Fashion and politics have always intertwined in the past with instances such as Colin Kaepernick x Nike ad, Burberry’s ‘Save The Amazon Rainforest’ show and the #MeToo movement black dresses at the Golden Globes.
With the current tumultuous political climate, seen through the absolute chaos that ensued in parliament, to make a statement during this time would be very bold and risky. However, that did not stop local fashion brand, Pestle & Mortar Clothing (PMC), from taking a stand against racism with their new stickers.
Known for their locally-inspired designs like their AirAsia and Proton Saga collections, PMC is very much in-tune with what Malaysians love and want in their fashion. Very culturally relevant, PMC is a popular brand amongst our community which makes their new sticker launch a double-edged sword.
On one end, it can be seen as brave of the company to print such bold statements like “Aku Bukan Pendatang,” “This Is Our Land Too,” and “We Are Not ‘Dan Lain-Lain'” on their stickers but it can also fuel tensions that are already explosive by highlighting deeply-engrained issues of racism towards the masses.
Despite being a melting pot of cultures, there have been many instances of racism and injustice towards the marginalised that are highly ignored by the public. When these stories were finally brought to the surface in recent months due to the heralding of the Black Lives Matter movement, many Malaysians were quick to defend their country thus denying the validity of these lived experiences.
In a recent commentary video uploaded by J.J, the OG Hitz FM host, where he talked about the overwhelmingly negative response towards an article written by JUICE, he noticed that Malaysians love to brag about diversity however their actions did not match their words.
Watch the video below:
A slew of racist remarks bombarded both J.J and JUICE’s platforms due to the article and it is a clear that discourse on racism is a sure fire way to disturb the hornet’s nest.
So, with such a well-loved brand like PMC releasing these stickers with incendiary words and tackling stereotypes almost verbatim (like “No, We’re Not Gonna Rob You”), it is definitely a bold move, but a very welcomed one. When asked why they chose stickers and not clothing, PMC Branding & Marketing Manager, Kana, told The Rakyat Post,
“Rather than making t-shirts & apparel showcasing the racist statements that we often hear in Malaysia, we wanted to eliminate as many barriers as we could in terms of spreading the message to a wider audience… Stickers are something that everyone can champion, regardless of your age or dressing style.”
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The stickers are free and you can get them at Major Drop, Sunway Pyramid.
Now is the perfect time to support brands who are sparking important conversations without fear of being alienated. To see a public figure speaking out against a deep-rooted sensitive topic is rare and it should be met with praise, not vehemence.
For more updates on the brand, head over to their Instagram.
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