Imaji Studio portrays the kingfisher design on household furnishings at the Ruang Hidup exhibition at the Jakarta Fashion Hub on September 30, 2021. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

‘Ruang Hidup’: When Biodiversity Meets Viscose Rayon

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

OCTOBER 05, 2021

Jakarta. Sustainable fashion brand Imaji Studio is teaming up with viscose rayon producer Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) to bring together biodiversity and viscose rayon in an exhibition — dubbed as "Ruang Hidup" or "Living Space."

The exhibition features the second volume of the "Jenggala" pajamas loungewear collection, which takes inspiration from the biodiversity found at the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) in Kampar Peninsula, Riau. The name "Jenggala" itself derives from the Indonesian word for jungle.

The Jenggala collection, as displayed at the exhibition, comprises three designs — all made with Imaji Studio's plant-based natural dyes and the sustainable APR's viscose rayon.

"The first one portrays the RER's landscape of a river that splits the RER's conservation area. Thus the abstract design," Imaji Studio founder Shari Semesta told the Jakarta Globe during the exhibition opening at Jakarta Fashion Hub (JFH) last Thursday.

(Top) The RER landscape-inspired pajama loungewear by Imaji Studio was shown at the Ruang Hidup exhibition at Jakarta Fashion Hub in Jakarta on Sep 30, 2021.
(Bottom)The six plant-based natural dyes used by Imaji Studio. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)​​​​

Viscose rayon is comfortable to wear, making it the perfect fabric for pajama loungewear to be worn indoors and outdoors. 

The other two designs take inspiration from the pangolins and kingfishers living in RER ecosystems. Shari choosing pangolins and kingfishers out of the 823 animal and plant species in RER was also not without reason.

"Kingfishers are symbols of hope, prosperity, and love. The kingfisher is said to be the first bird to fly from Noah's ark. [...] Pangolins, on the other hand, symbolize strength and adaptiveness. These are all positive traits that we should spread during this pandemic," Shari told the Globe.

The exhibition itself is reminiscent of a home, with the motifs shown on home furnishing products like throw pillows and sheets.

Pangolin motifs designed by Imaji Studio as seen at the Ruang Hidup exhibition at Ruang Hidup exhibition in Jakarta on September 30, 2021. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)
Pangolin motifs designed by Imaji Studio were seen at the Ruang Hidup exhibition at Ruang Hidup exhibition in Jakarta on Sep 30, 2021. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

"In this exhibition, we will see 'rooms' that you see at your own home. It shows how the choices that we make at home affect the choices outside," Shari said.

In contrast to the cotton-made first Jenggala volume, which had deeper hues, this second volume of Jenggala is boosted with brilliant colors thanks to viscose rayon's high absorbency characteristic.

"Viscose rayon is great for natural dyeing, particularly when we are aiming for brighter colors. [...] We can try out more vibrant and playful colors on viscose," Shari said.

According to APR marketing communications head Sheila Rachmat, viscose rayon itself is "relatively new" in the fashion scene, but it is expected to gain popularity due to its versatility.

"Viscose rayon is commonly known as a fabric for house dresses, but it can create a myriad of textures. When working with fabric makers over the past year, we have achieved a 100-percent viscose, with a texture similar to linen, orange peel, and so on," Sheila said.

"We can also blend viscose with other fibers," she added.

The Ruang Hidup exhibition is taking place at the JFH, a creative space for fashion enthusiasts and designers. JFH is part of APR's initiative to connect everyone in the fashion industry, both downstream and upstream. APR's sustainably produced viscose rayon is also readily available at the hub for designers to try.

"Sustainability in fashion is a message that APR has always tried to deliver since the very beginning. [...] All this time, we have always been at the upstream, so we will continue to work with sustainability-aware and ethical fashion brands to reaffirm the spirit further," Sheila said.

The JFH is located on the seventh floor of the Tanoto Foundation building in South Jakarta. The Ruang Hidup exhibition will run until Oct 13 and only opens during the weekdays. Visitors must comply with the health protocols at all times.

APR also held a Buyer Seller Meet at the same building from Sep 30 to Oct 1. Fashion enthusiasts can meet, consult, and buy viscose rayon fabric directly from the APR partners. The event is to facilitate small to medium buyers to meet their garment needs.

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