Gone are the days when stock image postcards or fridge magnets were the benchmark for souvenirs. That’s not to say these are no longer worthy souvenirs, they still very much are! But if you’re looking for something more bespoke and hyperlocal, our fellow Malaysians have come a long way in creating thoughtfully crafted goods that are perfect as keepsakes.
These Malaysian brands have something special for everyone, from handmade snacks to beautifully designed merchandise to pun-ny tees and mugs. So, whether you’re a gift-giver, souvenir collector, or just shopping for yourself, you’ll surely see something you like.
APOM, which stands for A Piece Of Malaysia, sells merchandise based on the local Manglish slang and pop culture parodies. They’re fun pieces to have in and around your home, like the mugs, tea towels, tees, and coasters. Just quirky stuff printed with things that Malaysians will say, lah! Find them in four locations around Kuala Lumpur, or shop on their website.
Love the handmade look and feel of silkscreen prints? If you do, you’ll fall in love with Bingka’s products. Their uniquely handmade goods are beautifully illustrated and printed, inspired by local culture and motifs. Find anything from placemats and tea towels to picnic bags and pouches for the stylish girlies. I mean, look how cute this Angku Kuih Day Bag is!
3. Loka Made
Pick one: otherworldly panoramas or nostalgic local sceneries? Well, with Loka Made, you can have the best of both worlds! Their highly detailed illustrations make our jaws drop in amazement, especially the 3D pop-up postcards. Browsing through their items is like rediscovering local landscapes, sometimes re-imagined. Gift these beautiful designs to a friend, or display them on your shelf.
4. Earth Heir
If you’d like to know that your souvenir buying will contribute to a good cause, Earth Heir is your best bet. Fair trade and B-corp certified, the brand, founded by Sasibai Kimis, helps under-served artisans and communities grow in skill and size.
You’ll get artisanal and gorgeous goods while contributing to the cause. From intricate clutches to the cutest accessories, their products are simply irresistible for the socially-conscious fashionista.
5. Amazin’ Graze
Have a friend who loves to snack? These nutritious snacks from Amazin’ Graze will make great gifts for them. Although they’re well-known for their granola, I personally LOVE their Coconut Curry Lime Nut Mix (it’s so addictive) and their Choco-holic plant-based protein blend! Their snacks make it easy to reach for better snacking options too, like their hummus chips and brownie chips.
As much as Malaysians say we love food, snacking is also part of our identity. Anytime we’re not having a meal, we’re probably having a snack! That’s why we couldn’t just leave you with one snack brand option.
Handmade with love in our homeland, Kintry’s cookies, crisps, and granola make for great snacking options. Don’t know where to start? Their salted egg yolk potato crisps and oat cookies are crowd favourites!