FIELDTESTED | Syafiqah Syed Isha

For a while now, we’ve been planning to change our current catalogue photos to incorporate customers and friends from our #mattertribe, so that it can better represent the diversity of our community. Meet Syafiqah, she works in a tech company and has been a long time loyal friend and customer of our #mattertribe community. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I work in a tech company, and in that space I engage with companies and impact-driven organisations looking to manage issues and stakeholders on a global scale. I started out doing Political Science in university, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about how people interact in different societies, what influences social behaviour, and how power gets wielded for good and bad. There is so much about politics that reflects human nature.

I love stories, like long form journalism on human interest stories, and long rambling conversations – one of my favourite activities is talking to new people because I feel like everyone has entire books of stories of their lives, and no one can be truly boring. I do enjoy writing fiction too – but it’s something I have not done in a while, and have recently been itching to start again. 

What is the best piece of encouragement you’ve received about yourself?

One time in school, back when we were younger and writing letters to each other, a friend of mine told me that I have a “lion-heart”. I still remember that because I think a lot of times we value strength (especially in the face of adversity) but we cannot always be strong, nor should we be expected to. I’m constantly striving to be brave, at least. 

What does sustainability mean to you? 

I like how people in communal societies tend to understand sustainability – it wasn’t so much a conscious decision as it was a way of life, almost. You take just enough of what you need from nature and from things around you, you plant and grow with your hands so you are conscious of every grain and every seed, you share your excess with your neighbours, and you care to leave enough to sustain future generations. There is a respect and reverence for the natural world that is nurtured so that sustainable practices become second nature. I think sustainability is also about understanding that this world is not ours to pillage, that we’re all linked, and whatever that is finite that we have is shared with so many others. 

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What is the relationship you have with your clothes?

I am very selective of the items I add in my wardrobe, and I buy things that I know I will get a lot of wear out of. I tend to frequent the same brands if I trust and believe in the brand ethos and what they do for both producers and consumers of their products. I used to go thrift shopping a lot, mostly because I liked the idea that the clothes have had lives and stories before me and I can continue to be part of that lifecycle, and not just adding to the piles and piles of fashion waste. 

What item of clothing makes you feel most like yourself?

Probably one of my MATTER pants, for sure! I dress pretty casually on most days, and I love how the pants add a bit of colour or style to any outfit I pull together, and more than that I feel comfortable moving and living in them. 

#ChangeBeyondTextiles is…

Knowing that your choices as a consumer has impact and can make a difference, and acting consciously because of that. I think being connected and understanding where your things come from is so important – too often we get detached and alienated from the process of production that we fail to see the value of the final product, but everything starts somewhere and has a story. It’s great that more people are recognising that, giving voice to those stories and more people are starting to listen. 

What is one thing you stand for and believe in, and why?

You are responsible for your own happiness – I think there is a lot in life that can get dark and sad and confusing, but there is a lot of light to be found too. You just need to figure out which switch works right for you.

We are proud to have Syafiqah, a true #mattertribe, as a Fieldtester – a group of inspiring individuals that test MATTER products in their everyday journeys of passion, to help us improve durability and design. Syafiqah is 163cm tall, usually wears sizes US 4-6, and she wears a MATTER size 1.

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