Every idea started with a problem. One day, our founder found herself in a remote village in Indonesia (she's an Economics nerd and likes to study social phenomenon). She was given an introduction to Indonesia’s most famous craft technique, Batik, and found herself intrigued. In rural areas where poverty is rampant, it seems that craft is providing a viable opportunity for women in particular 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.
Motivated to understand more about the craft industry, she began her own research to different parts of the country. The findings are shocking. Despite the industry’s potential to contribute to the country’s development, the existing situation remains sub-optimal and unjust. Living on a meagre income, artisans working for decades earn less than a simple skill job such as working in a stand in a mall. The situation is even more difficult in villages: The existing model means that these marginalized communities have to sell their work through middlemen, who pool and sell it to distributors before it reaches you, the consumers. Often, the fabrics are sold at a loss and an unjust equilibrium is perpetuated.
Suddenly, a simple act of buying a piece of fabric does not seem so simple anymore. There is an imperative to find a way that supports, rather than exploits, the humans behind our clothes.
Driven to create change in this informal industry, where no standard exist to protect artisans from exploitative practices, we created #MadeRight to ensure that each fabrics helps them to earn a living wage, promote environmentally sustainable practices while sustaining heritage craft techniques. To ensure our products adhere to these criterias, we work with our unique One Village One Collection model, where we Invest, Engage and Empower rural artisans directly and bypassing middlemen.
Through this, we strive to bring back transparency and fairness, fostering traceability to where, why and how our clothes are produced.
We believe that real, lasting change only happens when we move from a donor-recipient relationship to building partnerships through trust. Through this, we can find out the real hurdles faced by the communities and create an initiative that addresses this challenge. Our model for change involves providing access to knowledge through on-the-ground capacity building - and sustain the impact through access to market. We believe that each part of this link is important and they are interdependent. By delivering both, we are driving change for the most marginalized sector in the Indonesia's craft industry.