Every idea started with a problem. I started SukkhaCitta with the belief that everything we do has an impact - and that today, more than ever, there is an imperative to find a way that supports, rather than exploits, the humans who make our clothes and the Earth we live in. This means, from the very beginning, it has never been about having a fashion brand (the world does not need another brand and as an economist, I have no background in lifestyle fashion) but it has always been about a problem I want to solve.
Having worked in the development field, I saw first hand the challenges faced by last mile communities in Indonesia. Here, I learnt about the failure of aid in creating lasting change in rural Indonesia. This desire to understand led me to travel and do my own research. I wanted to understand the barriers that keep these communities trapped in poverty. Without ever intending to, it led my path to a whole new world of craft.
It turns out that in rural areas where poverty is rampant, craft is providing a viable opportunity for mothers to pursue economic freedom while taking care of their children at home. In a country where education acts as a barrier for these last mile communities to enter formal employment, craft offers a livelihood option to nearly 30mn people living under poverty.
Yet, despite the rise of the creative industry, I was saddened to see how the reality is for these remarkable artisans. Invisible to the market, these marginalised artisans have to sell their work through many layers of middlemen before it reaches you. Often, what they receive does not reflect the value of their work, and an unjust equilibrium is perpetuated.
Suddenly, a simple choice of what we wear everyday does not seem so simple anymore. I felt an imperative to find a way that supports, rather than exploits, the humans behind our clothes.
Learning from the failures of previous development interventions, I decided to take on a different route. SukkhaCitta is my model for change, it's not a fashion brand. From the start, it is my intention for it to be a platform to address a real, systematic problem faced by our most vulnerable artisans. That's why we work hard, going village to village to provide access to education - while sustaining our impact by connecting them to you.
Thank you for reading this far. As a tiny social enterprise with big dreams, you make our work possible. You inspire us to be better, to do something that's never been done - especially on days where the struggle are overwhelming. I feel honoured to be sharing this journey with you.