“We work hard to counteract the sweatshop mentality that is prevalent in Indonesia...”
The Naked team recently spoke to Joy from the sustainable womenswear label Buddha Wear - check out her interview below...
Which area of sustainable fashion is most important to you and why?
Fair play, respect, integrity and fair wages are fundamental to our business. At Buddha Wear, being sustainable means improving livelihoods (particularly for women), promoting human rights and protecting the environment. We have made great improvements in developing high social and environmental standards over the last years, achieving fair living wages, reducing overtime and ensuring workplace safety and environmentally friendly production processes.
What was the very first thing that inspired you to create a sustainable fashion label?
We decided to pour our hearts and energies into making a new future of sustainability, equanimity and harmony when we realised how Bali had deteriorated because of environmental issues over the years and that our little spark of heaven was shining through a miasma of disillusionment and heartbreak.
How did you begin the label? What was the process involved?
The concept of Buddha Wear first came when we discovered a growing demand in lightweight yoga gear essentials that still maintained design integrity and reliable quality.
What is Buddha Wear’s philosophy about sustainable fashion?
We believe in a better fashion future – one where fashion both looks good and does good. This sets the grounds of our philosophy. We want to offer Buddha Wear’s customer the product they love at a good price and with a much smaller impact, unlikely most of the chain shops.
What initially inspired Buddha Wear's aesthetic and style?
Yoga wear with an uncomplicated yet spirited approach.
How has the style evolved over the years?
Buddha Wear has evolved into a classic woman label that is affordable, sustainable and fashionable.
How did you go about finding a production house in Bali?
We started small, doing the business inside of the living room in our house with one Balinese tailor then we expanded to a bigger location with a proper office. We started with one worker, now we have our own factory with around 100 regular workers.
What tips would you give a designer looking to manufacture in Bali?
Start small, be respectful of the locals and ensure high quality standards.
What are some of the biggest challenges with going offshore?
Based on our experience, one of the biggest challenges is getting the right workforce that can pull off quality work. It is quite hard to break through the pre-conceived notions of work. Therefore the training of your employees to ensure good quality products is really important but might also result in struggles. Another challenge would be the weather conditions.
Where do you see sustainable fashion going in the future & how does Buddha Wear aim to keep up with the ever-changing industry?
Sustainability requires more than companies willing to pursue it. Consumers must also be willing to act. We really believe that many people do feel concerned for the future of the planet, even if they don’t act on their stated intentions. It is a great challenge for us to find ways to make our mission resonate with more than just a sympathetic green audience. Buddha Wear will keep on committing to this movement, taking part into some international campaigns such as the Fashion Revolution and ensuring that we will keep on following our current missions.
If you were given one million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with it?
We would love that :) However we would consider it as an extension to finance sustainable production practices. It would be a great support to develop business plans and plans to invest the money back into sustainable production activities. We would also have extra money to invest in education for our employee’s children and other social needs.
See more from Sophie here https://sophiewinterblog.wordpress.com/