With 2022 just around the corner, many of us have begun planning what goals we want to work on for the year. But sometimes setting large goals can be overwhelming and we end up not achieving them.
Instead, we should start with small improvements that affect our internal well-being and our immediate surroundings. Hence, we’ve compiled a list of some easier-to-achieve goals and suggested a variety of Malaysian products that can help you with them.
Decluttering and reorganising your life
Many of us may struggle with clutter in our homes or at our work desks, usually with smaller items like remotes, devices, or stationery. In large family homes or at the office, scattered shoes are also a common sight.
You’ve probably heard some saying along the lines of “a cluttered space is a cluttered mind”. If that’s true, then getting rid of that clutter is one of the best ways to start your new year fresh.
Though OCDEE’s Convi Shoebox is first and foremost a revamped shoebox design, it’s actually multipurpose. Its advantage is also the translucent material that lets you easily see what’s kept in it, unlike when you shove clutter into drawers and cupboards then think you’ve “lost” items.
Besides being aesthetically pleasing and built to last, it’s designed for a user’s convenience. To that end, the easy-access shoebox has a 120° lid opening at the front, with a finger handle to slide your shoes (or other items) out instead of holding open the cover. You can also stack up to 8 Convi Shoeboxes, saving you more space.
Founded by Chun How and Jeanne, the idea to start OCDEE struck them in July 2020 when they noticed a rising demand in plain shoeboxes for organisation in the sneakerhead community. Within a year of launching, they had sold over 42K Convi Shoebox units.
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If you’re often frustrated with how difficult it is and how long it takes you to find something (like keys or a tissue pack) in your bag, you’re not alone.
Those of us who like to remotely work outside probably have it bad, since we’ll bring a laptop or tablet along with a charger, notebook, some stationery, and other things on top of the necessities you’d already have in your bag. As not all bags are designed with detailed organisation in mind, this could lead to clutter.
But Tracey is a Malaysian handbag brand that wants to change things. It was born from its founder Johnson’s frustration when searching for keys in his wife’s handbag. Wanting to do something about it, he spent 3 years designing an organised bag, getting constant feedback from his wife.
Upon demand from her friends for a unit too, Tracey was born. Today, the brand carries different bag designs like backpacks, bucket bags, and cross body bags, made from polyurethane (PU) leather to keep prices affordable.
Each bag comes with more compartments than normal, catered to the busy modern woman who wants space for her necessities, and more, without the clutter.
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The market for high-end notebooks and stationery has been dominated by big companies in Japan, Taiwan, and Europe. But taking on the competition is a Malaysian brand, Noteism, which introduced a 100% waterproof, washable, and sanitisable notebook.
It’s called the Stonebook, where pages are made from stone paper which generally comprises limestone and bio-polyethylene resin (HDPE).
On top of that, the paper quality of its notebooks is acid-free, meaning that inner pages will not turn yellow or develop blotches even after 10 years, and they’re tear-resistant too.
So, if you’re looking for a durable and aesthetic notebook for you to do your 2022 planning and journalling, Noteism’s offerings are worth considering.
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Putting your health first
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that health is not to be taken for granted. With this wake-up call, we’re also realising that building our immunity is an important first step to staying healthy.
Ex-PwC and KPMG employees respectively, Cheah and Lawrence, wanted to improve Malaysians’ access to fresh figs and also to other benefits of the fruit.
Gugu Guts utilises the figs’ laxative qualities that can help improve digestion, and being a prebiotic supplement, it’s an important component for probiotics to flourish.
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The bottled prebiotic contains fresh figs, along with other superfruits including pomegranate, goji berry, cranberry, and raspberry, to name a few. The beverage also has zero processed sugar but still contains natural sugar (fructose) from the fruits.
Since their September 2020 launch, customers have reported improvements in digestion, and those with constipation saw immediate effects upon proper usage. Some customers who have eczema linked to poor gut health have also shared improvements with the duo.
Prevention is better than cure. To know what risks you need to prevent throughout 2022 and beyond though, you’ll need health data.
Advanx Health is a Malaysian healthtech startup that tests DNA to help users understand how to keep themselves healthy by highlighting one’s health risks, nutrition, fitness, and other traits.
Its DNA Explorer Health360 kit involves simply spitting into a tube containing a solution that preserves the integrity of DNA in your saliva. There is also a set of instructions on how to register on the Advanx Health website to receive your results via email later on.
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The reports sent back to you will list metrics on your potential disease risks, diet management recommendations, and more, outlining an improved lifestyle suggestion.
Advanx Health also has a DNA Explorer Essential package which is more like a starter pack to your DNA, where you’ll get 25 reports on nutrition, fitness, and inner potential traits.
While a manual toothbrush can do a decent job in upkeeping dental hygiene, there’s no harm in pampering yourself a little with an upgrade to a sonic toothbrush.
Local brand Brudee makes affordable sonic toothbrushes that they claim provide better oral care than manual and even electric ones.
