Malaysia Tatler: What To Know About Fugeelah By Khoon Hooi, A Stylish Collaboration That Empowers Lives

This initiative tackles textile waste and education for the marginalised, all in one stylish collection

This week saw the online launch of Fugeelah by Khoon Hooi – a one-of-a-kind collection of colourful accessories made entirely out of leftover fabrics from designer Khoon Hooi’s collection over the last 10 years.  

The collaboration first took root when Khoon Hooi reached out to long-time friend, Deborah Henry of conscious jewellery brand Fugeelah, for ideas on creative ways to upcycle these leftover fabrics more meaningfully.

 

Deborah Henry is the founder of non-profit organisation, Fugee School as well as the social enterprise Fugeelah.

“Khoon Hooi and I met up just as movement restrictions eased up," Deborah shares. "He told me, ‘I’ve got lots of excess material in my store, so why don’t we team up to produce items that we can sell to raise funds for Fugee School?’ Because obviously in fashion, you’re not going to use the same fabrics for the next season, right? So we came up with some ideas for accessories that we thought people would like at this time – accessories that are functional and that carry a strong message.”

The quirky collection, designed by Fugeelah and produced by Khoon Hooi’s team, consists of a cocktail bag, an adjustable crossbody bag and a twilly.

Variations of fabric twilly scarves in the Fugeelah by Khoon Hooi collection.

“It’s funny, actually – in the collection there might literally be only three versions of one design, while others may have a few more colour variations. Another bag might have three different types of lining, because the designers just ran out of a particular fabric. I think details like this make the collection really quite special in that sense,” Henry adds.

A crossbody bag from the collection.

Apart from minimising textile waste, conscious shoppers can also take heart that their purchase will go a long way towards education for the marginalised in Kuala Lumpur.  

The proceeds from the Fugeelah by Khoon Hooi collection will pay for IGCSE examination fees for the students at Fugee School, an educational non-profit organisation that saw teachers conducting lessons to some 200 refugee students via Zoom and Google Meet during the nation’s partial lockdown period.

“Honestly, it’s great to collaborate. So many sectors exist on their own, but this pandemic has taught us that we can’t do it all alone, especially in running a non-profit like ours,” says Henry.

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