Malaysian retail brand A Piece of Malaysia (APOM) is showing support for the local arts scene with its campaign "Funding a tee to support the local arts". This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the livelihoods of many local industries in the country and the arts industry seems to have taken a backseat in terms of support and assistance, APOM said.
Under this initiative, APOM speaks to and identifies local talents in the art industry who have up and coming projects which will rejuvenate the scene. The retail brand then approaches various local brands which are interested in funding the selected projects, and have them pitch in and support the production of the t-shirts designed by APOM. All proceeds from the sales of the t-shirts will go directly to fund the selected project. The initiative is also part of its Merdeka Day initiative #jomsupportlocallah.
The list of brands that are supporting this initiative so far are Greenroom136, Premio, PichaEats, Kantin Lab, Fashion Valet, Isti-mewa, Jidkay Artworks, Doof, Kintry, and Moox. Meanwhile, APOM kicked off the initiative by reaching out to local band LOKO, which had to halt its sponsorship search as a result of the pandemic. With a strong following since started, LOKO had plans to tour Malaysia this year, encouraging people in participating and celebrate the potential of local music’s capability of presenting unique and niche sound scaping.
In a statement to A+M, APOM's spokesperson said it invested about RM10,000 to RM15,000 in this initiative. It is not only sponsoring the production of the t-shirt but also handling the design, marketing and retail distribution. The retail brand is marketing this initiative through its digital channels, as well as online and offline stores at Bangsar Village, KLCC and Publika.
"We are also grateful that the various brands that have come onboard this initiative has also helped to spread the awareness of this idea. The band LOKO will also be marketing this to their fan though their social media channels. It has been a real collaborative effort by all the brands and band," the spokesperson added. The first batch of funding for LOKO is targeted to sell out between end October to early November and APOM hopes to keep this initiative going, with at least 10 to 15 brands supporting each project.
"The brands that come on board generally share the same sentiment and believe in the initiative. Through the project that the artist will create from this funding, the supporting brands will get brand exposure as well as the ‘feel good’ factor of supporting the local art scene. It’s currently a challenging scene for everyone in the retail business. But to see so many of them willing to give during this time is heart-warming," the spokesperson added.
GM and partner of APOM, Joanne Yong, said after speaking to local brands from different industries, it has been encouraging to see that most of them, despite facing their own challenges, have offered to come on board with this initiative. "Some have not even heard of LOKO the band but are willing to fund the project," Yong said.