Winds of Change

Winds of Change

Posted by Aqilah Zailan on

In what feels like the blink of an eye, Gypsied turns 10 this year. Some days feel long, but the years definitely go by quickly. What an endeavour it has been. Did I ever think I’d try building a local fashion brand from zero? Honestly, no. 

But along the way, I found purpose in this expression, envisioning what a Singaporean fashion brand could be: one that draws from the region's rich culture and heritage. One that can influence women with fresh perspectives and ideas. And be a force for good through inclusive designs and authentic storytelling. 

From making solely batik accessories in 2013, we have come a long way. If I were to write in full how much has transpired in the last decade, I would need a few chapters, but here's our journey at a glance:


Wrap headbands, in different textiles including batik and ikat.


In 2015, our first clutches were born, followed by home decor (cushion covers).


Launch of signature jackets and our first foray into apparel


Pandemic and the launch of our apparel pre-order system 

Thanks to your support, Gypsied has served hundreds of women with batik pieces and stories over the years. We have also experienced first-hand, the positive change in your perception of handmade products, and in the fashion and retail industry in general.

Sustainability in fashion output and in its supply chain are not new topics. They have been discussed for at least three decades but thanks to the pandemic, the agenda now pushed forward to the forefront of every brand, and their top of their supporters' minds. Today, we are proud to be a part of the slow fashion and sustainability movement.

Considering the size of our operations and the partners we work with, slow fashion was naturally built into our brand from the beginning. So it is no surprise that when we expanded into apparel from accessories, pre-orders became the lifeblood of our business operations. It was far from a perfect perfect system, but it helped us achieve our objectives:

1. Inventory quantities that are regulated, thereby reducing fashion waste 

2. Since our apparel process starts by crafting the batik first, pre-orders helped our artisan partners gauge the resources needed to make batik (cotton, dyes, hand stamping, hand drawing, dyeing process) with better accuracy. 

2. Steady incoming work for our artisan and tailoring partners during the pandemic

3. Braced and padded our small business for emergencies

4. Resources for in-stock collections and future plans

However for years, I grappled with the question: Considering how small we are, how much impact are we really making? Is it but not a tiny dent in the universe?

Our position as a slow fashion brand that also possesses limited resources (financial, operations, labour and skill sets) meant that there was a limit to how much we could do. That limit would always be reached quickly, giving us less room to manoeuvre — like exploring new designs and being able to sample prototypes quickly.

At the same time, I have also consistently believed that our size was our strength. It made us nimble and we could respond to issues on the ground quickly, such as with our batik or tailoring partners.

With these in mind as founder and the end of the pandemic looming, I feel deeply that change is due. After a decade, the time has come to restructure our small business, reorganise our supply chain and refresh our vision and designs.

Come March, our online store will be closed for an online hiatus, while we set the stage for Gypsied's next phase. 

All pending pre-orders will be fulfilled by end of February. 

To ensure continuity of work for our artisan and tailoring partners and the sustainability of our small business, we will continue to launch offline, for exclusive in-store collections at Design Orchard until June.

If you have any thoughts, write to me anytime at It has been my absolute privilege serving you through our online store. This is not goodbye. This is see you again soon. We will come back stronger.

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