Global aviation group, Malaysia Aviation Group, the owner of Malaysia Airlines, says it has partnered with Kenny Loh, an inspiring local designer to launch a limited-edition beaded shoe collection in George Town, capital of Penang in Malaysia, to preserve Malaysia’s ethnic group Peranakan’s, heritage, culture and traditions through sustainable efforts and revitalising the local craft scene and its artisans through upcycling efforts.
The Kenny Loh x MAG Sustainable Tomorrow Kasut Manik, range of beaded shoes, features unique blend of skilled heritage craftsmanship using upcycled materials from Malaysia Airlines‘ iconic uniforms Batik Kebaya. Each pair of shoes has been 100 pc handcrafted with 2,000 beads by local artisans from Kenny Loh Couture, says a press release.
While traditionally worn as flats, this collaboration exhibits a modern twist with comfortable two-inch block heels, perfect for the modern-day woman. The press statement adds that inspired by delicious traditional Peranakan bite-sized cakes Nyonya kueh, the shoe’s diamond motifs flawlessly encapsulate the rich history of the Peranakans while preserving skillful craftsmanship that is slowly disappearing.
According to the press release, the shoes come in a range of sizes, from EU 37 to 41, and are available in three colours: Penang Green, Singapore Red and Melaka Blue. Named after the three settlements in the Malayan Peninsular that became home to the Peranakan community, the vivid green, red and blue are the perfect balance of vibrant Peranakan design and colours of Malaysia Airlines, adds the statement.
Inspired by the Peranakan customs, each shoe colour symbolises a unique meaning. Green represents growth and renewal; red, often associated with passion, prosperity, and good luck, while blue, symbolises healing and tranquility. These stylish shoes also come with a beautiful batik dust bag, made using upcycled fabric from the Malaysia Airlines kebaya. These exclusive handcrafted beaded shoes will also be made available via MAG’s travel, lifestyle and e-commerce platform, Journify at myjournify.com.
“We at MAG believe that our customers should be able to enjoy the finer things in life while remaining conscious of our role in caring for the planet. We are pleased to collaborate with Kenny Loh to jointly reduce waste while educating the newer generation on the local craft scene and its artisans. Sustainability is at the forefront of MAG’s Long-Term Business Plan 2.0, as we aim to become Asia’s Leading Travel and Services Group. We will promote socio-economic development to achieve our commitment towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 progressively,” says Group Chief Sustainability Officer of MAG, Philip See.
“It truly is an honour for me to be a part of MAG’s sustainability story. Not only are we reducing waste by upcycling high quality materials from Malaysia Airlines’ iconic batik kebaya but I am extremely touched by MAG’s efforts in preserving and protecting the history and heritage of Baba Nyonya culture. These Kasut Manik (beaded shoes) will not only be a fashionable statement but also an appreciation for the artisans who are continuing the traditional craft of beading,” says Kenny Loh.
During the month of July, Kenny Loh had designed several amazing kebaya created specifically for the Firefly cabin crew who flew to and from several sectors such as Subang, Penang, Alor Setar, Terengganu, Kota Bharu and Langkawi Island in conjunction with George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage Day 2022.
MAG says it has taken feasible steps to reduce its carbon footprint within its business operations, guided by the MAG Sustainability Blueprint launched in 2021. This includes bio-composting food waste from flights, enhancing fuel efficiency measures, repurposing scrapped aircraft parts into new products, being the first Malaysian-registered commercial aircraft using Sustainable Aviation Fuel, organising a sustainable fashion show featuring bespoke luxury handbags designed by homegrown designer Theselina, and most recently, operated its first passenger flight using SAF from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.