Did you know: Sonic toothbrushes are not the same as electric toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes rotate at a rate of about 2,500 to 7,500 strokes per minute whereas sonic toothbrushes vibrate at about 30,000 brushes per minute. Its higher brush speed agitates fluids in your mouth and turns them into cleaning agents to reach between teeth and below the gum line that the brush cannot.
There are 4 modes on a Brudee toothbrush: Sensitive, Clean, Massage, and Whitening. It also has a dentist-recommended 2-minute smart timer to signal the end of your session along with 30-second pauses to indicate that you can brush the next quadrant of your mouth.
The brand operates an opt-in subscription model too where replacement brush heads are delivered straight to your door every 3 months, taking away the need for multiple pharmacy runs.
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Since its inception in 2016, local brand Surya has been making and selling its own apple cider vinegar (ACV). Surya’s ACV contains natural honey and is claimed to be beneficial for body detoxification, relieving indigestion, aiding in iron absorption, and more.
The beverage has also been deemed effective for those struggling with constipation, weight management issues, and high blood glucose levels. Thus, some people take it consistently like they would a supplement to see results.
Surya’s ACV can be taken directly in small amounts, mixed with lukewarm water or fruit juice, or even spritzed onto salads.
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As the economy recovers from the pandemic and tourism sectors reopen, we must still stay vigilant and be disciplined in protecting ourselves and our loved ones.
Other than social distancing, mask-wearing should continue being practiced. For that, one Malaysian brand creating premium 4-ply surgical face masks is CommonMask.
Its 4-ply configuration is designed to provide 99% filtration efficiency against bacteria and other particles, while the hydrophobic outer layer protects the wearer from liquid droplets and bio-fluids.
Additionally, the masks are crafted with materials that are gentle on the skin. Each box of surgical masks contains 30 pieces.
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Practicing self-care for better holistic wellbeing
Sound of Flowers
Other than your physical health, addressing your emotional needs is important for holistic wellness too.
Sound of Flowers is another company started by Stephanie Looi, co-founder of the Malaysian wellness brand, PurelyB. Stephanie and her team make and sell Bach (pronounced “batch”) flower remedies for emotional healing and well-being that can be taken orally, used as a mist, and more.
Simply put, Bach flower remedies are an alternative or complementary treatment used for emotional problems and pain. Its philosophy states that there are 38 types of flowers to heal 38 types of human emotions, done through the flowers’ vibrations and energy.
To simplify the process of figuring out which of the 38 flowers you may need for your individual struggles, Sound of Flowers curates its own blends.
This way, the blends can be more affordable too. “A normal person will need to take at least 4-5 flowers depending on their needs. That would mean they need to purchase 4-5 bottles separately. With our brand, we are able to help prepare this blend for the price of 1 bottle,” Stephanie explained in an interview with us.
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sukurabu is a local personal care brand that allows you to customise your own body scrubs that also double as shower gels, making premium self-care convenient to do at home.
When ordering its products, you can choose your scrub’s Foam Type (how many bubbles you want from its lather), Scrub Type (whether the exfoliant is coarse, medium, or fine), and Density (volume of exfoliants).
The tipping point that led to the founding of sukurabu was when its serial entrepreneur founder, Jessie had a bad case of breakouts on her back and body scrubs available in the market didn’t work for her.
I’ve tested out sukurabu’s scrub myself and found it quite a luxurious experience that enhanced my body care routine. If you’ve tried sugar scrubs before, sukurabu’s exfoliants (I got it in medium coarseness with medium density) felt reminiscent of that.
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Herbbies is a Malaysian company aiming to help people with sensitive skin restore their skin’s health through organic herbs.
Born out of suffering from acne-prone skin themselves, its founders struggled to find products that wouldn’t irritate their skin further, causing redness and rashes. So, they turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and local herbs that could alleviate their issues.
Over the years, they developed a series of gentle yet effective sensitive skincare products together with their TCM consultant, resulting in Herbbies’ launch.
You’ll find a range of products that address skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. In addition, it also sells hair and scalp care products that incorporate herbs providing therapeutic effects for scalp health. For every purchase, a certain percentage of its profits goes to a school for children with special needs in Malaysia.
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Koolit’s approach in creating products for those experiencing skin sensitivity and discomfort is through its star ingredient, liquorice root extract. The ingredient is claimed to be high in antioxidants while carrying anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Free of harsh chemicals, the liquorice root extract is said to leave your skin soft, with a healthy glow that’s also soothing.
Its Calming Cream, Gentle Body Wash, and Soothing Lotion are suitable for all ages, including babies, and provide moisture without the sticky and greasy feeling that some body care products can leave.
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All of these products aim to improve different aspects of your life, whether it’s in organisation, healthcare, or general self-care. While they’re small and simple goals, they can have a major positive impact if you can build healthy habits out of them.
These Malaysian brands are also showing that there’s no need to invest in expensive overseas solutions either to hit these goals, not when we can get the same (or even better) quality locally.
If you’re already prepared for 2022 yourself, perhaps this list could instead serve as a gifting guide for your loved ones to help them in their own self-improvement journey.
- You can read about more Malaysian startups brands we’ve covered here.
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