Single mothers get sewing lifeline

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 27 May 2020

With HLB’s help, Suri is able to employ 10 single mothers to produce PPE.

HONG Leong Bank is assisting Suri Lifestyle, a denim upcycling social enterprise, to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical frontliners at a hospital in Klang.

The bank is subsidising labour costs to enable Suri to continue generating a sustainable income for their beneficiaries, who are underprivileged and single mothers.

Suri is an alumna of HLB Jumpstart, a platform that aims to help Malaysian social enterprises build long-term businesses through financial knowledge, tools and digitisation of operations, branding and marketing, commercialisation of products and volunteerism.

Just like many small businesses and social enterprises, Suri had also been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Ever since the implementation of the movement control order (MCO), Suri had not received any new orders for its denim products and this had affected the income of the single mothers.

To provide them with a sustainable livelihood, Suri adapted to the situation by leveraging on their sewing skills to produce PPE suits for medical frontliners.

HLB group managing director and chief executive officer Domenic Fuda said times are were tough for everyone during this health crisis and both businesses and individuals have been forced to adapt to this.

“Social enterprises like Suri, whose core business model revolves around the mission of giving back to the community and generating income opportunities for the B40 group, have been hit hard as procurement from corporations have come to a halt.

“As a community bank, we see helping Suri by subsidising their labour costs as an opportunity to strengthen communities in need during these unprecedented times.”

Suri plans to produce 600 gowns, 800 hoods and 800 boots.

The labour cost subsidy HLB is providing will enable them to expand their team from three to 10 single mothers which will enable them to ramp up production of PPE suits.

HLB chief marketing and communication officer Zalman Zainal said the health of the community was something everyone had to pay more attention to during this very challenging period.

“It is even more important right now that we collectively come together and contribute to meet the needs of the local community and support each other during this outbreak.

“HLB remains committed in continuing social impact efforts by supporting social enterprises such as Suri so they can stay afloat.”

Suri founder Sally Ahmad said while a corporate entity had sponsored the fabric to produce PPE, it lacked the resources to gather a larger team that would help produce and deliver the items.

“We are very thankful that HLB stepped in at this very crucial time to help us overcome this battle against Covid-19, thus giving us the opportunity to generate income at least for the next two months.”

For details, email or or visit @surilifestyle on Instagram.

Social enterprises in search of support to sustain their cause can write in to or visit

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