I'm the most unlikely person to talk about Korean movies, but last week (with a lot of convincing) I watched this series called Move to Heaven on Netflix. In the middle of all the overwhelming news, it provided a welcome respite. What I love most about it was the idea that everyone has a backstory.
Their own journey that made them who they are.
And it made me think of our clothes. Because growing up in a city like Jakarta, I never really thought about what goes on behind the things we buy. Somehow, I thought they just magically appear in stores.
Take this ALUNAN Evening Coat for example. Can you imagine that its creation touches the lives of 75+ people? Like all of our clothes, its journey started from the farm. Where our farming cooperatives grow Indigo leaves regeneratively (in a way that eliminates chemical pesticide and fertilizer to heal the soil).
ALUNAN embodies the intention of letting go. A melody of flowers, falling gracefully. Each an invitation for you to embrace the present moment. Letting the moment bloom as it is.
A process that is embedded into your coat as our Ibus draw each flower by hand. Feeling the flow of the hot wax and being one with it. Almost like a meditation.
It takes 27-30x of hand-dyeing with 20kgs of Indigo leaves to get to darker shade like Midnight!
But nothing matches the process of how it's dyed. After 3 months, our Ibus harvest the Indigo leaves and ferment it so it can be used to dye. Unlike chemical dyes, one dip is not enough. It takes 27-30x of hand-dyeing with 20kgs of Indigo leaves to get to darker shade like Midnight!
It's a really intensive process - and very tiring too. I always try it whenever I'm in the village and man the muscle soreness is like going to the gym for 3 hours!
It's not easy, but it's the right thing to do. Because by doing this, we're protecting our rivers from toxic chemicals. Our Ibus' hands no longer burn, their lungs no longer hurt. But most importantly, it also protects you and me.
To me, this is what makes handcrafted clothes so meaningful.
To know that what you wear are not some machine made, anonymous product. But embedded with the soul of its makers. Her hopes and dreams.
A journey to heal our Planet with every choice.
A journey you become part of every time you wear it.
That's why the process matters, Bertram. That's why good things take time.
Your nerd who cares,
PS: In the past weeks, our new ALUNAN Evening Coat has been my constant companion. I think it's because I really resonate with the intention behind its motif: A reminder to let go and let the moment bloom, just as it is.
PPS: Which of our processes would you like to learn more about? Is it weaving, Ikat or maybe the intricacies of natural dyeing with plants? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you :)