Monday, July 30, 2012


Following my previous post on 'TINAM'the girls behind the online ethical fashion boutique were kind enough to answer a few questions for Colour Me Red. Their commitment to developing an ethical enterprise highlights that there are thankfully still people in this world that care about the conditions under which clothing is made. Great work girls, and thanks for your time!  

What made you both decide to move to Bangkok?

ANISSA: I lived in Northern Thailand for 4 years, and I fell in LOVE with so many aspects of Thai lifestyle and culture. I did return to Melbourne to study for 3 years, but when I stopped over in Thailand over two years ago now on my way to Europe and the US, it was obvious to myself (and anybody who was near me at the time) that I had to stay! I'm really happy to have made that decision!

COURTNEY: My stopover in BKK was to visit my family (who work for the Australian Embassy here). I was immediately taken with Thai lifestyle, the food, the traditions, the culture, the pride and politeness of the people....and Bangkok is a big metropolis, I thrive in crazy cities. I always describe Bangkok as opulence meets dirty, it's huge and hectic but has everything you could ever want, the best of East meets West if you will...

Could you please give us a bit of background re. yourselves and TINAM?

ANISSA: Like I said, I lived in Pai, which is a small village in the north. I ran a cafe and hand made leather bags (often also incorporating local textile). When I returned to Melbourne I studied Fashion at RMIT. I'm also really into food (hence the cafe) - I've worked in professional kitchens and if I'm not talking about fashion then I'm probably eating or talking about food!

COURTNEY: I've worked in film since I was a teenager. In Melbourne I began my career in casting, then moved on to working for several directors and also writing (both scripts and for magazines et al). Bangkok was supposed to be a stopover en route to LA, but I fell super hard for Bangkok - this city has my heart.

What kind of involvement do you have with those making the products?

We source all of our products directly from the maker or designer. We're regularly sourcing new products, and inspiration.....we're also going to be doing a small collaboration with Faa Lang Fon, the NGO we support as part of our Social Enterprise! We'll keep you posted.

Is it important to you that your supply chain remains transparent and ethical?

Fashion is an industry that is synonymous with glamour, however not many people stop to think about where their clothing actually came from, or about the farmers that grew the cotton, the factory it was made in, the workers' conditions, and so on. We feel that any new brand, label or business in general that doesn't have a code of ethics and/or give back in some way is really just creating pollution. 

It was never a question for the both of us whether 'This is Not a Mall' would be a social enterprise and strive to be as ethical as possible. Of course being based in the region makes it all the more real for us - our neighboring country Cambodia has ongoing human rights issues with big name companies involving factory workers within the garment industry. Once you've visited a 'sweatshop' factory it truly stays with you, especially when shopping.

Have you been getting much support from the public?

Yes, the response thus far has been great. It's one thing to have support from your friends and network but now that support has spread further. The warm response we have had thus far inspires us to work even harder to try and achieve what we've set out to do!

Are there any plans for TINAM to develop / expand?

Yes, a lot! We'll be adding a Luxury level where you'll find dope labels difficult to purchase outside of the Kingdom. We'll also be adding our menswear section, and a fully stocked vintage store which will blow your minds! We'll also be traveling to neighbouring countries to dig for 'gold' there. 
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