the community when we called out for help.
And suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone.
I saw in my hand, a physical item that had played a role
in so many lives and will continue to play a role
in others to come.
I realised then, that subconsciously all these physical barriers
from borders closed, to staying indoors indefinitely had left me
feeling alone and disconnected. It was just me.
How easy it was for my mind to interpret physical barriers
into feelings of isolation.
I looked at this bracelet, overcome with relief that no matter
what I felt, I saw this proof of humanities’ interconnectedness.
We ARE all Linked.
I wear this bracelet, to remind myself the next time isolation
creeps in, I AM NOT ALONE. I am Linked to others.
P.S A special thank you to Hill to Street for their support <3
Everything feels heavy right now doesn’t it?
You look around and you are stifled.
Physically, there are just so many obstacles around.
I want you to know that despite all those barriers, that your spirit can never be trapped.
It can never be restrained or held back.
I know things right now things are terrifying.
So, I invite you, should you choose, to be brave for a second.
In this second, allow yourself to right to let your spirit wander away.
Together now… deep breath… inhale, exhale… release.
Xx The Women of Fugeelah
“Isn’t it expensive?” “Why should I care about the impact of fast fashion? The clothes are easier to purchase, trendier and more affordable.” These are the common phrases one would hear when sustainable fashion would come up.
Sustainable fashion. Sustainably made. What does it all mean? Sustainable fashion means that as a consumer, you need to take into account the social good, producing the most planet-friendly items, and ensuring that these products are animal-cruelty free, according to Compare Good. From the start to the finish, the many hands that contribute to developing, producing and disseminating the product, are well-regulated and cared for.
Ever since the 2013 Bangladesh Factory collapse and the shifting demand for corporates to adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), businesses and individuals have realised that it is not just the clothes that need to be made sustainable, but the entire supply chain itself. Sustainable fashion means that the entire process of making that very jacket is clean, not just the material itself.
While clothing items of all sorts have made our lives feel more luxurious, little do we know that behind the curtain of owning the latest tech and the coolest items, the very hands that make these items undergo a less-than luxurious working lifestyle. This is because workers are often faced with issues such as violation of labor guidelines, working conditions or even forced labor. Not to mention, for consumers and producers to practice purchasing from brands who adhere to sustainable practices, enabling a clean production process has been disrupted due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
Why Sustainable Fashion in the Middle of COVID-19
The pandemic has spearheaded digitalisation and economic impact, but it has also highlighted to corporate organisations just how the effects of fast fashion has finally caught up. Fast fashion has been notorious for driving up the level of carbon emissions, violating labor guidelines in their manufacturing facilities, contributing to sweatshop labor and animal cruelty.
While COVID-19 has lowered the level of carbon emissions and given us clearer skies, the impact towards the employees that make the clothes have been deeply affected. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that orders of about $1.5 billion of Bangladesh garments had been cancelled due to the outbreak. With the shift for consumers to shop online, factories had to shut down indefinitely, with workers either given less than a month’s severance pay or nothing at all.
Although the fashion industry had been heading towards its sustainable transformational step, the pandemic has put it on pause, according to Forbes, where in terms of consumer goods, the fashion and luxury industries were the most negatively impacted. BCG stated that they were looking at sales being down from 30%-40% globally. They aren’t the only ones, businesses have been looking at ways to reinvent their business models and protect their cash flow.
Staying on Track
The push for sustainability among corporate organisations has never been fiercer, as they realise that sustainable practices not only meet the shifting needs of consumers, but helps them prolong business sustainability. In 2015, Nielsen published a sustainability report that showed 66% of consumers will pay more for a sustainably made product.
Consumers which consist of the millennial and generation Z will continue to demand product transparency and whether it contributes to the increase of carbon emissions. This demographic is slowly empowering industry leaders to ensure the fashion industry takes more responsibility to how they generate, create and manufacture products. In turn, producers themselves will be able to produce higher quality products, build a safer work environment for many, conserve the earth’s resources and fulfil the current consumer habits.
First Time for Everything
Taking the first step towards being a consumer or producer of sustainable fashion is never walk in the park. Here are things that you as a consumer can start doing:
DO look the brands up to check their stance on sustainability.
DON’T just buy something because it is cheap, ask yourself, do you really need this?
DO buy pre-loved garments. They are just looking for a home that is not the pile of textile waste.
DON’T throw your clothes away. If you have no use for some garments, drop it off a clothing donation box in a store that provides it or at the nearest community center (foster home, refugee center, etc.)
DO buy handmade handiwork which support an inclusive environment and empower the fashion industry.
While these steps can seem small, they provide employees with safer, healthier and more
Sustainable fashion has been at the forefront of building a greener and cleaner business production process. This movement encourages brands to take a step back and reevaluate the impact of their practices and produce products with higher quality in a cleaner way.
Not to mention, with sustainable fashion, both the producer and end user are able to give back to the community with zero waste and provide a safer work environment for many.
MORE THAN OUR FEELINGS, MORE THAN OUR THOUGHTS
Fugeelah by Dhani Illiani is a collaboration driven to start a conversation on Imposter Syndrome (IS) which means believing that you are an inadequate failure, despite evidence that shows you are skilled and successful. According to research, IS is experienced by 7 out of 10 people.
This collaboration was inspired by a panel discussion hosted by Fugeelah founder Deborah Henry with Michelle Obama and Julia Roberts at the inaugural “Leaders: Asia-Pacific,” event which addressed how there are moments where we feel like we are not good enough to be in the room or to have a voice.
