Meet the women that makes your clothes so meaningful. Through living wage and access to education, we are changing lives in rural Indonesia. This month, we are in Bali running trainings that help mothers who lost their livelihoods in the crisis learn new skills to care for their families.
“There was just nothing,” Ibu Wayan said. “For a year now we had no income, my husband went looking for a job almost every day. But nothing. I didn’t know until when our savings would last.”
Ibu Wayan is one of the Ibus from Tegal Kartha village who joined our program in Bali last April. They had heard of our Jawara Desa model and wanted to be part of it. As with many others, her family survived on tourism. When the lockdowns began, tourists started leaving and along with it, her livelihood.
At the same time, our small social enterprise was hit hard. In the midst of the uncertainties, I was not sure until when we could survive. It was definitely not a natural time to add a new village – but I knew we had to find a way – any way – to support them in this hour of need.
Most of the Ibus have small children. Which means that they won’t be able to travel far and anything we do must be applicable for them to do at home. Running our Baseline Survey indicated that thread work – sewing and hand embroideries – is a viable opportunity as they had some experience with it in school growing up.
But we were still unable to travel. So through many, many late nights, our team figured out different remote possibilities for them to learn some basics and start making little things immediately. And thus, our #ReMadeRight pieces were born.
Slowly, more Ibus signed up. And we knew it was time to go there and meet them.
Since the beginning of the year, me along with Ana and Seb in Bali for our very first live training here!! This is very exciting for me personally as it was the first time they get to meet the women behind your most meaningful clothes. I intentionally took a step back this time and let them run the show.
Seeing them share the stories behind each fabric, each imperfection, each stain, each line, each color, to the Ibus here warmed my heart. And I saw in the Ibus face a sense of wonder knowing how the fabric they’ve stitched for months came to life. An Ibu, supporting another Ibu. Connected by the threads of hope.
And just like that, what started with a girl with a dream that life could be better for mothers in villages across Indonesia, became a knot that connects us all.
As of January 2021, all of your meaningful clothes is stitched right here. By the Ibus of Tegal Kertha village who refused to lose hope.
Next: Rumah SukkhaCitta Bali
But there’s more! As part of our certification training, the Ibus learn how to value their time. What we found was utterly shocking. In my mind, Bali was filled with lots of ethical brands empowering the locals. Yet the usual piece rates those women earned were so low that – with all things considered (time, electricity, sewing machines, threads they have to buy themselves) – they pretty much took home close to nothing. Especially now.
It awakened in me the desire to establish another Rumah SukkhaCitta here in Bali. To provide trainings so more women can learn new skills. But also how to value their work so they and their families get to earn a living wage.
Stay tuned <3!!
With great pride in this next chapter :),