Two best friends with One Common Goal: About Us.
Tisha [T]: We are both Indonesians. I reside in Singapore and has become a local. We met when we’re as young as 8 years old when we were schooling in Singapore. Natalia has moved to Indonesia for good for a couple of years now.
Natalia [N] : We met when we just moved from Indonesia to Singapore as kids and have been friends ever since!
We kept in touch although we went our separate lives. A few years later, we realised the love for Yoga and became very passionate about the whole mental and emotional well-being. We wanted to build a brand that means something to the community. Rather than turning into high, heart-pumping, energetic image, we turned inwards and focused on the importance of rest, both physically and mentally.
How did Halia started? And how did the name come about.
Halia is a combination of both our names. We wanted this to be more than just a passion project. We thought about the whole philosophy and what we want others to takeaway from the brand, co-existing with nature and taking care of the Earth, our home.
T: There was a time when I had a whole mental breakdown and was experiencing a challenging time in my life. I discovered Yoga and it helped me so much with insomnia. I’ve been doing it since then, through my pregnancy until the day I gave birth.
N: Similarly, I got hooked on yoga when I was going through depression. Practicing yoga and learning about its philosophy was life-changing– mentally, physically, and spiritually. That led me to learn deeper about myself and how I wanted to live in this world, and that is to live a meaningful life, full of well-being and purpose, and to help others do the same.
We decided to focus on comfortable eco-friendly activewear that can be worn everyday such as yoga leggings, sports bra, skorts, tops and collaborate with like-minded brands to build a community.
Was it always the intention to become a sustainable and ethical brand?
T: Motherhood changed me. I am always on a mission to do better for my children. I'd like my children to live in a world where it's safe and self-sustaining, breathing healthy and fresh air. One way of doing it is to take my own action and contribute to a meaningful movement.
N: It was something I had been thinking about but was not confident in pursuing until I saw firsthand the harmful practices of the fashion industry. Then I simply felt that I had to create something that aligns with my own values and that makes a positive impact in the world.
Real talk: What's the most challenging part of this journey?
T: One of the biggest challenges is awareness and convincing the customer why they should switch to sustainable options even with a slightly higher price point. Especially selling online, how do we convince them that our apparels are as good as it feels and is lasting.
N: Since it’s only the two of us running the brand now, it’s challenging for us to manage everything by ourselves, especially the business aspect of it.
What do you want to achieve personally with your brand?
T: One of the goals that we have was to build a community that has the same vision as us. We would like this community to support one another and build a safe haven that people feel encouraged by.
N: In a world of disconnect where the priority is on the individual interest, we hope to nurture a community of collective care and well-being that encompasses people and the environment.
In your own eyes, how has becoming a sustainable designer changed your life?
T: I’ve become more conscious of my actions overall. Even day to day and how I’ve educated my children to be more mindful of their actions with the consequences in mind.
N: I had been disillusioned by the fashion industry since becoming aware of the many problems it sweeps under the rug. Turning to sustainability has given me a new purpose that my fashion education can be used for good.
What is your favorite product/collection from Halia?
T: My favorite is the Breeze collection, especially the skort. I wear it for outings and it dries really quickly if I accidentally spill something. It also doesn't look like a sports attire and can be worn casually.
N: Mine has got to be the Airweight collection. Not only is it a versatile piece that can be worn both at the studio and outside, it is also very cooling and lightweight to the touch. I would also pair the Airweight sportsbra with dresses as it's easy to slip in and out of. I prefer the ease of shorts so the biker shorts is also my go-to, with it being airy and convenient.