"It all started with our customers who kept asking us where to donate their old telekung when they buy new ones,"
In 2018, we decided to give old and worn telekung a second life. We told our customers that they can send their old telekung to our HQ and they will be given 10% discount code.
Our drive even came out in the local newspaper, Harian Metro. The drive was alright although we expected more.
In 2020, we came across a company by the name of Suri Lifestyle, a social enterprise for single and underprivileged mothers to provide financial opportunity by sewing.
The founder, Puan Salena Ahmad who people call her by the name of Kak Sally is a divorcee, and she realized that she needs to take care of her two children with no income. She was rock bottom and she realized that she is not alone in this singlehood journey.
In her own community from Sg. Udang, Klang, she noticed there are 75 more unemployed mothers.
According to the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, there was a total of 235,240 women categorised as single mothers in Malaysia and many among those numbers find themselves in need of aid.
SURI sets out to provide flexible employment opportunities for those single mothers.
As Sally said to us in an interview, “Many single mothers in my community of Sg. Udang Klang struggle with financial challenges, but are in need of more income for a better life to their children. Most of them are working full-time jobs, but their salary can go for as low as RM1,500. If you have 4–5 children who are still going to school, this salary isn’t enough to sustain a good life.”
To us at Zaahara, this is an eye opener. We came and see them and discuss if our recycled telekung can be made into a tote bag. After a few rounds of sampling, Zaahara will be collaborating with Suri to create a few types of product namely – face mask, telekung bag, tote bag and two more products.
The aim is to create more employment to the community and also to create a more sustainability product.
Malaysia being a Muslim country with 16 million population, we believe that there are a lot of Muslims product such as telekung and tudung that can be converted into a beautiful upcycle products.
If this project can kick off well, we can later be example to the outside world and perhaps we can assist our local unfortunate industry to be one of the best high paying savior.
We hope to attract more of our GLC’s to be part of this Zaahara’s upcycling telekung as we know in order to get more telekung, we need to reach more people.
Do let us know and feel free to reach to us for this project.