Ali Nawaz learned about the textile industry at a young age, as his family runs a business in the textile industry.

Several years ago, he moved to Malaysia to pursue higher education, and it was around this time that he became more aware of what a sustainable business means, and the environmental issues revolving around the textile industry.

“The textile industry is one of the industries that creates a lot of waste,” said Ali, and then continued to explain how the textile industry contributes to environmental degradation by using water, energy, and other resources to produce textiles.

Going against the textile industry is not productive; finding sustainable ways to conduct businesses in the industry is. This is the direction that Ali pursues with his clothing brand, Asquare Men, which was launched in Malaysia in 2019.

“Our product is 100% cotton,” added Ali. “We use medium staple cotton, which we procured from underdeveloped areas in Pakistan. The raw cotton then processed by small and medium-sized local enterprises, and from there, we manufacture our product in our factory.

We know the origin of our product from the seeds to the product creation. This way, we create the best product quality, and at the same time, we support local businesses, especially businesses in the underdeveloped areas of Pakistan.”

All the extra-mile works and thoughts that were put into Asquare Men’s product is part of the company’s missions, which is to follow the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations.

“But we are fairly a new company, so we are still working on pledging to the SDGs,” Ali explained. But clearly, every decision that he has taken for his business so far seem to be aligned with his strategy and effort to making his company a sustainable business.

“Cube Self Storage has been a big help in starting our business,” Ali said when I asked about his experience storing with us. “The way Cube’s team treated us feels just like family.”

When he was searching for a storage facility in Malaysia, Ali was looking for a storage company that conducts its business in the most environmentally ethical and sustainable way.

He was also looking for a sustainable business that supports other small businesses like his own, and that’s how he became part of the Cube family.

“The fact that Cube utilises existing building and not build new ones, which could create a lot of waste — aligns with our business principle and strategy,” added Ali.

“This was a big selling point for us, and also because you focus on the cleanliness of your facility, good operations, security and services… To be honest, Cube Self Storage has been a blessing for us.”

Asquare Men is designed for Malaysians, which is why the brand started in Malaysia, but they are receiving orders internationally. The creation of Asquare Men’s product was a collaborative effort from a diverse group of textile designers and graphic design artists.

“When I think about Malaysia, I think about harmony and love,” Ali said. “So, we try to bring harmony and love through our products, and at the same time, doing it sustainably.”

Before we ended our Skype conversation, I asked Ali, “What do you do for fun?”

“Work,” he laughed. “I’m a social media strategist as well. So, I spend my free time to come up with ideas and what to do next. But I also spend a lot of my free time being with my family,” he smiled.

After we ended our Skype call, it got me thinking about how small entrepreneurs such as Ali are trying to make the BIG change to ensure the sustainability of our planet.

I smiled, knowing we were incubating a sustainable business who are doing the right thing for the planet and the community.

1 sq.ft. Story is a series in which customers of Cube Self Storage share unique lifestyle choices, experiences, and stories. Read the story about Robotics in Malaysia: A Pioneer’s Story here.

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