The Heart Behind - Kanoe
THE HEART BEHIND is a series of interviews where we get to know the founders and the heart behind what they do.
A Batik label from Malaysia that works with artisans to create beautiful unique pieces, Noelle, founder of Kanoe tells us more.
What made you start Kanoe?
I started KANOE when I was actually feeling lost in life. My friends were all already advancing in their career and I felt really left behind as I dedicated 2 years prior to mission/ social work. So after returning to Malaysia from the Philippines I was unsure what to do with my life. But somehow there was a nudge to finally put my skills to use and the desire to start a Tropical Line, and that birth KANOE. I started KANOE with a fresh love for my homeland and the tropics!
Batik is beautiful! It connects us with the past. People of all ages who lives in the Indo-Malaya region will have some memories with Batik. It carries a warmth and a sense of home.
Is there any particular brand or personality that influences your work?
To be honest not really. I just go with the flow and create something that is KANOE! It's a product of my heart and mind and the influence of the people around me.
Tell us more about your design and sourcing process!
Usually I would find fabrics that catches my eyes! From there I then think of what designs would look good on the everyday Tropical Child. And then I would patternmake and pass the pattern pieces to my tailors to sew up a sample before finalizing the design for production. I design everyday comfort wear and as for sourcing of materials, I go for 100% natural fibre and/or handmade, hand printed fabrics with honest suppliers !
You work with various artisans and communities. Who are they and how did you get connected with them?
They are artisans and communities from around the world. Some are from people I know, some I met by chance while traveling; with each connection is a different story. We work closely now with a Refugee Community for most of our garments. A friend of mine connected me to a lady who was working with refugees a few years ago, and a year later this lady suddenly thought about me and introduced me to the refugees who they trained to sew and we started from there!
What inspires you to keep creating new designs?
Wanting to wear something new haha!
What’s next for Kanoe?
We are expanding our range, stay tune to find out more!