BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
LOCAL startup UPSYKL is playing a strong game in marketing its eco-friendly and sustainable fashion, with its latest product line almost sold out at a recent event held at Little Soho in Batu Satu.
The ‘ECOEID 18’ as it is called, is the social enterprise’s latest collection of apparels introduced in conjunction to coming Hari Raya festivities, consisting 42 items including tops and bottoms, showcased and sold during the exhibition.
It is also the second line-up of apparels pushed by the social enterprise to the fashion market; with the first one launched in early March this year.
UPSKYL is a local startup that began its venture in April last year, aiming to collect donated clothes and attires to be sold at pop-up stores, with proceeds handed over to those who are in need.
But as the donation drive went along, the team, which was founded by Nabilah Jeffrey, realised that they could do more than that; they could also promote the prevention of fabric waste amongst Bruneians by introducing recycled, eco-friendly attires.
Thus, along with her co-founder who is now the enterprise’s creative director Nina Saiful, the team began its venture into sustainable business; managing to push about 11 attires for its first line up in March to the latest 42.
Since their first donation drive, UPSYKL had managed to collect about 70kg of clothes, with 10 to 18kg already used to develop its product line.
Besides from exclusivity in terms of designs, designers Aisyah Azuan and Humairi Zakaria are also working on adding more functionality to UPSYKL’s line of clothes.
These functionalities may be concealed within fashion styles, and they may even allow wearers to switch between styles; making them suitable to be worn both during formal and informal occasions.
With the line-ups, the designers shared that time taken to complete apparel varies.
“It depends on the kind of materials available for us, and it also depends on how well it could suit other materials,” they said.
“Sometimes, if it is difficult to find a match, or if the materials are delicate, it may take up to four months to complete; but if they fit like a puzzle, then it could be done within a week,” the designers added.
Prices set for each tops and skirts also varies; a single piece in itself is sold between $40 to $50, and complete sets are sold at $70 to $90 each.
As these clothes are re-designed and re-sewn from donated materials, the prices are set only to an amount considered cheap when compared to the $200 people usually spend on tailoring new apparels.
The enterprise is focusing on sustainable styles to promote “slow fashion” in Brunei, where attires of one style can be re-designed and re-used once again instead of just throwing them off in favour of new ones.
At the moment, UPSYKL is only catering to the female section of the market, but it will still be looking at the possibility of developing a line of attires for men in the future.