Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Singaporean article! On this shiok Sunday, I’m doing something a little different from the norm – I’m shining a spotlight on the Made By Singapore campaign.
The Made By Singapore campaign is an initiative spearheaded by four final-year graduates from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communications (pictured above). The team shared with me an alarming statistic – one in two undergraduates aged 19-25 perceive local fashion and beauty brands to be less value-for-money, prestigious and accessible, as compared to global brands. That’s pretty alarming, especially considering the fact that this website is dedicated to highlighting local efforts in menswear. Does Singapore’s next generation of consumers really think so little of homegrown brands?
To combat this, the team started the Made By Singapore campaign, which is primarily run on their Instagram page, @madebysingapore. The campaign currently has 15 brand partners – in fashionwear and beauty – with the team using their expertise in digital media to create educational and heartwarming videos featuring the stories of local brands, such as Vintagewknd. Through such short videos, the team hopes to convey the entrepreneurial stories of these homegrown brands and thus encourage locals to support their fellow Singaporeans.
Q&A with the Made By Singapore team
Curious to know why they chose to raise awareness for local brands, I sat down with the team behind the Made By Singapore campaign.
1) What inspired the team to create the Made By Singapore campaign?
When doing our research for a campaign topic, we realised that there was a problem with a lack of support for local brands in Singapore. It was also an area that was relatively untouched for a student-led, student-focused campaign. So we decided to jump in, wanting to celebrate the local hands behind our local brands—which is where the ‘by’ in our name comes in.
2) What are your/the team’s own personal thoughts on local brands?
This experience has definitely been eye-opening for us. Prior to this, we were not aware that Singapore was home to this many brands that were not just local, but value for money as well. At the start when we were sourcing for brand partners, we would discover a new brand every other day and it’s continued to inspire us to dream big for our campaign. It’s even more heartening to see that there are so many local brands making waves now.
3) Do you/the team use any local brands instead of big brands? If so, what are they and why?
We do. In fact, some of the brand partners that we’ve managed to get onboard are brands that we’ve heard about and supported even before the campaign. Some include Paradigm Shift Label, Vintagewknd and Acuralle. Each local brand we’ve partnered with brings something unique to the table and understands the local crowd better, especially where things like sizing, fit and skin type are concerned. There’s also always something heartening about seeing a local brand succeed—it’s almost like a “Yes, we did it!” moment.
4) What have you learnt about local brands through running this campaign?
Through speaking with the brand owners, our biggest takeaway would be the inside look at what goes on behind the scenes. It does take a lot of passion and conviction to follow through with starting a local brand and the stories we’ve heard have been so immensely inspiring.
Local brands are hardly obscure anymore, they are all around us and we’ve definitely been seeing an increase in support for them—which is great. Hopefully, our campaign can be a springboard of sorts towards having a culture of local support for local brands, as we celebrate this spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship in Singapore.
5) What do you think local brands can do to create more awareness?
In the fashion and beauty industry, there is definitely an increasing number of brands making their mark. Many of them have taken to social media to build a following, posting content that’s relatable to the local crowd and going beyond traditional ways to create even more engaging content. Collaborating with fellow local brands and artists is also a great way to build awareness. People are increasingly becoming aware of the uniqueness that only local brands can bring, so it would definitely be good to tap on that as well.
With that in mind, here are 4 brands featured in the Made By Singapore campaign that I would like to highlight!
Offering scents and perfumes with a local touch that is inspired by our nation’s orchids, Singapore Memories is great for those who love fragrances that are different from the norm.
For those who are interested in Singapore Memories’ products, I actually did a detailed review of their perfumes here, and a review of their room fragrances here. I genuinely believe that Singapore Memories offers unique scents that you can’t readily find from the off-the-shelves big brands’ bottles commonly found in departmental stores, Sephora, etc. Their perfumes are value for money too – while the 100ml EDT bottle can be had for just $115! You can also use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products from Singapore Memories.
Undergarments are an essential aspect of anyone’s wardrobe, yet they are also one of the most neglected components – men think that no one will see their undergarments, and thus don’t think too much about what undies they buy. Needless to say, I think that’s a mistake. In fact, I think that undergarments are the bedrock of one’s wardrobe.
These aren’t your regular cotton briefs – Livingwear’s briefs are the result of “sustainable material innovation and science”, which the brand says is 3x softer than cotton, cool in the heat & warm in the cold, and is also odour resistant & naturally antibacterial. I’ll say this – Livingwear’s briefs are probably the most high-tech, comfortable undergarments you will ever wear.
Similar to undergarments, men often neglect their skin, thinking that using skincare products or going for facials will be perceived as effeminate. That’s a terrible mistake – people are going to notice your face first before your clothes. And contrary to popular belief, there are actually multiple homegrown skincare brands – you don’t have to turn to SKII and burn a hole in your pocket.
Out of the numerous local skincare brands, Sigi Skin is my favourite. They have a strong Unique Selling Point, offering superfood infused skincare products that are both effective and free of toxins. Personally, I always look for natural ingredients in my skincare/bodycare products, so Sigi Skin is right up my alley. I would recommend the Ultimate Skin Kit – it has everything that you would need for clear looking skin.
Streetwear and retro outfits have been rising in popularity recently, especially amongst the younger generation. Once again, you don’t necessarily need to spend a bomb on brand name products – why not support a local brand at a fraction of the price instead?
I’ll admit – I’m not a fan of the oversized fashion trend. I believe that clothing should be tailored to your body measurements, and that they look best when such. I dislike the whole oversized shirt look, especially on guys – it just makes them look a bit like a YP/fckboi, if you catch my drift. I’m sorry if that offends anyone, but that’s just my honest opinion. That being said, I do appreciate a retro look, in particular the oversized polo, especially long-sleeved ones. It just brings to mind the golden era of the 1970s-80s, a time of laid-back goodness. Vintagewknd sells a wide selection of these, and at affordable prices – an oversized polo costs only $22.
I hope this goes to show that local brands aren’t less value-for-money than their international, big name counterparts – if anything, many of the abovementioned brands, and other brands in the Made By Singapore campaign, are more bang-for-buck. Instead of purchasing from large multi-national corporations, why not support your homegrown efforts instead, our fellow Singaporean entrepreneurs that were brave enough to strike it out on their own in this intensely competitive landscape?
Once again, I commend the Made By Singapore team for their efforts in highlighting Singaporean businesses in fashion and beauty. I look forward to seeing more of their Instagram videos, and hopefully more of such campaigns by other young adults with a similar appreciation for local brands!
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.