The collection will feature t-shirt designs and a special edition tote bag. Each piece, an artwork in itself, has been designed exclusively for Fugeelah by Dhan Illiani is dedicated to be a reminder that we are NOT our thoughts. As part of this campaign, Fugeelah interviewed five women from different backgrounds to gather their insights and thoughts on Imposter Syndrome.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
JANUARY: A full-time mother and dancer [who specializes] in Odissi, an Indian classical dance from Eastern India.
SHAREETA: I am a TV host and actress, who lives in KL with my beautiful cat and husband.
KIT: A Malaysian girl who loves animals, crafting and wine.
HIKMA: I am a 20-year-old college student from Petaling Jaya.
ELANA: A Chief Marketing Officer at the MAA Group. [I am] passionate about empowering young women and making education more accessible to Malaysia’s youth
Had you known of Imposter Syndrome before being part of the campaign?
KIT: I had not, but I most certainly felt it!
SHAREETA: Yes. I have listened to a few interesting podcasts on the topic.
Which one do you relate to most and why?
Types of Imposter Syndrome [IS]
The Perfectionist: I should deliver a perfect performance 100% of the time. My work must always be A+.
The Expert: As the expert, I would already know everything I need to know how to do this.
The Soloist: I believe true competence is equal to my own achievements without any assistance. I must and need to do everything myself.
The Superhuman: If I were really confident, I would be able to do it all and do it easily and well.
The Great Mind/Natural Genius: I judge myself on ease and speed: If i were really competent, it would come quickly and easily.
KIT: The perfectionist. If I have set myself a task, I often feel an expectation that the outcome needs to be perfect. No variances, no imperfections. It has been difficult for me, particularly with work as I would feel incredibly unmotivated if I cannot achieve something and I feel like an absolute failure. It spirals sometimes into feeling like nothing will ever go right so I should not try, and that I will never be good enough.
HIKMA: I think I relate with The Soloist the most. Looking back I have realised that I prefer doing things on my own because I feel like no one can do the work up to my standards. For example, if I know someone well enough and I were to be in the same group with them in a project, I would give them easier tasks because I prefer doing the harder task myself. I feel like if I ask them for help, they are not able to give me the result I want and they will feel like I could not do the task on my own.
ELANA: Great Mind/Natural Genius resonates with me because I notice that I am hard on myself or question my own ability when I compare how long it takes me to grasp or master something compared to others. I also have habits similar to a perfectionist in that I am definitely my worst critic, while expecting very high standards of myself even though I do not set unrealistic goals. That said, I know I pay a huge amount of attention to detail and take great pride in producing great quality work which is why I am so invested in the things I put my energy into, even though it may take me awhile to get there.
How do you deal or manage feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy?
JANUARY: It has taken me many years to unlearn these feelings of self-doubt [that] still pop up from time-to-time. However, I am aware that these feelings are created by myself and I allow them to pass. I believe that there are no good or bad feelings, they are all valid and they make me human.
ELANA: I believe that the better you are at recognizing [your thought patterns] and emotions as they rise up, the easier it gets to manage them, your behaviours in response and discover what underlies that feeling. I meditate daily, journal often, and prioritise alone time which gives me the space to think which have really helped me work through some of my own behaviours.
Finish the sentence – “Dear Imposter Syndrome,…..”
JANUARY: Dear Imposter Syndrome, I see you, but I would like to release the power you have over me.
SHAREETA: Dear Imposter Syndrome, you have overstayed your welcome.
KIT: Dear Imposter Syndrome, you are not in control of me and what I do.
HIKMA: Dear Imposter Syndrome, it is hard to keep forcing these negative thoughts out of my mind when they want to stay. But all these negative thoughts come from you, imposter syndrome and I really wish we humans won’t need to deal with this but it is a part of us.
ELANA: Dear Imposter Syndrome, as much as I would like to see you go away, I know that you are just a part of everyday life and something that everyone has felt at some point in their lives. You are important in helping people think about their identity which spills over into how people behave and become.
If you could be Imposter Syndrome-free, what would you be?
JANUARY: Exactly who I am meant to be.
SHAREETA: An author.
KIT: Hopefully a bad ass boss lady!
HIKMA: Honestly, I would have been a performer. I’ve always wanted to dance in front of a crowd such as being in musicals.
ELANA: I would be unbeatable, relentless in achieving what I set out to do. I would easily be able to ask for help and reach out to people without worrying about what they might think.
Is ‘Self-Doubt’ always a bad thing?
SHAREETA: It is perfectly fine to question yourself. [Self-Doubt] keeps your feet firmly on the ground, and allows you to reassess the way you are feeling or doing things. As long as you keep it in check and know that doubt does not equal incompetence or unworthiness. It just means you have to push past that doubt to achieve what you desire.
HIKMA: Self-doubt is not always a bad thing because sometimes when you feel like you are doubting yourself, you will end up realising that you can do it and this will make you do it more sincerely instead of feeling like you are being forced.
CELEBRATING BOLDNESS WITH JEWELLERY. CELEBRATING YOU.
by Sharlene Oong
In this season of uncertainty and ever-evolving concerns, there seems to be less room for inspiration and rest. So we’re asking you to stop for a little while and smell the roses.
Like a breath of fresh air, Cool To Be You not only enables you to feel like yourself, but opens the door to the many sides of yourself you never thought existed; fun, practical, flirty and bold, you can be it all. Dive into a world of limitless self-expression when you accessorise yourself with pieces designed for every side of you.
Silvia (on the left) and Hanin (on the right)
Handmade with love by our 4 fabulous Fugee Girls, Hanin, Silvia, Yusra and Naima pieces from the collection feature freshwater pearls from Sabah, natural gemstones from India, glass seed beads and gold-plated findings.
Start your day with a boost by wearing jewellery that not only elevates your #OOTD but also makes you feel good in the process, because ultimately self-confidence is the best outfit. Rock it. Own it.