Binary Style, a Singapore brand founded by twin sisters and designers, Santhi and Sari Tunas, chose scarves as a medium to capture the essence of Singapore’s cultural and natural heritage by using vivid colours and quirky patterns. Its collections have a strong female following, particularly among local social media influencers, celebrities and even politicians.
More recently in December 2020, Binary Style collaborated with SPD’s bookbindery to produce beautiful creations of handbound journals and matching reusable masks for Christmas. Melissa Tan, senior communications and outreach executive finds out more from them on what they do and what motivates them to give back to the community.
Hello Santhi and Sari! Please introduce Binary Style to our readers.
Hi, we are Santhi and Sari, founders of Binary Style, a lifestyle brand that specialises in conversational prints, which we use mainly in the creation of scarves and dresses. We are twins – Santhi is 5 minutes older than Sari. We are also trained architects and huge nature lovers.
Why did you choose to leave your stable careers as architects and start Binary Style?
Binary Style is a long overdue project that had been sitting on the back burner for a long time. We had always told each other that one day we will join forces and do some creative venture. We have lived in different countries over the years and in 2012, Sari moved to Singapore from the Netherlands to work as a researcher. We guess it was just meant to be. The big idea came back to us when Sari was in-between jobs and we kick-started Binary Style.
What got you to give back to the community?
We have enjoyed many supports from people around us – friends, relatives and even strangers whom we have become friends with, to reach to where we are now. Giving back to the community just come naturally and we are simply passing it on. We want to create impact in whatever we do.
We were recently involved in a project with I’mable Collective to create a very special scarf, which was to be worn by President Halimah Yacob for this year’s National Day Parade. The collaboration was made more memorable as we worked with artists from the Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped (SAVH). It was an eye-opening experience to learn that the artists were able to create beautiful artworks despite their visual impairment.
What motivates you to keep doing what you do, at work, in the committee and in the charity scene?
We love receiving notes from our customers who say they love our works –these keep us going when the going gets tough.
Why did you choose to work with SPD?
After working with many talented artists with disabilities from our collaboration with I’mable Collective, we wanted to be able to help the disability community to live their lives with a sense of purpose. Collaborating with SPD was an opportune moment!
What’s the greatest challenge you have faced in being involved in the giving back experience?
We guess that the initial challenge was to decide how we wanted to be involved. We want to be a part for the long run so we can really make a greater impact. We don’t want it just to be a ‘box-ticking exercise’ where corporate social responsibility is concerned.
What’s the most rewarding part?
It would be knowing that our works can touch people’s lives in a small or big way. It makes us realise that we can also give back no matter how small or big one’s effort is, as long as we have the intention and a push to make it a reality.
Any words of encouragement to people who are considering to volunteer or get involved in the charity scene?
You will feel empowered when you empower others. Be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
For more information on Binary Style, log on to https://binarystyle.co/