Take 5 with... Miyabi from Bahini!
WELCOME TO WOMB'S WEEKLY "TAKE 5 WITH..." SERIES. ROUGHLY ONCE A WEEK WE WILL FEATURE A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH A HK-BASED CONSCIOUS PERSONALITY.
THIS WEEK WE WITNESSED THE LAUNCH OF A GREAT NEW BRAND - BAHINI! SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT MEET SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION, ALL THAT STARTED BY… MIYABI HOLM!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, and why did you choose to be based in Hong Kong (at least for now)?
Hey! My name is Miyabi Holm, I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden with a Japanese mother and Swedish father. I’ve traveled and explored various cultures ever since I can remember, so I have always longed for a more developing experience that living abroad could give. Although Sweden is fantastic, there are so many fantastic cultures to learn from! As of now I am currently based in Hong Kong since a year back and am absolutely loving it here.
I would say both love and business brought me to this town, haha!
2. What's important to you, and how do these values affect your professional choices?
People are important to me. I love people. And so, if I see people hurting, then I can’t help but to feel that I want to help. Whenever I see someone happy, that truly brings me joy. Even though I know I can’t make everyone happy with each decision I take (because hey, there is no way I could please everyone!), at least I do my best to find a balance in my choices.
3. Tell us more about your newly launched brand Bahini - you are merging sustainable production and social enterprise, we are curious to hear more!
Bahini is an ethical scarf brand made by marginalised women and sex-trafficking survivors in Nepal. The scarves are plant based, made of 100 % natural bamboo linen and dyed with either azo-free dyes or plants. For every scarf we sell, Bahini supports a Nepalese girl at risk with an educational scholarship ranging from pre-school to college.
4. What has been the biggest obstacle/challenge when sourcing and securing sustainable production materials?
The absolute biggest obstacle was actually to find a certified Fair Trade supplier that was willing to hire women despite them being rape or sex-trafficking survivors. Apart from that, the sourcing has not been too challenging. Maybe also because I have visited each and every supplier several times to audit their production process. I did lose time, trust and money once though! I was supposed to launch Bahini way earlier but had to postpone due to one sneaky supplier trying to earn quick money by sending me scarves made of a different material than agreed on... (I do not work with that supplier anymore ;) )
5. What brands or personal heroes inspired you when creating Bahini?
My personal hero for inspiring me to create Bahini is Indira Ghale from Nepal. She is a human rights activist with her heart in the right place. Seeing her do so much for others inspired me to completely change course in life - quit my desk job and instead start Bahini to help Nepalese women and girls. I would say that is inspiration, right there :)