Ambert Khoo on Samsonite Malaysia’s Luggage Trade-in campaign and the company’s commitment to protect the next generation of turtles.
Samsonite announced the return of their annual Luggage Trade-in campaign, and it is bigger and better than ever. The campaign directs the attention to three of Samsonite’s most popular and skilfully crafted luggage – the MAGNUM ECO, ENOW and VARRO. In line with the brand’s sustainable mission, consumers can enjoy up to 40% off when they trade in their preloved luggage – regardless of the brand, the size, as well as the condition.
Through its renowned campaign, Samsonite is making a statement by establishing partnerships with the eco-warriors of today. The partnerships include World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF-MALAYSIA) and UPCYCLED by FE, an upcycling initiative by Fuze Ecoteer. With every purchase from this campaign, Samsonite will donate RM10 to WWF-Malaysia’s ‘Help Protect The Next Generation Of Turtles’ initiative. A fraction of the pre-loved luggage collected will be upcycled into exclusively crafted artisan flowerpots by UPCYCLED by FE and distributed to internal and external stakeholders.
Having joined Samsonite in 2016, General Manager of Samsonite Malaysia, Ambert Khoo is responsible for the overall management as well as overseeing the company’s businesses in Malaysia. With over two decades of retail experience, his leadership took the company to great heights, doubling their sales from 2017 to 2019. In this interview, Ambert talked about the inspiration behind the initiative, his encounter with a turtle while scuba diving, and why he thinks it is important for consumers to be environmentally conscious.
The luggage trade-in campaign plays a huge role in Samsonite’s strategy for sustainability. What is the inspiration behind the initiative?
Samsonite has been incorporating sustainability innovation into its products. Having developed various initiatives across different countries, Samsonite is committed to exploring sustainable stories that will educate the consumers. In Malaysia, we realised that the trade-in program is a tremendous opportunity, as it is something that we’ve done before, to great success. Therefore, we wanted to revisit the campaign with better products.
Three Samsonite models are selected as part of the trade-in campaign. Why are MAGNUM ECO, ENOW, and VARRO specifically chosen for the annual campaign?
We have different sets of consumers. They have different lifestyle, different needs, and different price points that they have in mind. Each of these models is unique. For instance, the MAGNUM ECO is made from 483 yogurt cups, and I don’t think anyone would’ve realized this without knowing the information beforehand. In fact, it also includes 14 PET bottles. So, for those consumers who champion sustainability, they can opt for this luggage.
For those who are looking for something smaller, slicker, and stylish, they can consider the ENOW. It boasts new feature such as the patented Aero-Trac™ suspension wheel system that effectively minimises rolling vibration and noise. On the other hand, the VARRO is loaded with handy features that are bound to satisfy customers who prioritises practicality. Whether it’s organisational pockets, smooth double wheels, and an expandable middle, the VARRO ensures that you never have to worry about space.
Samsonite is contributing its resources to WWF-Malaysia’s ‘Help Protect The Next Generation Of Turtles’ initiative. How did this collaboration come together?
This is quite an interesting story. We’ve been working with WWF for the past two-to-three years already. In fact, our previous collaborations used to be plant focused. This time around, we were having conversations regarding the next step, and they provided a couple of options for us to collaborate again. Turtles were listed as one of the species that we can direct our focus to.
It reminded me of my trip back in June, when I was in Pulau Redang. It was my first scuba diving experience. While I was underwater, I came across a turtle, and it was swimming around me. I was in awe of the beautiful creature. After the trip, the imagery that I saw was such a stark contrast to the reality that a lot of these turtles are living in. Especially when you come across photos and videos of the brutality that these turtles are subjected to because of ocean pollution.
The revelation inspired me to have a conversation with my marketing manager, and we decided to go with the turtle story. We realised we can explore in multiple ways. Firstly, we can save the turtles. Secondly, we can help lessen the burden in landfills. Lastly, we can recycle these plastic wastes into flowerpots.
Regarding the flowerpots, we work with Fuze Ecoteer, a Malaysian social enterprise that is developing merchandise out of the plastic wastes. Essentially, we collect old luggage that are sent in by our consumers through our trade-in program. Then, we will send the luggage to Fuze to carry out the recycling process for us. It is important for us to work with local eco warriors.
Why do you think it’s important for consumers to be environmentally conscious?
Ultimately, what we’re doing here is about educating our consumers. We want to let them know that as an organisation, we’re looking into sustainability stories in hopes that they will do the same. We’re hoping to reinforce these values into our consumers so that we can do the right thing together. Sometimes, all we need is a little motivation to kickstart ourselves. After all, if we don’t do it, who will?