Transparency, accountability, sustainability.
They all go hand in hand with our vision for a slow fashion future. We want to ensure we are always transparent with our honeys about where your clothes come from and who makes them. About the love, care and detail that goes into creating pieces that will last. We believe transparency is the key to it all - it holds us, and you, accountable for our role in the fashion industry. Once we can do this, sustainability is a no brainer.
In light of transparency, we have been waiting patiently (okay... kind of impatiently) to return to Bali to reconnect with our team here. And we finally made it! After a few days visiting and spending time with the team again - meeting the bright new faces and reconnecting with our long standing employees of 5+ years - our cups are feeling so full. Judging by the smiles and laughter, we know it meant a lot to each of them too.
So, let us introduce you to your wonderful and talented makers. We are beyond grateful for the incredible job each and every one of these people do:
Row 1 L-R: Munif (sewer), Nita (sewer), Ima (checker), Yani (cutter), Kadek (sewer), Lauren (Director), Dwi (checker), Anie (checker), Utami (checker), Aas (cutter), Tina (checker) | Row 2 L-R: Agus (sewer), Ulfa (sewer), Adisty (sewer), Nia (checker), Yatni (sewer), Saiful (sewer), Jana (cutter) | Row 3 L-R: Rima (sewer), Reni (sewer), Rindy (Senior Manager and Pattern Maker), Wayan (Senior Manager and Product Coordinator), Budi (cutter)
So much happiness and love in one photo - all the warm fuzzy feels.
A lot of the sewers and cutters were shy and didn't speak English so we got by on the basics of "apa nama kamu" (what is your name in Indonesian) and "Suksuma" (thank you in Balinese. They're always SO happy when you know Balinese as not a lot of people take time to learn the language of the island) with lots of smiles and hand gestures.
We did manage to sit down with a few of our long standing employees though and wanted to take the time to introduce them a little further:
This is Rindy and Wayan. Rindy (Head Production 1 + Pattern Maker) has been with Her Pony for 6 years and has a husband of 10 years and 5 year old daughter, Renesmee. She's from Java but came to Bali when she was 3 and now lives with her family in Denpasar. Her family from Java come to visit her once every couple of months and when asked what she likes to do on the weekends she responded: "scroll through TikTok" - can relate Rindy, we feel that.
Wayan is a single mum of her 16yo daughter, Cantika (meaning pretty - how cute is that). She has been with Her Pony for 7 years and also now lives in Denpasar but is from a little village in the mountains called Kintamani. She said she would like to take us there and says "working for Her Pony makes me very happy". We feel the same about you, Wayan, thank you.
This is Munif. He came up to Lauren after the group photo to let her know (in translated Indonesian) that he has missed her coming to visit. When we sat down with him and Wayan translated for us that he has been with Her Pony for 5 years, is from Java and now lives with his wife and children in Denpasar. He turned to Lauren with the most genuine expression and said he is very happy working for Her Pony and very grateful to Lauren. He wishes Her Pony to keep growing and being more successful (talk about a tear jerker, Munif). In his spare time he makes traditional Balinese costumes for ceremonies - when you love what you do, why not do it on weekends, too?
We can't even put into words how much it means to us to have this relationship with our makers. We want to share with you that we are so much more than just a label that makes pretty treasures - we love what we do and the people that make it happen. Which is exactly the way it should be.
The theme of this years Fashion Revolution Week is "Money Fashion Power" and as they so accurately state: "big brands and retailers produce too much too fast and manipulate us into a toxic cycle of overconsumption. Meanwhile, the majority of people feel that the people who make our clothes are not paid enough to meet their basic needs, and already feel impacts of the climate crisis."
We couldn't agree more with this. At Her Pony we create small batch runs that keep their unique value. We don't follow trends, and we create treasures that are new now, but will be vintage scores of the future one day. Before your pieces even leave the Bali Hub they have passed through at least 4 loving and attentive hands: from our cutters (who cut the fabric to be sewn), sewers, checkers (who snip spare thread and brush the clothes of any loose fabric) and finally our packers. Each of these people are paid above fair wage and given allowances for food and ceremonies.
We are transparent, and we will continue to be.
We are holding ourselves accountable, and will continue to do so.
We are continuously searching for ways to meet our sustainable goals, whilst upholding quality, and will not stop until we reach that.
Thank you for supporting us as we do this honeys, and for holding yourselves accountable in supporting slow fashion.
Read more on our ethics here.