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4 Local Places to Shop for Sustainable Jewellery/Accessories

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

by Beatrix Kang. |

If you’re on the go but feeling very dressed down, accessories and jewellery are an easy way to jazz up your look. Whether it be a necklace, a pair of earrings, a cute hairpiece or a shoulder bag, accessories and jewellery can easily become the statement piece of your outfit, giving a fresh pop of colour or pattern.

However, most big-branded accessory and jewellery retailers tend to be involved in the culture of fast fashion and mass production, oftentimes to the extent of exploiting their workers for cheap labour. With that being said, many local brands sustainably produce jewellery. Here are a few local jewellery stores that boast diverse accessories, from statement pieces to dainty minimalist designs.

1. Minimalist Lab (RM40-RM180)

Source: The Minimalist Lab

The Minimalist Lab is a jewellery business run by Nicole, a mother of two, who had a vision of designing jewellery with sentimental and emotional ties. She aspires to empower wearers of her jewellery through these pieces with her unique packaging and charms that symbolize strength and hope. Due to the simplistic nature of her designs, most of their jewellery can be paired with various outfits, and hence, the diverse nature of these designs ensure that the jewellery can be worn often, reducing the need to buy new jewellery pieces every now and then.

The Minimalist Lab pieces are assembled locally, which means there is no central factory, but rather workshops. Through this, their carbon footprint is reduced, and they give back to the local economy by hiring local staff. Limited stocks also mean that they limit the amount of wastage their business produces through unsold products. Furthermore, their packaging is made out of recycled materials.

You can visit the minimalist stores at MidValley, Pavilion or Pasar Seni, or you can shop for their pieces online.

2. Knot Just Headbands (RM25-RM40)

Source: Knot Just Headbands

If you ever find yourself having a bad hair day, or need a bandana to keep your hair out of the way, batik print headbands from Knot Just Headbands are just the right pick-me-ups for you.

Knot Just Headbands aspires to preserve the batik print culture among Malaysians through their unique and timeless headband designs that can snazz up any outfit. Furthermore, they source for their materials locally from craftsmen on the East Coast of the Peninsula which are later hand-sewn together by housewives in Kelantan. Through this initiative, besides reducing mass production in their headbands, Knot Just Headbands also provides a source of income for locals by providing them jobs.

They also produced straw packets in collaboration with OneCup, as well as face masks for a new chic look while staying safe in the midst of the pandemic.

You can follow Knot Just Headbands on their Instagram to keep an eye out for their pop-up booths, or you can purchase directly from their online store.

3. Biji Biji (RM30-RM200)

Source: Biji Biji

With innovation and creativity as its forefront, Biji Biji is a local enterprise that uses imaginative techniques to upcycle materials. They believe in creating a circular economy, where waste is reused to make new products, reducing the amount of land waste and increasing sustainability.

Boasting of a wide selection of handbags and pouches, Biji Biji uses materials such as seatbelts, old kimonos and tarpaulin sheets in the creation of these products. This gives an individualistic and creative feel to all of their accessories, which is what makes their brand so unique. Furthermore, they create their products locally and have created an ethical, worker safe standard to safeguard their employees, in which they give fair wages, no forced labour, a safe working environment and no excessive working hours.

Biji Biji sells their pieces in-store at Publika KL, or you can also browse their online store here.

4. Talee (RM 95-RM400)

Source: Talee Studio

If you want to switch up your look with tassels and strings instead of the usual metal-based jewellery, Talee and their nautical knot earrings may be the fit for you. Talee, a play on the Malay word ‘tali’ which means string, is curated by Lorraine, a Sabah-based creator. She was inspired to create these jewellery pieces after her father fell ill and used knot-tying as a method of cognitive brain therapy to recover. Talee uses unconventional materials such as recycled cotton, Peruvian Pima Cotton and Egyptian Cotton to create these knots, often sourcing local handcrafters to create each of these unique pieces, ensuring all their pieces are 100% handcrafted.

You can check out more of Talee’s work on Instagram or browse through their website.

Sustainability often comes at a higher price as businesses focus on maintaining fair conditions for their workers as well as sourcing high-quality materials, but rest assured that the pieces you purchase are an investment rather than a fad whilst supporting local businesses. With that said, any jewellery and accessory can be sustainably used long term, as long as you remain conscious of the purchases you make and apply proper care and maintenance for the products you have.

You can find out more about the author on Instagram.

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