Having grown up as an only child, my parents did not have the advantage of giving me material to adapt to my phases of growth.
Instead, they had to buy new clothes of different sizes each time. Luckily, I was never a picky kid (read: I had no sense of fashion), so I wore everything I had, even though my mom loved to dress me up.
When Jueenn, a mother of two, was raising her children, clothing was an issue that often came to her mind. She personally enjoyed matching her children’s clothes with what was in her own wardrobe, which was filled with neutral colors and comfortable clothing.
For her first child, a son, she found it easy to source similar styles in the form of t-shirts, jeans or shorts. But with her second child, a daughter, she found it almost impossible to match her clothes with her son’s or hers.
Determined to do something, Jueenn launched her own clothing line, Teezlab.
Take a different path
After graduating from fashion, Jueenn took a different path than his peers. While the majority of her friends joined local designers, she instead decided to challenge herself by joining a manufacturing company in Balakong, Cheras.
There, she was able to deepen her knowledge of materials and fabrics, cutting, sewing, packaging and, above all, cost management.
2 years later she has evolved and worked with various local and global brands such as Pony, Giordano Ladies, Padini, Ms. Read, 7DAYS and the Oxwhite e-commerce brand.
In total, she had accumulated around 20 years of knowledge in the industry, especially in children’s clothing, by the time she created Teezlab.
Needless to say, this experience sharpened several values that she wanted her own brand to embody.
Jueenn favors neutral colors and unisex styles so that anyone can easily rock their designs, and uses high quality materials and manufacturing processes to increase the lifespan of the garments.
The long life of the clothes (with good fabric care) means that Teezlab’s clothes can be easily shared or passed on to siblings or loved ones. Since the designs are meant to be unisex, there is also little to no problem with “Oh, she / he can’t wear this, that’s too masculine / girl!” “
In addition, being able to pass on good quality clothing means that less fabric waste ends up in our landfills. In Malaysia alone, it is estimated that we produce up to 2,000 tonnes of textile waste each day.
On the Teezlab side, the brand is implementing reusable packaging in place of PVC polybags and reuse the leftover fabrics to create mini-bags. To further encourage customers to take care of their clothes and extend their longevity, the brand is also offering free laundry nets with every purchase.
A cycle of value
But Jueenn’s commitment to creating value through Teezlab doesn’t just end with his customers; she also wants to help our local fashion and clothing industry.
Over the past 5 years, she has observed the closure of many local factories because brands tend to prioritize outsourcing manufacturing to countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh due to a hand down. – inexpensive work.
It’s not like we don’t have high quality materials and production skills like printing, sewing or embroidery in Malaysia, but the lack of demand has caused local businesses to shut down. Jueenn didn’t want to contribute any more to the problem.
“I wondered, if most local brands can support local manufactures, we can create a good cycle [whereby] everyone will have a job opportunity to survive and feed the market, ”she said.
Thus, it made a point of having 80% of Teezlab’s products manufactured here in Malaysia, while subcontracting the remaining 20% to factories abroad.
Looking at Teezlab’s site, you’ll find that it doesn’t offer a lot of styles yet, but it’s clear that the focus is definitely on children’s clothing.
In addition to everyday wear, the brand also produces comfortable nightwear and loungewear for children. All of its products are made from a soft cotton knit fabric and are tag-free to reduce skin irritation.
Because Teezlab was created out of Jueenn’s desire to correspond with his daughter, the brand also offers adult clothing in similar styles. This makes the brand a comfortable choice for families who like to wear matching clothes for outings or events.
Based on my own shopping experiences, I find that Teezlab’s products have a fairly average price point, between RM 9.90 and RM 49.90 for t-shirts, depending on the design and fit.
Born and raised in a pandemic
Starting and running a business during the pandemic has undoubtedly been a difficult task for Jueenn and his team of 6.
Some of the challenges they faced included shutting down their manufacturer for more than 3 months during MCO3.0, which left them with no new products to launch.
“Market dynamics were not stable, which was a huge disadvantage for us as a new brand, especially in the fashion industry,” Jueenn added.
Despite this, the team made it work by personally taking on various roles in photoshoots and video recordings, and they paid attention to the marketing spend on FB ads as well as logistics costs.
“One of the reasons we have decided to move 20% of our next products to be produced overseas is to prevent unfortunate circumstances from reoccurring,” Jueenn explained, speaking of the plant shutdown. mentioned above during the MCO.
To maintain Teezlab’s vision and mission by supporting the locals, it is committed to keeping at least 70-80% of their production in Malaysia.
In the near future, she hopes to launch more products for women of different ages and races to increase the reach and traffic of Teezlab in the market. This is because she believes that women will always be the biggest consumers in the fashion industry.
But even then, she won’t give up on their sustainability, concluding: “We aim to have more sustainable products and educational events to teach the importance of sustainability to protect our environment as well.”
- You can read more about Teezlab here.
- You can read more about Malaysian fashion startups here.
Image Credit Featured: Jueenn Chau, Founder and CEO of Teezlab
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