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Tech and Innovation meet Fashion: Penjana Kapital and Sea's collaborative effort empowers entrepreneurs to succeed in this digital age

Fashion entrepreneurs can thrive and remain agile in a rapidly evolving landscape by leveraging digitalisation, technology, and innovation.

By Business Editor

Penjana Kapital Sdn Bhd, partnered with Sea Limited (Malaysia) or “Sea” recently to co-organise Tech in Fashion, where entrepreneurs were given the stage to showcase their fashion-tech innovation.

As digitalisation continues to reshape various industries, fashion has not been exempt from its side effects. Textile waste now poses a significant threat to our environment, as clothes are frequently discarded in landfills. However, with the integration of cutting-edge technology, the way fashion is consumed is revolutionising -- making it more sustainable. In a bid to combat climate change, from offering eco-conscious fabrics to enhancing the local textile ecosystem, while also manufacturing affordable everyday wear – four companies were exclusively selected to showcase their cause and expertise.

In a session called “Pitch to Runway”, Kloth Circularity Malaysia, Nanotextile Sdn Bhd, Kualesa and Oxwhite each presented how technology has allowed them to thrive in the industry while implementing sustainable measures in their businesses.    

L-R: CK Chang - Founder of Oxwhite, Sarah Kedah - Co-founder of Kloth Circularity Malaysia, Dr Thomas Ong - CEO, Nanotextile Sdn Bhd, Haris Kamal - Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Kualesa


"The lockdowns imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic were a blessing in disguise for us. While we could not reach our customers physically, operating online via Shopee gave us continued access to them. When lockdowns were lifted, we quickly innovated our products in anticipation of a change in customer behaviour due to being able to go out again,” said CK Chang, Founder of Oxwhite. 

"At Kloth, we believe in the transformative potential of green technology to drive circularity in the textile industry. By ingeniously recycling plastic bottle waste as a valuable secondary raw material for crafting new clothing, we unlock a virtuous cycle of sustainability. Our energy and resource-efficient process not only minimizes environmental impact but also fuels economic growth, proving that fashion can be both beautiful and eco-conscious," said Sarah Kedah, Co-founder of Kloth Circularity Malaysia.

"It is the passion to drive advanced foreground technologies; locally developed in the textile industry that keeps the team's enthusiasm in making a positive change, working with local fashion brands. Together, we can push Malaysia's fashion industry forward and embrace functional textile manufacturing," said Dr Thomas Ong, CEO, Nanotextile Sdn Bhd.

"Kualesa has scaled their online and offline channels by leveraging on generative artificial intelligence (AI) and large language model (LLM) to optimise marketing efficiency as well as automated predictive and personalised email workflows to optimise conversion rates," said Haris Kamal, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Kualesa.

Fashion entrepreneurs can thrive and remain agile in a rapidly evolving landscape by leveraging digitalisation, technology, and innovation. As a tech player, Sea remains committed to empowering sellers of all scales on its subsidiary Shopee’s platform.

Fashion is a key category in retail. It is remarkable to see how the digitalisation aspect of our marketplace is enabling growth, upskilling opportunities, and providing entrepreneurial support, which will ultimately drive positive change within the fashion industry and ensure its continued evolution. These vital instruments have changed the way fashion businesses operate, allowing for streamlined processes, enhanced customer experiences, and increased market reach,” said Terence Siau, Country Head of Sea Limited.

Like technology, consumer behaviour is continuously shifting. Consumers these days are consciously looking for timeless fashion and are demanding engaging customer experience – both offline and online. Many of us now will take the time to check whether our clothing or belongings are produced through a more considered and sustainable model, along with seamless purchasing experience.  The fashion industry is affected by our behaviour and preferences over time. As such, it must be at the forefront of innovation, from product creation and supply chain to brand building and customer engagement. This industry is ripe for innovations from future-thinking start-ups.

Taufiq Iskandar, Chief Executive Officer of Penjana Kapital

In a fireside chat, Dato’ Sri Rozita Ramelan, Founder of Kabinet Privé and entrepreneur in high-end retail also shed light on how luxury fashion items have transcended their traditional role as mere indulgences, to becoming alternative assets that increase in value. 

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