Just take a walk in a shopping mall and you’ll see your usual brands: H&M, Cotton On, Nike and JD Sports, to name a few.
And there’s a good reason why we can’t seem to get enough of these brands: they provide good quality products at a rather competitive price.
Lost among those foreign brands are local ones, who probably offer the same products but at an even cheaper price.
However, probably due to the lack of interest or simply because we do not know about them, these local brands are not getting the same attention as the foreign ones.
In fact, did you know that there are brands out there that look and sound foreign, but they are actually made in Malaysia?
Here are some of them:
#1 San Francisco Coffee
Nope, San Francisco Coffee did not come from San Francisco. The popular coffee chain was founded in 1997 by one Robert Boxwell, an American who was working in Malaysia at the time. He named it San Francisco, which is one of his favourite locations in the world.
#2 The Manhattan Fish Market
Just like San Francisco Coffee, The Manhattan Fish Market was not conceived in Manhattan. The popular food chain was started by a group of young Malaysian entrepreneurs in 2002. According to their website, the restaurant is based on the famous Fulton Fish Market in Manhattan. They now have 72 outlets across Asia and the Middle East. We wonder if there’s one in Manhattan.
Here’s a fun fact: the fashion brand BritishIndia is neither British nor India. It’s a Malaysian brand through and through. The lifestyle brand – which currently has more than 40 outlets across Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore – was established in 1994 by local entrepreneur Pat Liew. The brand’s tagline and its award-winning advertising campaign was spearheaded by none other than the late Yasmin Ahmad.
Despite having a diacritical mark on the brand’s name, Lewré is not fashion brand from Europe (it sure does look and sound like it, doesn’t it?). The fashion brand was the brainchild of Lewré Lew, who launched Lewré back in 1997. Here’s another interesting bit about the brand: Lew was actually a protégé of shoe designer guru Jimmy Choo. So cóól!
#5 Shangri-La Hotels
When you mention Shangri-La, you’ll picture a lavish hotel chain with impeccable hospitality. We wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t know that the Shangri-La hotel chain is actually Malaysian. It belongs to the ‘Sugar King of Asia’, Robert Kuok, the richest person in Malaysia and 104th
wealthiest in the world. The first Shangri-La Hotel was opened in Singapore in 1971.
The US have their KFC, and the Philippines have Jollibee. If you’re a little bit sad because we don’t have a fast food chain to call our own, don’t; because Marrybrown is actually Malaysian. It was founded in 1981 by Lawrence Liew and Nancy Chan. There are now hundreds of Marrybrown outlets in countries such as Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand and Singapore.
These are some of the many popular brands that are made in Malaysia.
And you what this means, guys? This proves that we have world class products and brands that we can be proud of too.
To encourage Malaysians to support Malaysian-made products, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) has launched the ‘Buy Malaysia 2019
The objective of the campaign is simple: to encourage Malaysians to support Malaysian brands by buying locally-made products.
A follow up to the ‘Buy Malaysia’ campaign which was launched in 1984, the campaign also helps raise public awareness about the quality of goods and services offered in Malaysia, and to showcase that they are on par with international standards.
So, the next time that gorgeous new dress made by your favourite foreign brand or that expensive new running shoes hit the market, stop for a moment and check if there are any local brands offering similar products at a fraction of the price.
Who knows, you might be able to bring home something cheaper while supporting your fellow Malaysian.
For more information on the ‘Buy Malaysia 201’ campaign, check out KPDNHEP’s official Facebook page