Making Ethical Fashion in Bali

 

Bali is a very special place, one of the sacred wonders of the earth I feel. The land is covered in temples and the life revolves around ceremony. There is a special time for everything in Bali.

In the Balinese calendar there is a best time for marriage, there is a best time for opening a business and there is even a best time to be cremated after death. All depends on certain dates.

Life revolves around this calendar for a lot of the people.

Each day starts with prayers and rituals. In every home and business. The day starts with the smell of sweet incense and prayer. It really is an honor to spend so much time on these sacred lands where the culture is still so alive and rich.

It reminds me daily of what is important and to give thanks for everything.

This can also make working with the Balinese a little tricky.

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It teaches one to have patience as suddenly the factory closes for a ceremony, or the printing staff get sick so there is a delay in the printing process.

The weather can be too humid for the fabric to dry after dying. There are always a million reasons why things get delayed. This can all be quite challenging when dealing with clients across the world that work to a different rhythm. Most people are not used to such situations so I am learning to plan the calendar and which months to just avoid taking orders in and how long I can expect orders to take given all the delays which can occur in the process.

I respect the people for honoring their religion and traditions and by putting this as their priority.

Bali is constantly changing as tourist industry booms and more and more people are over come by greed.

Prices have gone up and continue to increase. The price of rent has gone up, the price of food is going up. Even the price of rice has gone up. The price of fabric has gone up. This affects everyone in Bali.  It affects the locals as well as the people who produce here.

As Bali is a small island a lot is imported which has high taxes on it. I am worried that in the near future it will no longer be sustainable to stay and produce in Bali and longer.

I do my best to walk lightly on the earth. Where ever I am. To keep happy healthy relations. To honor others and to honor myself.

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I have a beautiful humble home. We pay for electric on a key, which I feel, is good as it enables me to see how much energy I am using and to save on energy where I can. I have recycling bins, which is good as I can monitor my trash and be mindful when shopping so I can have as little waste as possible.

We are living in an interesting time where plastic is a huge problem to the environment, polluting the rivers, seas and earth.

We believe in using natural fabrics that can bio- degrade.

I do my best to add to solutions.

At the moment our business is on a smaller scale, which means we can monitor all the production and work conditions.It is the most important to us that everyone is happy and that we are not harming the planet.

When I go to the shops these days I realize how tricky it is to find products that are produced ethically.

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I have always been a strong believer in cruelty free products when buying make up or any other beauty or household products. I also believe strongly in wearing natural fabrics. These days there is such a mass consumerism that the demand gets too big and often these natural wools are not produced in a cruelty free way. As rabbits and sheep are mis- treated for their wool and fur. It saddens me that’s it has got this way that you have to question how that wool jumper was produced and from what land was it made.

Many products are made in china, which sadly has little respect for animals or humane ethical conditions.

This is why it is important for me as a designer to produce clothes in a place where the people are treated well. Where the culture is still alive.

As a designer and as someone who cares for the earth I am realizing more and more that everything we do affects the planet. I am researching and striving to be more and more sustainable and eco.

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I love the Balinese people who I work with. They are incredibly talented artists who pay attention the details and are great to work with. We have a wonderful team.

The environment is beautifully sunny and inspiring although it too has it challenges, as life in the tropics is not always so easy.

I feel as we grow and expand we will also be paying attention to how sustainable it really is for us to continue producing in Bali as prices of materials and expenses continue to increase.

We will continue to look for sustainable fabrics like tencel that look and feel great which are produced in a way that is none harmful to the environment.

We will continue to have ethical conditions wherever we produce.

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About the Author

Sundari Creations supplies wholesale clothing, jewellery and accessories to boutiques with individual style that want to support eco-sustainable clothing. We offer minimum orders of $1500, allowing small business a way in. So it can help young businesses that have the same ethical standards as us to grow and prosper. We pride ourselves on our close relationship with pattern makers, tailors, seamstresses; this means we can keep an eye on the conditions of the workforce. We can guarantee 100% that our products are not derived from sweatshop labour.

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