March 05, 2020
It takes dedication to shift mindsets and educate the public about conscious consumerism, especially at a time when we have become used to getting things fast, cheap and easy.
This International Women’s Day, we celebrate these social entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia who have committed themselves to their chosen causes while showing that sustainability should be a year-round trend. Their products are available at Destination: GOOD in Kuala Lumpur and through destinationgood.com.
1. Anja Juliah, Athena Empowers
Anja combined her advocacies in education and menstrual health by establishing Athena, a social enterprise that organises workshops for adolescent girls, focusing on managing puberty and menstrual health. To help fund costs, they produce and sell reusable sanitary pads and other feminine hygiene products.
Shop for Athena Empowers products here.
2. Pamela Mejia, Phinix
Pamela’s advocacy for sustainable fashion began when she was a teenager who chose to buy second-hand clothes from vintage stores and bundle shops, over brand new ones. Today, she is the founder of Phinix, a Filipino enterprise that gives new life to old clothes by upcycling them into shoes and bags.
Shop for Phinix products here.
3. Passawee Kodaka, FolkCharm
Passawee founded FolkCharm to promote appreciation of traditional weaving techniques by creating unique pieces of carefully-crafted, environmentally-friendly products from organic and natural materials. She envisions the younger generation of Thailand to recognise the worth of local craftsmanship and refrain from moving away from their families to work in big cities.
Shop for FolkCharm products here.
4. Tran Hong Nhung, Zo Project
Dó paper production is a decades-old craft that was once used for religious scrolls in Vietnamese villages. Nhung wanted to help modernise the dying art by making notebooks, postcards and calendars to preserve the invaluable art form and boost the livelihood of villagers.
Shop for Zo Project products here.
5. Yana Santiago, En Route Handcrafted
From making eco-friendly jewelry from materials she found at home, Yana Santiago and her team now trains women in indigenous communities in Southern Philippines to become skilful artisans and entrepreneurs, handcrafting jewellery from upcycled t-shirts.
Shop for En Route Handcrafted products here.
6. Yas Muridan, Yasminida Bali
To encourage more responsible tourism and reduce plastic waste in Bali, Yasmin founded a social enterprise that makes reusable utensils from locally grown bamboo. She employs over 40 people, many of whom are differently-abled.
Shop for Yasminida Bali products here.