KaIND to Nature

Following layovers in Prague and Instanbul, we’ve (at last!) arrived in humid, stormy Jakarta to visit artisans and touch base with some of our partners in Fair Trade.

This week, we had the pleasure of meeting with KaIND’s visionary Melie Indarto and her creative team. Melie launched her label in 2014 with the vision of celebrating her country’s traditional Batik fashions, revived for a global, contemporary market.

KaIND believes in raising the bar of the fashion and textile industry — currently dominated by fast fashion brands — by promoting local community skillsets in hand-weaving, hand-drawing and all natural dyeing techniques.

Melie conceived of a label that communicates cultural appreciation and advocates for eco- consciousness. Iconic Indonesian symbols like Bromo Mountain, Pasir Berbisik (a vast sand- covered landscape also known as “whispering sand dunes”), chrysanthemums and tuberoses often feature in KaIND’s pieces and inspires their motifs.

To wear KaIND’s batik is to wear a consoling respect for the environment: every shade of colour is naturally derived from plants and bark, and for garments spun frm silk, no silkworms are harmed in the extraction, allowing them to thrive and hatch into moths.

Did you know that the silk we wear actually comes from the protective cocoons that silkworms spin for themselves to prepare for metamorphosis? In KaIND’s workshops, the soft, white exterior of the cocoon is gently hand-removed and turned into silk, while the inner shell carrying the future moth is left intact.

Like Melie and her team, we believe that our fashions should never cost us our planet or the beings we share it with.

When you choose a garment from KaIND, you are choosing colours that directly originate from a host of botanical species: vibrant oranges come from the seeds of Bix Orelanna, a spiky fruit, pinks and reds often come from the bark of Ceriops Tagal, while dark browns can be sourced from Mahogany bark. These seeds and barks are often boiled, for a length of time that depends on the desired colour.

The garments can then be dyed in this variety of earth tones. To obtain white motifs and designs, areas of the garment will have been drawn in hot wax which then cools and prevents the bleeding of colours. In the final steps of productions, when the wax is peeled off, the artists’ work is revealed: boughs of trees, flowers, leaves, and traditional designs.

We’re looking forward to sharing these cultural and eco-conscious garments with you in-store and online soon. 

November 06, 2018 — Liam McKinnon