THE YOU&MEI STORY
In 2015, Tanika Mei Anderson was fulfilling her role as an ambassador for a charity organisation in Myanmar when she met a young girl who was 14 years old, living in the dirt underneath a thatch house. As this young girl gave Tanika a tour of the dirt she slept on, Tanika noticed an old sewing machine. The girl loved learning how to sew and would sell the simple garments she would make at the local markets for a few dollars.
It got Tanika thinking, what if she was able to put a face to fashion?
Do you ever really know where your clothes come from?
Not which country they come from or which factory they were made in but who actually made the clothes that you’re wearing right now?
And so you&mei clothing label was born - An ethical clothing label working to alleviate young girls from poverty in Myanmar. Not only providing them with an income but also empowering the girls with skills and knowledge that they can use to achieve their dreams.
You&mei aims to open our eyes to not only the environmental and cultural destruction caused by “fast fashion” but also to the real life living conditions of these girls in a country that is still very much an unknown to the vast majority of the world.
ABOUT TANIKA MEI ANDERSON
Tanika Mei is a 23 year old actress who is best known as a presenter for the children’s group Hi-5 for four years until January 2017. She is now travelling as a presenter and also dedicating her time to the girls in Myanmar.
With a Singaporean mother and Australian/Scottish father, Tanika’s multicultural background resulted in spending a large part of her childhood growing up in Asia, spending time in Thailand and with her extended family in Singapore. With a keen passion for empowering children, in 2011 Tanika started her own dance school in Sydney: 360 Dance. The school focuses less on points and turns, and more on filling the young girls with confidence and the joy of dance. Originally trained at the Newtown Performing Arts High School with a Certificate IV in Performing Arts from Brent St Studios, after graduation, Tanika went on to perform for a year as a singer and dancer at Universal Studios in Singapore.
As a Hi-5 cast member, Tanika has been seen in the TV series - Hi-5 House, in over 70 countries around the world. She is beloved by thousands of little fans, who continue to follow her every move on instagram and Facebook @tanikaanderson.
Being one of the faces of Hi-5 has afforded Tanika the opportunity to perform live on tour in many diverse places, including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong. But the one trip that totally captured her heart was the first four-day journey to Myanmar in 2015. It changed her life and you&mei was born. Since then she has been back to Myanmar many times and it has become a second home.
In 2016 she was nominated in the Impact Awards given by Australia’s top charity hub, Pro Bono Australia.