She is also the Founder of We Are Ultra founder. Motivated to lead an environmentally-friendly lifestyle after the birth of her daughter, Tengku Chanela Jamidah Ibrahim partnered with good friend Anita Hawkins to set up The Ultra Ultra, a blog on sustainability.
While searching for the best products for her daughter, she noticed a gap of sustainable and attractive products locally despite the growing green movement worldwide. A chance meeting with two up and coming Malaysian fashion designers Jonathan Liang and Tengku Syahmi prompted her to expand the blog into a collective called We Are Ultra in 2009.
Made from eco-friendly materials such as pineapple fibers, wood pulp and salmon skin and recycled polyester, their repertoire is chic and wearable -
think draped jackets with artsy cut-outs or waisted shorts with sharp bottom cuts - while being kind to the environment, drawing glowing reviews such as “a breath of fresh air in a region where sustainability and contemporary design rarely mix.
While the price points of sustainable fashion are still high, she believes that it can go mainstream. “Making a concerted and conscious effort to start promoting the use and acceptance of these materials will create a trickle-down effect of lowering down production costs.”
More than a clothing line, a product, or a brand, We Are Ultra aims to collaborate with designers, companies and organisations to create meaningful products, experiences and workshops from a sustainable point of view.
She wants to show that living green can be incorporated into our daily lives, while at the same time bring something fresh and innovative to the scene.
One way to encourage everyone to consider the impact of our lifestyle on the planet is by building on emotional connection and active participation of the masses. So in addition to their blog, they maintain active accounts on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. They communicate regularly with supporters and maintain full transparency about their sustainable practices.
This open community approach obviously works: they recently raised nearly $10,000 on crowd-sourcing platform Kickstarter to fund their trip to Tranoi during Paris Fashion Week.
Ultra’s meteoric success convinces her that it is possible to stay true to your passions. Anyone can succeed without succumbing to society or others’ interpretation of what something should be.