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Made to Fit: Malaysian Activewear Brands
Malaysia is seeing more and more types of sports and exercise options, and these entrepreneurs are stepping up to create activewear best suited for Malaysians.
Over the last few years, activewear started trending locally, as more Malaysians adopt an active lifestyle. Taking things one step further, some enterprising locals have created their own range of activewear to better suit Malaysians’ needs. If you’re looking for some great pieces to add to your workout wardrobe, here are three local brands that have been consistently killing it.
Founded in March 2014, Nashata is a self-funded business started by Eliza Noordin, to fill the gap in the activewear market after she donned the hijab and realised she couldn’t find suitable, modest clothing to match her active lifestyle. At the time, most hijabs weren’t made for exercise as they would easily slide off and didn’t provide the proper ventilation needed during workouts. Meanwhile, the run-of-the-mill long sleeve cotton tops and pants, which were neither sweat-wicking or quick-drying, could also hinder performance.
Eliza launched Nashata with only three key products: the Iman hijab, Riada top, and Riada pants. Since then, the collection grew to over 60 products, all affordably priced from RM19 to RM189. Of these products, Nashata carries several innovative pieces, such as the EZ Tunes Sports Hijab (RM69) which comes with earphone slots so you no longer have to wear them under your hijab, and the Hooda Racerback (RM89), a performance-friendly hijab/racerback top that stays in place during high impact sports.
Products available online at shop.nashata.com.
Made locally for the extreme sportsperson looking for function and fit above all else, Ultron was created in 2015 by Joanne Kay when international sportswear had suddenly become too costly for the active Malaysian. Since then, Ultron has been nominated for several awards, and was a finalist in the regional Asia Sports Industry Awards 2016. Founder Kay herself was included in the 100 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs 2016 list by Entrepreneur Insight.
Offering activewear for both men and women, Ultron’s bestsellers include its signature moisture-wicking Micro-dry tops (from RM42), designed to keep you dry and comfortable during hard workouts. Other notable products include its compression tops and bottoms (from RM69), and windbreakers (RM209) for running and hiking.
The brand may only be two years old, but Ultron is already well known within the local runners’ circuit from its frequent collaborations with race organisers as the apparel sponsor, on top of hosting its own runs. Ultron has also set up several local fitness movements – called Team Ultron – in running, yoga and metafit (a 30-minute, high-intensity interval training workout).
Products available online at www.ultron.co/ and at Ultron stores in Nu Sentral and Glo Damansara.
The brainchild of two friends, Becca Yap and Hwei-Ming, Liberty Active is every yoga-crazed millennial’s dream come true: the current collection of dusty green and blue hues are modern, sleek and easy to pair with most things, even outside the gym.
Both founders were exercise buddies long before the brand started, and as they searched for new activewear to fuel their lifestyle, they discovered that it was hard to find quality pieces for women that were stylish, affordable, and catered to the Asian body type.
To kick things off, they spent months researching and learning about the proper materials to use, and studied trends before delving into design. After just a year of prep work, they launched Liberty Active. Pieces are priced from RM55 to RM122 and include women’s tops, sports bras and leggings. Favourites include the Misty Side Pocket Leggings (RM122), Breathe Ruched Back Bra (RM95), and Storm Side Cut Out Top (RM65).
Products available online at liberty-active.com.
By Zoé Ng
Ultron photos by Teoh Eng Hooi.
Nashata and Liberty Active photos courtesy of respective brands.
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