Fashion Revolution was founded in 2013 by Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro. It is a global fashion activism movement founded in response to the now infamous Rana Plaza disaster that saw the tragic loss of 1,134 lives in a Bangladesh garment factory on 24 April 2013— an eye-opening moment that sparked a call for change in the fashion industry.
Now the movement is in over 100 countries, all advocating, educating, campaigning for the central vision of a fashion industry that “conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.” The main vehicle for this is Fashion Revolution Week, held during the week of 24 April, which encourages independent events around the world to promote this vision in a variety of ways, spreading the awareness of local and global innovation in the fashion industry.
Fashion Revolution Indonesia 2022
This year’s event was held on 13 and 14 April 2022 in Jakarta Fashion Hub, a collaborative space that provides working and workshop facilities for those in the industry. The event was once again brought to fruition by Closed Loop Fashion and Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), the first integrated cellulose producer in Asia, with local supporting partners Zero Waste Indonesia, Tukar Baju, The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Academy Indonesia, Tanoto Foundation, Hollit International and Creative Kitchen.
Whether it’s upcycling tyres to create shoes, donating profits to support reforestation, empowering local artisans to handcraft batik or utilising traditional and natural dying techniques, Indonesia is home to a whole range of brands approaching ethics and sustainability in unique ways. What the “Road to Fashion Revolution Indonesia” event does is bringing these trailblazing brands together under one roof to showcase to the public their important initiatives, simultaneously displaying the issues within the fashion industry and the existing solutions or alternatives that can be found.
Over the two days, an eclectic bazaar was set up involving five Indonesian brands that embody the values of Fashion Revolution, allowing visitors to browse and discover their products and what made them different. This included:
• Thread to Fabric – a playwear brand that uses only high quality environmentally responsible fabrics, dyes that are gentle on the earth (and children’s skin) and employ home workers, providing fair pay and fair work.
• Inen Signature – an environmentally-friendly fashion and home-decor brand that utilises eco-print fabrics. They utilise natural fibres and natural dyes and their products are handmade.
• Gajah Duduk – a producer of high-end Indonesian batik.
• Batik Trusmi – a batik producer continuing the heritage of the traditional Cirebon batik pattern.
• Rubysh – a jewellery company that produces all of their pieces from waste, namely repurposed/recycled HDPE and PET plastic. They also employ women from marginalised communities, especially those living near dumpsites.
Fashion Revolution is a movement that engages with all facets of fashion — from fashion designers, garment manufacturers and material producers to fashion connoisseurs and everyday shoppers — and so the event made sure to immerse participants into processes. To do this, Closed Loop Fashion and APR invited two brands to set up workshops at Fashion Revolution, both of which were centered on environmentally-friendly methods of dyeing or colouring fabric, applied to viscose fabrics provided by APR.
The first workshop was held by Bintang Aziizu, founder of ByBinzu, a popular Indonesian brand producing ‘Comfy Homey Apparel’ using naturally dyed goods. Bintang’s workshop demonstrated the traditional shibori dyeing method from Japan. The second workshop, hosted by Inen Signature, demonstrated their eco-print and showcased the use of naturally-derived colours from sappanwood (secang, locally), myrobalan (jawale, locally), green leaves and more in colouring processes.
With a goal to highlight the local solutions at the event, 16 brands were invited to showcase their products and different approaches to sustainable fashion
The brands included: Imaji Studio, Mylea x APAKABAR, Stain, Kin and Alley, Tri Upcycle, Abhati Studio, By Binzu, KaIND, Bell Society, Hallah, Dan Liem, Arae, Love Stories Bali, Creative Kitchen, Pijak Bumi and Toraja Melo, along with Pable, Indosole and Re-Pairs.
A special showcase by students from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and Binus Northumbria University was also included, displaying their upcycling collections made from pre-consumer textile waste materials from local factories.
A pop-up event created by Zero Waste Indonesia (Indonesia’s leading reference, events and products platform on a zero-waste lifestyle) promoted a clothes-swap over the two days. Under the #TukarBaju campaign, visitors could bring their own old clothes in and trade them for clothes brought by others.
This was well-received by visitors, clearly excited at the prospect of being able to clear out clothes and pick out new outfits. It engaged them in a new method of ‘shopping’, far from the fast fashion culture that so many are used to.
The Art of Designing with Waste Materials – Talk Show
Last but not least, an eye-opening talk show and webinar themed ‘Upcycling Fashion: The Art of Designing with Waste Materials’ was held during Fashion Revolution Indonesia 2022. Speakers included, Marina Chahboune (Founder, Closed Loop Fashion), Toton Januar (Creative Director at Toton), and Ratna Dewi Paramita (Head of Fashion at Binus Northumbria University).
Each of the speakers shared their own insights in methods of upcycling in the fashion industry as an important step in achieving circularity. A separate post on the subject of this talk is available on the Knowledge Hub.
Once again, the “Road to Fashion Revolution Indonesia” event brought much-needed attention to sustainable and ethical fashion to local consumers, designers and producers in Indonesia. By highlighting and showcasing brands that are already working within the frameworks of eco-friendly and fair, each in their own way, this creates a huge awareness and hopefully demand for such products in the future. It also serves to inspire producers, both established and new, to adopt better practices or indeed innovate further.
As Closed Loop Fashion founder Marina Chahboune said during the Talkshow: “We share a common goal of bringing like-minded people together by providing a platform to connect, exchange ideas and be inspired.”