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Ms Nik Suzila Hassan

Prior to getting involved in the textile circular economy, Nik Suzila (Suzy) was working in the bustling media industry. After 10 years in business development, branding, and communications, and attending a world marketing summit in 2013, it dawned on her that a change was inevitable. She realised the value of recyclables, especially textiles and clothing. Together with Sarah Kedah, she founded the social enterprise Kloth Malaysia/ Singapore (Kloth) on 11.12.13. The mission is “Catalysing Circularity” and providing simple solutions in the collection and recycling of unwanted textiles and clothing by creating awareness, installing fabric recycling bins, and ensuring the unwanted items are given a renewed life and purpose. Thus, keeping them away from the landfills and incinerators.

It had been 10 years since she first started Kloth and through collaborations with various organisations under the Kloth Cares movement, there are now more than 600 Kloth recycling bins and the total collection stands at more than 6 million kgs (an equivalent of over 30 million pieces of t-shirts). The social enterprise expanded into Singapore in 2022, and both Suzy and her partner do not plan to stop there, as much still needs to be addressed when it comes to textiles and clothing waste. They have also branched out with Kloth Woman Up, a movement to help alleviate the livelihoods of women in underprivileged, marginalised and vulnerable communities as a means of earning an income. The women are trained in the art of sewing and they use unwanted fabrics to repurpose into usable items such as upcycled carry bags and pouches. As of September 2023, they’ve produced over 30, 000 upcycled items.

Suzy believes that the awareness of the detriments caused by fabric wasting away in landfills and incinerators must continue to spread, as there are no specific policies to address fabric waste. In support of a more sustainable environment, she believes that “the Kloth 5R principles of ‘Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle’ contribute greatly towards the textile circular economy and in keeping textiles and clothing waste away from landfills and incinerators”. What started out as a simple solution has turned out to be one that will go a long way in helping to close the loop. Together with her co-founder, and an all-female team, they will continue this cause passionately.

Making an impact means that you need to believe, commit, and be clear of the problem statement. Then, establish a dedicated team, take action, and measure the environmental and social impact for the targeted communities.

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