There is an adage — “The clothes make the man.” We feel this goes deeper than appearances and we think it’s important to know exactly where our clothing comes from: Who made it? Were they comfortable and treated well? And, what about the textiles? Were they sustainably sourced? We take this into consideration when sourcing factories and fabrics for United Stock Dry Goods and KIN.Located in Bali, Indonesia, we had the opportunity to visit Threads of Life. They support sustainability in traditional weaving arts by commissioning local weavers to make textiles the same painstakingly ways their grandmothers did.
As tourism increasingly grows in Bali, the demand for inexpensive souvenirs becomes greater. As a result, highly skilled weavers and artisans are forced to abandon their traditional methods of production in favour of cheaper modes of production.
Threads of Life works to retain these traditional methods so they are not forgotten forever by commissioning artisans and sponsoring traditional weaving, sourcing natural-dyed textiles and crafts that regularly take years to complete. What results are gorgeous, intricate, museum quality pieces.
This has positive implications far beyond the world of textiles. The economy benefits as families have more money for healthcare and education. By sourcing natural, sustainably harvested dyes, water sources are preserved and not affected by artificial dyes and chemicals.
Pictured above, is a sarong that we picked up from Threads of Life. Woven and dyed by Marta Gadja of Savu and Rai Jua. The culture of Savu and Rai Jua places great weight on ancestry, birthplace, and community life. This island (Raijua), located to the west of the island of Savu produces an usual indigo woman’s sarong called Ei Pudi Wo Datu. Datu refers to the flower of the lontar palm which produces a liquid called tuak that flows from the stalk of the cut palm flower. This drink is an essential food for the people of Raijua especially during the dry season when food is scarce. The original woven cloth is black and white. The tie dye circle is made around a mung bean or corn seed. The final over-dyeing with indigo produces the pattern and the overall black and blue colour of the textile.
We would love to see more designers in our industry take a cue from Threads of Life and take a more sustainable and thoughtful approach to producing their garments.
Photo sourced from: Threads of Life.