Local environmental movement — NakedWonders is releasing its mascot Alissa on a tour around Kuching to create an awareness against the use of straws. With much help from Kuching South City Council Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng and philanthropist Datin Shentel Lee, the campaign encourages the public to get involve and win from local brands in the process.
Play your role for mother nature
The world of today is different compared to the world we once knew. As heavy pollution rises over the decade, it has greatly influenced the climate and brought about global warming. Understanding this, the local environmental movement NakedWonders has been campaigning against the use of plastic straws since 2020.
Co-founder Andre Kho says global warming is accelerating at a very fast pace. “We are blessed to live in Malaysia where clean water is not a problem. However, there are many countries and people who do not have access to clean water. There was even an extremely hungry polar bear roaming the streets of Russia, hundreds of kilometres from its natural habitat. The least we should do is try to slow it down.”
Kho, who shared a quote, “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrowed it from our children”, believes that caring for the earth by getting rid of bad habits can be tough, but by starting step by step, one will get there eventually.
“I was one of those people with a bad habit of occupationally dropping trash on the floor. Nonetheless, I was influenced by my co-founder Melissa Kung to care more for the environment,” he says, though he admits that it can be hard to go zero waste.
Kho admits he’s not being an extremist on the subject but merely changing bad habits to better ones. “I stopped using plastic straws. I don’t use plastic bags for just one item. I also segregate my trash into recyclables or general waste.”
Make climate cool again campaign
Sharing further, Kho reveals the likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk exploring space. “In doing so, they have discovered that earth is still the most habitable planet to live on.”
Growing up, he also listened to stories from his dad’s younger days, “and he would tell me how they used to play gasing on the road, swimming and fishing in the drain and lake. But we can no longer do it because of our heavily polluted and dirty river.”
He then poses a question, “Will we still be able to enjoy the same nature 40 years from now?”
Hence, NakedWonders’ latest environmental campaign — ‘Make climate cool again’ was launched recently to address this matter.
“We have seen how plastic pollution has impacted global warming. Just look at Malaysia where heavy downpours have led to flash floods and landslides. These are all caused by global warming.”
Hoping to educate the public regarding the matter in a more subtle manner, NakedWonders is using fashion to share awareness with the public. With the tagline ‘Going Green Can Be Cool or Hip’, Kho reveals the movement’s mannequin ‘Alissa’ dressed in local designer brands Sereni and Shentel, and Bowerhaus as the mascot of the campaign.
“We are grateful and humbled that these brands under Datin Shentel Lee can help us push our movement to greater heights. This campaign was also in conjunction with the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng’s initiative to the No Plastic Straw movement,” he adds.
Known as ‘Alissa on Tour’, the campaign encourages the public to take a photo with Alissa as she moves to different cafes around Kuching, and post it on Instagram. “The public can be as creative as positive. This is to spread awareness, and celebrate the milestone of not using straws with us.”
Alissa is clad in a NakedWonders t-shirt, Sereni & Shentel Headband, Sereni & Shentel Team Earth Sash, Sereni & Shentel Penan Tote Bag, Bowerhaus Bracelet, Sereni & Shentel Reusable Metallic Pink Face Mask, Sereni & Shentel Candy Crush Mask Lanyard.
The top 10 most liked photos will enter the lucky draw pool. The luckiest of them all will be able to receive everything that Alissa is wearing. From ribbon bows, to face masks and eco-bag, NakedWonders will also be giving out consolation giveaways during each leg of the tour. To find out more, do visit NakedWonders on Instagram at @nakedwonders.
Preventing 1.1 million straws from entering oceans
Simultaneously, NakedWonders is also celebrating its milestone of preventing 1.1 million straws from entering the oceans. “We hope to create more awareness among food and beverage operators as well as the public that we can play our part for Earth — starting with a small habit such as not using plastic straws.”
Kho also says that although NakedWonders’ eco-friendly rice straws — fàn-straws cost more than plastic ones — the burden of caring for Earth should be a shared concern. “Plastic straws cost two sen, while rice straws are about 10 sen. If operators increase their price by 10 sen as an option for a greener alternative, then we hope the public can accept and adopt it.”
With the movement’s vision realised, NakedWonders says it was all a collective effort by the local councils, partner cafes who adopted rice straws, and the Kuchingites who continued to be ambassadors for the no plastic straw movement.
In the future, Kho hopes to be able to create wider awareness among the public. “Now, we use straws as the vehicle to share our message. However, in 2022, we plan to go to schools to educate the students. We also hope to join or organise more clean-ups around Kuching hoping to ‘Make Climate Cool Again’.”