Thursday, 1 April 2010

Cleaning up Batik

Since my last entry, so much has happened! Good things, lots of them, inspiring people and places.

Time to share 'em.

This entry is dedicated to the Clean Batik Initiative.

I read about it in the Jakarta Post article and immediately made contact with the organisation responsible for it : EKONID , the German-Indonesian Camber of Industry and Commerce, (ah, my fellow Germans!) and met them just a few days ago in Jakarta.

The popularity of batik has only grown since UNESCO added the technique to its World Heritage list. This has sparked the project after it became known that small to medium sized enterprises in batik produce the highest amount of CO2 among their sector (oh dear).

I discussed this initiative which is 'cleaning up' batik with the project officers, Anne Dih and Adnan Tripradipta. They explained how this programme that has only been launched at the beginning of this year is aiming for more efficient water&electricity consumption and waste management by providing free workshops (funded by the EU). This 4-year programme will face major challenges as a certain fear of change prevails despite the huge financial savings that can made and considering that the end-product will be the same as produced through the traditional, more environmentally-harming methods.

The lovely lady on the left is Anne Dih, whom I spoke to.

In conversation it became apparent that although producing more environmentally-friendly textiles is a growing trend, developing a certification for the cleaner batik and taking the next step of using sustainable fibres such as organic cotton is something to be pursued at a much later date.

The second phase of this programme aims to "green" the demand side of batik through free marketing, promotion and consultation programmes. Being a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum made me realize how important and helpful it is for designers, suppliers and other players in the industry to have a platform to exchange and communicate. Maybe something along those lines can be introduced for Indonesia, as I myself would appreciate one myself right now! (Oh Indonesian organic textiles, where art thou? Somewhere for sure, ... will keep on looking.).

As an ambassador of ethical fashion, it was inspiring and interesting to exchange throughts with clean batik initiators in person; it is a h u g e step in the right direction. I am looking forward to getting involved somehow and will report back regarding this topic. Time to clean up!

Mister van Noten, can I interest you in clean batik, yes?