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Malaysia Aviation Group ventures into sustainable fashion with Perakan-inspired shoes

Malaysia Aviation Group ventures into sustainable fashion with Perakan-inspired shoes

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Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) has partnered with Kenny Loh, a local designer to launch a limited-edition beaded shoe collection in George Town, Penang. The collection was initiated with the intention of preserving the Peranakan heritage, culture, and traditions through environmentally friendly efforts and revitalising the local craft scene and its artisans through upcycling initiatives.

The Kenny Loh x MAG Sustainable Tomorrow Kasut Manik (beaded shoes) features a blend of skilled heritage craftsmanship using upcycled materials from Malaysia Airlines' iconic batik kebaya. Each pair of shoes are 100% handcrafted with 2,000 beads by local artisans from Kenny Loh Couture. Although traditionally worn as flats, this partnership offers a modern twist on the two-inch block heels that are made to be tailored to the needs of modern-day women. Inspired by the traditional Nyonya kueh (sweet Peranakan sweets and desserts), the diamond designs on the shoe were introduced to encapsulate the rich heritage of the Peranakans and conserve skilled workmanship that is increasingly vanishing.

The shoes are available in three colours including Penang green, Singapore red and Melaka blue. Named after the three settlements in the Malayan Peninsular that became home to the Peranakan community, the green, red and blue combine to make up a vibrant Peranakan design and the colours of Malaysia Airlines.

Each shoe colour was chosen to symbolise its own meaning, with green representing growth and renewal; red for passion, wealth, and luck; and blue for tranquility and healing. A batik dust bag created from recycled material from the renowned Malaysia Airlines kebaya is also included with the purchase of the sneakers. Through Journify, a travel, lifestyle, and e-commerce platform from MAG, these handcrafted beaded shoes will be offered at

Philip See, group chief sustainability officer of MAG, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Kenny Loh to jointly reduce waste while educating the newer generation on the local craft scene and its artisans. Sustainability is at the forefront of MAG’s Long-Term Business Plan 2.0, as we aim to become Asia’s leading travel and services group. We will promote socio-economic development to achieve our commitment towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 progressively.”

Loh added: “It truly is an honour for me to be a part of MAG’s sustainability story. Not only are we reducing waste by upcycling high-quality materials from Malaysia Airlines’ iconic batik kebaya but I am extremely touched by MAG’s efforts in preserving and protecting the history and heritage of Baba Nyonya culture,”

“These kasut manik (beaded shoes) will not only be a fashionable statement but also an appreciation for the artisans who are continuing the traditional craft of beading. In July 2022, Kenny Loh designed several amazing kebaya created specifically for the Firefly cabin crew who flew to and from several sectors such as Subang, Penang, Alor Setar, Terengganu, Kota Bharu and Langkawi Island in conjunction with George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Day 2022,” he added.

This is not MAG’s first venture into the fashion scene. Just recently, its subsidiary company, Malaysia Airlines has partnered with Kapten Batik, a homegrown fashion brand, through its travel and lifestyle loyalty programme, Enrich, to create a “timeless” and eco-friendly capsule collection consisting of fashionwear and lifestyle pieces. The limited-edition collection comprised six handcrafted apparel and accessories, including men’s and junior slim-fit shirts, women’s Egyptian dress, a lunch bag, a tote bag and a face mask. The collection's fabric was made from sustainable materials and hand-dyed with natural colours. According to MAG, the collection was initiated as part of its wider commitment to a sustainable tomorrow, as it continues to make conscious efforts to minimise the environmental impacts within our traveller ecosystem.

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