Emma Chong Johnston
Emma Chong Johnston
Emma Chong Johnston has worked in lifestyle and fashion publishing for over 10 years, most recently as the managing editor of Elle Malaysia. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she has also written for Forbes Travel Guide, WanderLuxe, Esquire Malaysia and Time Out Kuala Lumpur.

Brands in Southeast Asia are using natural dyes derived from plants, mushrooms and more to give their clothes a unique look and fight against fashion’s polluting practices.

When you buy an organic T-shirt from Sea Bells you become adoptive parent to a piece of replanted coral. It and another new T-shirt label are helping make socially conscious shopping relatable to Southeast Asians.

With medical masks in short supply, a Malaysian sewing studio is teaching the world how to make fabric masks. Ching Ng’s online tutorial has already clocked up more than a million views on YouTube.


‘Forevermore’ music video for Malaysian R&B star Yuna is a time capsule of stylist Haida Yusof-Yeomans’ idiosyncratic fashion sense. She talks about dressing for yourself and daring to experiment.

Malaysian designer realised the potential of the ancient textile technique of batik, and started using it for everything from shift dresses to wrap skirts. Her designs incorporate bold motifs inspired by nature.

Sasibai Kimis set up fashion brand Earth Heir in Malaysia in 2013, which sells bags and accessories made by local artisans. She makes fashion as ethical as she can, she says – being 100 per cent ethical would mean not making anything.

Modern modest fashion is not all about religion – it’s about comfort, choice and celebrating the myriad ways women around the world dress. On the eve of Ramadan, we talk to some inclusive fashion labels that are leading the way.

In a time when conspicuous consumption rules, high-quality pyjamas and loungewear might seem an unnecessary luxury. But the trend is being driven by the desire for a good night’s sleep, especially among young professionals.

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