This period of Covid-19 has been hard for everyone. Which is why the Singapore government has doled out cash payouts for both individuals and local businesses during such extraordinary times. While this has provided some level of relief, for business owners these are still uncertain times.
Homegrown social enterprise Matter Prints, which works with artisan communities to design and produce clothing inspired by heritage motifs, has come forward to candidly share how they have been impacted.
In an open letter on their blog, they highlighted how their artisanal partners have been impacted as have their internal operations and finances, with their biggest concern being "the effect this will have in the long run".
In an Instagram live session on April 2 with online store Zerrin, the brand's e-commerce manager Devonne Niam revealed that the brand had initially scaled up with their production and designs at the end of last year based on their sales forecasts. However, because of Covid-19, plans went awry and things started to look shaky, especially on the financial side of things.
To help mitigate the situation, the brand has brought forward and extended their usual twice-yearly sale.
Their story is not unique and one that other local brands and businesses are facing as well. For those of us who can afford to, why not #supportlocal and buy from homegrown brands as they battle to make it past this trying period.
Here are some brands you can consider lending your support to during the circuit breaker:
Shop for comfortable, resort-wear clothing that is sustainable and designed with beading, block printing and embroidery. The brand currently provides work for over 300 women artisans and 90 young adults in Ladli, India who are trained in fabric creation skills, sewing and jewellery techniques.
This social enterprise sells ethically-made and sourced accessories featuring gold-plated brass and semi-precious stones. The accessories are hand-assembled by single mums and 40 per cent of every purchase goes directly to them.
The jewellery brand utilises hand-weaving techniques to create pieces with a modern aesthetic. The brand trains and employs individuals with autism to become artisans who handcraft every piece that is sold.
Get personal with your next gift to the young'un in your life with unique gifts created just for them. Think personalised name crayons and doodle books with their names. 5 per cent of sales go towards Feeding India who is committed to reducing hunger among underserved communities in India.
Pick up organic muslin bed linens and other nursery essentials like swaddles and bibs. For every swaddle set sold, the brand donates $10 to the Singapore Children's Society.
Non-profit social enterprise CRIB society has put together a list of over 70 homegrown brands you can support during this time of circuit breaker extension and beyond. Would you #supportlocal today?