Fast Fashion is Dead! Up-cycled, One-off Pieces by Local Designers Are Here To Stay

‘Sustainable fashion’ has been an industry catchphrase for decades now but how many fashion entrepreneurs have taken that extra step of building a business out of it? Not a whole lot that’s for sure because being sustainable requires more thought, planning and occasionally going against principles that make a business profitable.

That aside, these 3 homegrown Instagram accounts – @reviveyourclothes, @huntilanak and @____uglypretty – have taken over our explore pages, flooding our feeds with unique, fashion-forward, environmentally-friendly goodness!

If you haven’t heard of them by now, you’re in luck ’cause JUICE just had a chat with them… 


1. @reviveyourclothes

@reviveyourclothes is the colourful funky lovechild of Claudia Tan and Anne Lim. Established just a little over a year ago, Revive started out with two girls who just “loved to thrift and wanted to have a business with creative liberties when it came to reworking them”. 

Building from the ground up, Anne studied fashion in university and Claudia picked up sewing from her, and together they both learned to start the business themselves. They started small on Instagram to gain an audience, then worked their way up to now owning a website at

Co-founder Anne explains, “We definitely didn’t expect our brand to grow to this scale in such a short time, but we were hoping for this as we wanted to make ethically-made clothing trendy and fun. Also to let people see that reworking clothes can be more than just cropping a top.”

“We try to be unique in our designs but of course our designs are bound to overlap with a lot of what the fast fashion industry is producing as well,” says Claudia. 

“But we try to source incredibly cool, funky and vintage fabrics to go along with our designs to give that extra unique factor as well as to justify the price. I think it’s hard to not buy fast fashion products, as long as you’re buying it infrequently and wearing those clothes for a longer time, all the while supporting some of your favourite thrift shops while you’re at it – I think it’s personally already a good habit to foster.” 


2. @huntilanak 


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Fashion school graduate of Esmod Kuala Lumpur and creator of @huntilanak, Ryan Tan, started his business with the usual woes of any former student with an itch to create. He confesses, “To be frank, I was broke, saw the potential in the industry, and decided to put my college education to good use.”


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Ryan set his goal to have 1K followers by the end of 2021, yet he achieved this in half the time, during a pandemic, no less. Now, that’s traction.

“Everything is made by myself, occasionally with deadstock and/or up-cycled fabric. I also try not to make too many pieces at once. Most of my orders are custom, and I prefer it like that to ensure I don’t overproduce.” 

The guaranteed transparency that goes into the manufacturing process of Ryan’s handmade garments sheds light on the amount of work that really goes into creating these distinctive one-off pieces. In contrast, fast fashion is notoriously known for its strategic, high product pricing and exploitative labour practices. This alone stresses the importance of supporting, not only small businesses, but local ones as well.

On that note, Ryan comments, “I do agree that handmade pieces tend to be more expensive and a portion of the population are not able to afford something like that, so I believe that sometimes it’s okay to occasionally buy items from fast fashion stores, but make the item last. I guess at the end of the day, try to make a conscious effort and do research on where your clothes come from. Of course being 100% ethical in your consumption is not possible in the world we live in, but what matters is that we try.”


3. @__________uglypretty


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Local designer Daren Yeap and founder of @_uglypretty has always had a passion for high-end fashion and designer pieces, though like most of us, this tends to run on the higher side of price points and is deemed less affordable. This, along with his habit of thrifting and accumulated unused clothing, begat the eccentric brand that is UglyPretty!

Daren started reworking pieces for his own wardrobe through harnessing his skills learned while studying fashion design and pattern making, which received an influx of compliments and high praises, as well as inquiries about the creation, while wearing them out and about.

He quickly noticed that there seemed to be a market for this hobby and decided to make a business out of it. 

His handmade pieces are known to be more on the quirky and unconventional side, which was why it came as a surprise to him when his pieces got noticed. 


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“I am absolutely grateful that people like what I create and I gained some recognition in the local fashion industry. When I started my brand, I didn’t expect that everyone would like my style because it might seem impractical,” comments Daren, extremely grateful for his audience. 


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UglyPretty focuses on the movement against mass production and consumerism that comes with fast fashion which is one of the heavier contributors to damaging the environment. 

“I think it needs to be brought to attention as to why fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, especially fast fashion. People should buy clothes that will actually be worn more than once.” 


And there you have it! Forget about hunting down sales at large capitalised brands, start supporting local designers and grab your unique piece from these Malaysian online stores today!