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The Team

Diversity is inherent. As a social enterprise, we aim to involve as many people as we can in our projects. We work with people from all over the world, each with different stories, skills and backgrounds. This revolving door of ideas and talents allow limitless dynamic of ideas!

Check out the profiles of the people who make this movement possible.

Norashahera Mertens
Managing Director

Nora graduated in MSc Banking and Finance from Queen Mary University of London, UK., and is currently the managing director of Biji-biji Ethical Fashion. In search of a true meaning in contributing her potentials in Biji-biji, she started by devoting her time and effort by volunteering at Biji-biji for a time span.

Nora is involved in the earlier years of building our fashion team's foundation and also Biji-biji organisation as a whole. Nora currently oversees and manages all aspects of design, sales, production, people & determines the department’s direction.

Maatin Shakir
Freelance Designer

Maatin Shakir is a self-taught shoe designer who hails from Miri, Sarawak. This young Sarawakian was born and raised by a creatively driven family. Nomadic, blossomed in different countries, exposed to different cultures, lifestyles and music at a very young age, ultimately shaping an avant-garde yet humble way of thinking.

Maatin keeps his designs simple with a modern twist and strives to create classy, sexy and fashionable pieces for men and women across the age spectrum. Then later on, ventured into Clothing line for men and women, debuting his first collection at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2014. Stamping yet another mark in the local fashion industry, with his minimal silouttes fused with his love for ethnic inspired prints.

Always having an urge of giving back to community and the environment, Maatin found Biji-Biji as a platform for him to give back and raise awareness of waste produced by the fashion industry. Introducing and creating more awareness of the importance of sustainable fashion is part of his goal in Biji-Biji.

Elaine Hong
Freelance Designer

Elaine Hong has worked in major fashion labels that are instantly recognisable in the world. While working alongside clothing warehouses, she soon discovers the damages of the fashion industry towards the environment and the people. Having done her dues, she believes that it is high time the fashion industry changes its ways.

She started aestheticSHIFT, an experimental project which serves to exhibit the possibilities of repurposing old garments to new, and to manage textile waste through conscious design. Apart from a minimalistic lifestyle, Elaine also believes that fashion should connect consumers back to the people who makes our things.

She found a perfect fit in Biji-biji and since then has been involved in many different aspects which focuses to spread the sustainable fashion mindset across Malaysia.

Furqan Aslam
The Maker

The Sultan orignates from Sialkot, Pakistan. His 30 years of experience makes him a true grandmaser when it comes to stitching. Sultan works tirelessly everyday, with atmost care and attention to create the beautiful bags that you can purchase on our website. He works to keep his 4 daugthers in school until every one of them graduates. Sultan is also saving up towards his retirement plan to build a house on his own piece of land when he goes home.

The seeds of Biji-biji

Ever wondered who else is supporting our initiative? Its the whole team!

As a social enterprise, we believe that ideas get better if we work together as a collective. We love collaborating with people from all different walks of life. This revolution would not be possible without their driven passion to do the things they love.

Biji-biji Initiative is like a huge family that is embraced by many different teams. Its work ranges from sustainable placemaking, creative education, bespoke design & fabrication to green technology electronic engineering.

When times get a little rough, we operate by supporting one another based on our expertise. We provide feedbacks, user tests and consult with each other to keep the tiny details in check, especially for our bags!

So whether you are an accountant who has a knack for building, or an explorer with uber green fingers, you're most definitely welcome to volunteer/ intern with us!

Ashfaq Ahmed
The Maker  

Ashfaq too hails from Pakistan, from a province called Menshara. he came to Kuala Lumpur to provide a good life for his family back in Pakistan. Ashfaq has been sewing since 1985 and has 3 daughters. His eldest daughter is now in college, pursuing a diploma in computer science. She is using a laptop he purchased for her from Malaysia.

Our Makers love transferring their craft to those who desire vocational skills. With decades of experience in stitching techniques, their input has helped improved our product quality standards and to meet growing demands. Over the years, Sultan and Ashfaq are the ones that have truly been pushing the boundaries of Biji-biji bags' finishing aesthetics.

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