As part of the state visit of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden, the queen made a stop at Jakarta Creative Hub co-working space in Central Jakarta on Tuesday (23/05) to see the work of Indonesian fashion designers. (JG Photo/Dhania Putri Sarahtika)

Queen Silvia Praises Batik, Encourages Sustainable Fashion Collaboration

BY :DHANIA PUTRI SARAHTIKA

MAY 24, 2017

Jakarta. As part of the state visit of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden, the queen made a stop at Jakarta Creative Hub co-working space in Central Jakarta on Tuesday (23/05) to see the work of Indonesian fashion designers.

The queen browsed through clothing items and handicrafts made by local designers from small and medium-sized enterprises. The designers all used sustainable practices in their production, by using environmentally friendly materials and practicing responsible waste management.

She even spared a few minutes to learn how to draw a batik pattern with the famous Chitra Subiyakto, wardrobe stylist for many high-profile films including "Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?" ("What's Up with Love?") and brand owner of Sejauh Mata Memandang.

"I had the opportunity for the last two days to see different projects. I’ve been to the National Museum [of Indonesia] and seen the collections of the batik and I think it's very important to keep the traditional way of making batik, also the way of life," Silvia said.

She added that Indonesia and Sweden have a lot in common, both rich in historical tradition in design.

She encouraged members of the fashion industry in both countries to learn from one another.

"Today, textile and fashion are important industries in both countries. I hope, very much, that this visit will be a starting point for further cooperation between our two countries in sustainability, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship," she told the audience.

The queen's visit was organized in collaboration with Jakarta Fashion Week, a prestigious annual fashion show helmed by Femina Group chief executive Svida Alisjahbana.

"Being eco-friendly is something we strive for and we'd very much like to learn from Sweden," Svida said.

The visit was followed by a seminar called "Fashion Forward" where three Indonesian and Swedish fashion entrepreneurs shared their experience on making biodegradable products.

Maj-La Pizelli, co-founder of ATP Atelier leather goods talked about the history of her brand. ATP Atelier's collections are made of vegetable-tanned Tuscan vacchetta leather by Italian craftsmen.

"We bring Italian craftsmanship to Scandinavian contemporary design," Pizelli said.

A large part of her presentation was the important aspects aspiring designers need to consider when building a brand from the scratch. She also emphasized the importance to plan sustainable business from the start.

"To grow a sustainable and profitable business is a challenge. The important thing is to have it all patched together and to think sustainable from the start," she added.

Novita Yunus, creative director of the brand Batik Chic, told her story of experimenting with eco-prints for her premium collection called "Bumi Langit" ("Earth and Sky") showcased at Amazon India Fashion Week 2017 last March.

Eco-prints are created by bundling together leaves or flowers and steaming them. This will create a permanent transfer of pigment from the plants to the cloth. No additional dyes or chemical agents are used in the process.

The third Indonesian entrepreneur to share her experience was Michelle Tjokrosaputro, chief executive of textile company Danliris that specializes in producing batik.

The company hopes to be a role model in eco-friendly business by using recycled materials and natural fibers such as the eucalyptus fiber among other things.

"We aim to be the leading sustainable manufacturer in Indonesia," Michelle said, who also founded the Bateeq brand in 2013.

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