Buy M’sian campaign to boost Sabah’s textile business


Anne showing a scarf with Sabah ethnic pattern at her gallery in Tamparuli. – Bernama photo

TAMPARULI (Nov 27): The Buy Malaysian Product Campaign (KBBM) provides the best platform to boost development of the textile business in Sabah, especially those with the state’s own identity, which is increasingly in demand not only in “The Land Below the Wind”, but also in the peninsula.

This is acknowledged by Chanteek Borneo Sdn Bhd founder, Anne Antah, who saw the trend of demand for fabric with contemporary Sabah ethnic patterns produced by local entrepreneurs increased by three-folds this month compared to last October.
Anne, 46, said she began to explore the potential of the market for textile with Sabah identity last year when the Chanteek Borneo Gallery, which had been showcasing the state’s handicrafts, had to close due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There was an increase in demand for fabrics and that is why we are focusing on textile production. For the first three months, there really was no demand, then we did something by promoting the sale online, developing better system and appointing agents.

“Initially, we catered for locals only, but now our customers have spread to those in the peninsula. People who are not from Sabah have now recognised the ethnic patterns of Sabah,” said the Kadazan Dusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president when met by Bernama.

Chanteek Borneo, which currently has about 40 agents, also helps to build business networking for 10 local fashion entrepreneurs who produce ready-to-wear shirts with Sabah’s ethnic patterns.
Anne said implementation of KBBM benefited not only entrepreneurs and industry players, but also consumers.

“This is because the business community will be encouraged to take the opportunity to increase production and quality of their products to build consumer trust by applying local identity.

“When there is local identity and it is produced in Malaysia, consumers who wear the product will feel proud,” she added.

On Sabah’s handicraft industry, Anne said industry players should optimise KBBM by establishing standards for their products, including in terms of the packaging.

Chanteek Borneo was set up in 2011 and it initially featured hairdressing accessories based on Sabah craft before showcasing more than 300 mini figurines dressed in traditional costumes, which then earned it a place in the Malaysia Book of Records in 2018 as the The First Miniature Indigenous Costume Museum.

Chanteek Borneo also claimed to be the first local company to produce fabric with Sabah ethnic pattern as its design by using high-tech digital fabric printing machine.

KBBM was launched to increase consumer confidence in local products towards restoring the country’s economy which was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. – Bernama