Does it ever cross your mind that a traditional art like Batik could make a huge impact towards social and sustainability?
On 21st October 2022, we were invited to join a social and sustainability themed Batik Workshop organised by a social enterprise, Batik Boutique. It was held at their aesthetically pleasing flagship store in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, The Row, and we were joined by various ESG professionals to explore more about how to meet social and sustainability goals with artisan-made products. The event was kickstarted with a brief introduction speech from Batik Boutique founders, husband and wife Ryan and Amy Blair on their background as well as their mission towards making a difference, particularly in the social impact and sustainability segments.
Batik Boutique is an award-winning social enterprise which aims to empower artisans from marginalised communities by partnering with them to produce fair fashion, home goods, and gifts made from the traditional fabric of Batik. Not just focusing on producing and promoting Batik products, Batik Boutique also provides training and sustainable income opportunities to all their artisans across Malaysia. In doing so, they simultaneously provide sustainable income solutions for women, empower marginalised communities, as well as filling in the social gap to break the cycle of poverty through the Batik industry.
Other than providing income opportunities to the local community, they also work towards making our planet a better place by using environmentally-friendly materials in producing their products, including making use of reusable bags made with cornstarch and dye that are made from mangosteen leaves.
Time to put on our creative hat!
We were brought to an open space workshop area and were provided with a variety of tools and equipment for making Batik. The enthusiastic and friendly team guided us right from the beginning until the creation of the final product.
Later on, Batik Boutique introduced us to various types of art tools such as the pen-like Canting, copper batik stamp, flat brushes, and wax and clearly navigated us on how to use each of these tools. When we first laid our eyes on the starter kit for the batik-making session, we were already very eager to “unleash” our creativity!
We definitely had so much fun putting our take and getting the hands-on experience in designing our own Batik product. As part of our creative learning, we got to explore the different types of Batik-drawing techniques such as canting and stamping using the wax.
The final step!
Now that we have explored the different techniques and designs of Batik stamping, we were then given the opportunity to design a tumblr, or more accurately, the inner layer of a tumbler. The process began with the stamping or drawing of the design using wax according to our creativity on a piece of cloth that will then be turned into the inner lining or layer of the tumbler.
Next, the process is followed by bathing the piece of cloth in a dye colour of our choice, and we had three colours to choose from. Once we’re done with the dyeing, we leave “our creation” to dry for a while. As we had to leave our art pieces to be dried up for quite a while, we were so looking forward to seeing how they would finally turn out!
Fun-filled learning experience
All in all, it was a fun and insightful experience where we were exposed more on how the Batik industry is working towards a better environment, sustainability, and empowering of marginalised communities. Batik Boutique is a good example of how businesses can provide deserving opportunities and make an impact in the lives of our local communities. Here at Funding Societies, we are always looking forward to supporting more SMEs that incorporate ESG and sustainability toward a better future for all mankind.
We also express our appreciation to Batik Boutique for having us a part of the event, and we look forward to supporting more ESG initiatives in the future! If you are interested in learning more about their workshops or their product offerings, do head over to their website for more information.
How Funding Societies empowers social enterprises
As part of our efforts to financially empower the underserved segment of SMEs, Funding Societies has been providing social enterprise-focused financing via the Malaysia Co-investment Fund (MyCIF) Social Enterprise scheme. This is aligned with the Government’s aspiration to leverage on the public-private partnerships and explore mechanisms to widen access to financing for social enterprises.
“Social enterprises play a unique role in driving more equitable economic well-being given their focus. Whilst they help build a more diverse and equitable economy through tackling socio-economic issues, they remain financially underserved. More focus should be given towards nurturing and developing local social enterprises so they are given a fair opportunity as with other entrepreneurship endeavours to thrive. Batik Boutique is a great example of a social enterprise with a sustainable business model coupled with a heartening mission of taking our beloved Malaysian batik craft to a global stage. We are glad and excited to be able to support them in their social entrepreneurship journey,” as remarked by Wong Kah Meng, Group Chief Operating Officer of Funding Societies | Modalku Group.
MyCIF Social Enterprise Scheme
As the first and largest SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia, Funding Societies has disbursed almost RM12 billion in working capital across the region. As part of its mission in supporting social enterprises, and in line with the Government’s PENJANA economic recovery plan under the Social Elevation (SEE) initiative, Funding Societies is offering a social enterprise financing programme specifically for these companies.
Through the MyCIF Social Enterprise scheme, social enterprises which have been successfully accredited by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship Development under their Social Enterprise Accreditation (SE.A) program (all stages) stand to enjoy up to 50% waiver in financing cost for their business financing application with Funding Societies.
For more information on the MyCIF Social Enterprise scheme, please visit: https://blog.fundingsocieties.com.my/social-enterprise-financing/