Tailors of the Tailors Community of Malaysia sewing the cloth-based face masks. Image from: Tago (M) Sdn Bhd
Aimed at public safety, the Movement Control Order (MCO) has nonetheless caused hardships, especially within the B40 community. In order to alleviate the difficulty faced by members from the low-income community, Tago (M) Sdn Bhd, a boutique property developer, has teamed up with the Tailors Community of Malaysia (Komuniti Tukang Jahit, KTJ in short) to stitch 1,000 cloth face masks for those in need. This move also provides an opportunity for single women, housewives, disabled and underprivileged women to gain extra income during and after the MCO in Malaysia.
Daryl Chew, Chief Operating Officer of Tago (M) Sdn Bhd said, “we believe that property development integrates you into the fabric of a neighbourhood hence it is vital for us to strengthen the resilience of the local communities which is why we reached out to KTJ. KTJ’s impressive track record in training and promoting financial self-dependency especially amongst women appealed to us”.
“We then contacted community leaders around our recently completed Anjali North Kiara project to identify suitable candidates who were not only interested in helping to produce the face masks but also needed the extra income”, Chew said.
Within a week, three women from the neighbouring community signed up with KTJ and supported the non-governmental organisation’s existing community of tailors to produce the reusable face masks.
KTJ’s Chief Executive Officer and founder Yap Sue Yii said the face masks, made with batik motifs, are targeted at the general public rather than healthcare professionals in the frontlines against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The materials for the cloth-based face masks being delivered to the tailors. Image from: Tago (M) Sdn Bhd
“Tailored face masks still provide protection in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This is in line with the United States’ Centre of Disease Control (CDC) guidelines which were also adopted by the Ministry of Health earlier this month”, said Sue Yii.
She added that the idea was to create cloth-based face masks that are washable, reusable and practical. These face masks are also made to be lightweight and have pockets for changeable tissue for short-time filtration.
In line with social distancing needs, KTJ’s tailors are equipped with sewing skills through online training and tutorials. Sewing kits which include fabrics and other materials for the home-based tailors, were delivered to their doorstep.
Once the face masks are ready, the tailors would alert the person in charge to pick it up from their doorstep for distribution.
“About five to ten of our tailors will be able to earn an extra RM 200 to RM 300 from every order of 1,000 face masks. Once the MCO is over, we will continue to support our tailors with other orders of bespoke tailored items”, Sue Yii said.
Anjali North Kiara condominium. Image from: Tago (M) Sdn Bhd
Chew meanwhile said that the face masks would be distributed to groups in need such as a special need children’s home which they have identified as well as internal personnel and Anjali North Kiara residents.
Chew also added, “even with the face masks, we still encourage Malaysians to stay safe by practicing social distancing and to wash their hands regularly. We must all play our part during these challenging times”.