By: Winnie Nettabella
What we wear is having a necessary part of our identity. Because when we are wearing something on will show our personality, feelings, wealth, status, and many others. But as time goes, the clothes we buy are often become less thoughtful. They are not friendly to the environment or even not timeless and less appreciative to the well-being of the people who made our clothes.
We as generation Z feel the obligation to contribute to our earth and fashion industry where the sustainable fashion movement is the right thing to do for us as fashion students. During our project at Fashion and Sustainability course, we were challenged to collaborate with local artisans or sustainable fashion players to raise awareness and focus the campaign on the highlighting sustainable movement we chose for the Indonesian fashion industry.
Me and my friends: Brigitta, Fira, Yolanda, and Komang are fashion students at the Fashion Product Design and Business study program at Universitas Ciputra in Surabaya, Indonesia, where we were paired with Songket Deli for this collaboration project for a sustainable fashion campaign by raising our very own cultural sustainability in Indonesia.
Songket Deli is an Indonesian textile maker or artisan that produces traditional songket (hand weaving) textile of North Sumatra. Irfania Lubis, a sociopreneur, the brand’s successor is indeed a descendant of the Deli Sultanate, continuing her mother’s legacy as the founder of the brand, which is why she is devoted to her heritage culture and ancestry.
This devotion has reflected in Songket Deli’s vision, where they are creating textiles with the richness of their heritage of the Malay culture. Songket Deli is not only focusing on preserving the Indonesian culture’s sustainability, but they are also concern about women’s empowerment. For jobless women, Songket Deli has to provide weaving training for free as long as they want to learn. The provided training is to empower them out of poverty for instance, with a fair living wage and economic stability for their households. They are also allowed to work in a safe and encouraging working environment.
Made and empowered by Women for Every Women, is a collaboration project between Songket Deli and Universitas Ciputra Surabaya fashion students within the fashion sustainability scoop. Because every woman has their uniqueness, Songket Deli wanted to provide products with quality for longer wearing, value, timeless design for any Indonesian woman who wears this collection. In the process of making garments, songket textiles are becoming leftover cloth that should be able to re-use or upcycle.
We used them to reach wider markets of this songket cloth, adapting them into a capsule collection that is more comfortable and easy to mix and match for daily use. Irfania revealed that there are not many young consumers are liking the songket textile, especially for daily use. Thus this capsule collection is meant for the young market as well as an effort to preserve the songket itself. Here we celebrate sustainability and minimalism, yet remain cultured.
From this collaboration we would like to convey a message to appreciate the woman weavers who have made the songket clothes, also our values through trendless clothes that will last for longer use, clothes that will empower you to be confident in yourself presented in neutral colors that are suitable for every skin tone with adjustable size, so it is comfortable to be used by various body shapes.
Under the hashtag #SongketDeliForPluralism, we want to encourage everyone who is using Songket Deli pieces to share the same value. That kind of clothes that’s so valuable!